Breidablik community says goodbye to its elementary school

POULSBO — The students and staff of Breidablik Elementary School said goodbye for the last time as Breidablik Bears June 17.

A closing ceremony was held during the last day of school. Speakers from the community gave words of encouragement to the students. And those present had one last opportunity to see the Bears as a whole.

The school board voted earlier this year to close Breidablik in an effort to close a budget deficit. Students and the staff remaining in the school district will attend or be assigned to other elementary schools; the majority of students will attend either Poulsbo, Vinland or Wolfle elementary schools.

Though Marney Johnson and her family were Bears for just one year, Johnson said it was one of the most welcoming school communities she has known. Johnson, a mother of three, has enrolled students in four elementary schools around the country. As a Navy family, they are used to moving every couple of years.

"I didn't know how it would be going to a community school where the kids have known each other for years," Johnson said. The Breidablik community "just opened their arms to us … it was incredible."

She added, "The teachers had compassion for those just starting over."

Compassion was shown throughout the closing ceremony, and music was played in between speeches. Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson focused on how positive changing schools can be. The students will get the chance to study in new rooms, meet new teachers, and participate in new activities. Those students attending Vinland, for example, will have the opportunity to work in the new garden.

"What I'm trying to tell you, all of you kids … You're going to get to do a whole bunch of fun things next year," Erickson said. "It's going to be fun. It's going to be exciting."

Erickson also spoke to the parents. The parents are here because of the children, she said, "and we love them dearly." Erickson encouraged parents to help with adjustment and to grow as human beings.

"Say thank you to all your teachers, and be helpful to those that will help your children next year," she said.

Erickson gave each student a challenge: On the first day of the 2013-14 school year, make five new friends.


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