Springfield preparing students for school closures

Springfield preparing students for school closures »Play Video

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The Springfield School Board voted this week to close six schools over the next two years.

Now the school district is focusing on how to help students make the transition to new schools.

Tuesday night the Springfield School Board voted to close Mohawk, Goshen and Camp Creek Elementary schools along with Springfield Middle School will close this year. Brattain and Moffitt Elementary schools will close in 2012.

Board members also voted to turn Walterville into a K- 5 school and send its 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to Thurston Middle School starting this fall.

Springfield School Districts Spokesman Jeff DeFranco said the board’s decisions to close schools were based on a $10 million budget gap, declining student enrollment and aging facilities.

“These school board members I think have acted with the highest level of integrity they did a very thorough analysis, they listened to the community they asked a lot of questions. In the end they made a very tough decision,” said DeFanco.

DeFranco said the district staff will start assembling transitions teams and parent advisory groups to help come up with the best plan to transition kids to their new schools. The district also plans to hold mixers and student orientations to get kids acclimated to their new surroundings.

Wednesday letters were sent out to parents informing them about the closures.  But DeFranco said the district also wants parents and students to give them input and ideas to help kids move forward.

“If parents are positive about the transition experience and are supportive and engaged with their students during the transition experience, those students will be successful next year in their new school,” said DeFranco.