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Published December 20, 2011, 10:05 PM

From Wilder to West Elementary, Talk of Closing Schools Continues

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Talk of closing local elementary schools continues tonight. District Representatives, parents and teachers met at West Elementary to discuss the possible closure of that school.

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Talk of closing local elementary schools continues tonight. District Representatives, parents and teachers met at West Elementary to discuss the possible closure of that school.

The deadline is approaching quickly for the task force to make a decision on these schools, and school district officials want to get as much information out to the public as possible.

Meanwhile, parents face the possibility that their child's school may be closing, and it's not something they want to hear.

"I would be very upset, I'd be very disappointed. West is very unique it has a great record of success," said a parent, Nicole Derenne.

A school with a record of success for decades, and district representatives don't want to close the school without a feasable reason.

"Looking at the different scenarios that have been developed so far and whether it's closing or re-purposing the facilities, we've tried to get out to the schools that have been impacted and give as much information as possible," said Grand Forks Assistant Superintendent, Jody Thompson.

"I don't think anyone wants to close schools, we just want to do what's best for the community," said a task force member, Cory England.

New information was presented at a meeting yesterday, which showed growth in local neighborhoods instead of a steady decline.

"In my mind, it changes the debate and I think the task force based on that updated data is considering different options," said England.

"I don't think anybody was shocked with the data, we had seen preliminary census data on new births...it did show stability across our neighborhoods and even in some cases slight growth which is important for us to consider," said Thompson.

That's important so parents aren't put in a situation where they have to relocate their child to another school. Nicole Derenne says she put a lot of thought into deciding why West Elementary is the best school for her daughter.

"Attending west really benefits my child and allows my child to get a really superb education and the teachers here are fantastic," said Derenne.

January 3rd is the last meeting before the demographic task force makes a recommendation to the public on January 9th.

Parents will then be able to discuss their opinions in an open forum later in January. No recommendation has been made yet, as of now it's all still up in the air.

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