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Report says FNSBSD could close Anderson, Joy and Nordale Elementary Schools

Nordale Elementary 2019 (2).jpg
FNSBSD
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Nordale Elementary K-8 is one of the schools proposed for closure.

School Efficiency Task Force report says three small schools closing and different grade-level configurations across the district will help close the gap in lost revenue.

“...rip the band aid off by closing three elementary schools before the 2022-23 school year.”
School Efficiency Task Force report

A cost-saving plan to close some Fairbanks North Star Borough schools was released last night. In light of declining enrollment and funding, the report recommends shuttering three smaller elementary schools next fall.

The School Efficiency Task Force report includes 4 recommendations:

Part 1 calls for closure of Anderson Elementary School on Eielson Air Force Base, and sending its students to the base’s other elementary school: Crawford.

Part 2 would close Fairbanks’s Joy and Nordale Elementaries and spread their students among the area’s other schools.

The task force targeted smaller school buildings for closure, so the district has flexibility if student enrollment rebounds.

Part 3 of the plan would shift the school district’s configuration across the borough; elementary schools would be K-5th grade, middle schools 6th through 8th grade, and high schools 9-12 grade.

Part 4 would consolidate alternative learning programs into space in existing schools.

The report does not talk about selling any school buildings.

5th and 6th graders will probably be most affected by the closures, as some would transfer to a new elementary school for the 2022-23 school year, then be moved to a middle school the following year.

Although the board could change the timeline, the task force favors a quick transition. It says the district needs to “rip the band aid off by closing three elementary schools before the 2022-23 school year.”

The eight-page recommendation is accompanied by a 13-page analysis that details the factors and process the 15-person School Efficiency Task Force used after being handed four options by the District Administration.

Details of the report will be hashed out at a school board work session Monday evening.

Clinton Campion, who facilitated the School Efficiency Task Force will present the report, after which, the board will consider the findings and next steps. Public comment will not be taken at the worksession but will be accepted later in the review and decision making process.