Chapman Elementary closing: what's next?

(Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

CHAPMAN, Neb. (KSNB) - Just about 12 hours after the Northwest School Board announced the decision to close Chapman Elementary, the Schools Principal Jeff Ellsworth had to break it to the students.

District Superintendent Dr. Jeff Edwards says the announcement went about as well as expected, because many people know that this was an option. The school did have counselors on site for students or staff who wanted to talk about the transition.

With the decision coming just a day ago, it is too soon to say where each student will be going. Dr. Edwards did say that they will look at each situation for example if the students have siblings at a different school.

"Now that the decision officially's been made, we'll take the proper steps to make sure that our communities, our families, our parents, students, teachers, anyone involved in the Northwest district that we develop the best plan moving forward," Dr. Edwards told Local4 News.

The Board said in Monday night's meting that what's important is that parents know that no student will fall through the cracks of the transition.

Some board members even saying this could be good for them because many will be going to larger classrooms where they can have more interactions with other students.

The district is also working on reducing staff right now and offering early retirement to those who qualify.

"That notice went out this morning and that went out to teachers who were eligible across the district," Dr. Edwards said. "I think there's a February 28th deadline so we'll know here in the next few weeks. We've had a few conversations but it's too early to tell at this time."

With the closure the school plans to drop 8 FTE positions. They accepted one application at Monday night's meeting for early retirement and are hoping more take advantage of that program so they don't have to do reductions.