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Published November 30, 2011, 10:15 PM

GF Parents Concerned With Possible Closure of Wilder Elementary

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - School leaders say Wilder Elementary school may be closed in the future. The PTO held a meeting Wednesday night to discuss plans for the school.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - School leaders say Wilder Elementary school may be closed in the future.

The PTO held a meeting Wednesday night to discuss plans for the school.

There was an atmosphere of anger at the meeting. Parents and staff are definitely upset at the possibility of saying goodbye to a neighborhood school.

Parents and teachers packed the gymnasium at Wilder Elementary school in hopes of hearing good news.

"At some point, the district has to take a look and reflect and see if there's a better pattern for organizing so we can be cost effective into the long term future," Grand Forks schools superintendent Larry Nybladh said.

Meaning officials want to ensure money is being spent to educate children rather than on infrastructure. And with a decrease in children attending Wilder Elementary, closing it is an option.

"We have an aging population, a lowering birth rate and that's what we're seeing in this community. So our schools are not populated the way they once were," Nybladh said.

But parents in the neighborhood seem to disagree.

"On my street on two blocks alone there's 12 1/2 children, one on the way and so to be talking about closing Wilder school when there's so many small children moving into the neighborhood is very disturbing," parent Chassidy Strege said.

Strege lives three blocks from Wilder and plans on walking her kids to school. But if the school is closed, that may not be an option anymore. In fact, buses to other schools may not be available.

"We will have to drive our kids to and from school everyday. The additional stress of going back and forth would be a lot on us not to mention all the other families," Strege said.

Parents question the overcrowding at Century Elementary, with close to 30 kids per classroom. They're crossing their fingers that Wilder keeps its doors open.

"We'd really like to see this stay open because there's so many kids coming up and with the other elementary school that's overflowing why not just redraw the districts," Strege said.

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