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Hamburg School District to Close Wilmot Elementary

All current and future students will attend either Portland Elementary or Noble/Allbritton Elementary.
ASHLEY COUNTY, AR (KTVE) - After more than a year of debate the Hamburg School District has voted to close Wilmot Elementary School, moving the 42 students to other schools within the district.  

In a meeting held Monday at Portland Elementary, Superintendent of schools, Max Dyson recommended that the school be closed due to the lower enrollment in recent years, as well as financial setbacks, starting June 2014. The School Board agreed. 

"We're at a point now where it wasn't in the best interests of our students or in the school district to continue to operate with that few number of students," said Dyson. 

Dyson says the school serves only 42 students, which is down from around 100 students over the past 20 years. 

He says teachers teach two grade levels in one class room due to the numbers. The school board felt those children and their teachers deserved a better, more challenging environment and a classroom of their own.

“Career teachers who’ve been in the business long enough know that it’s difficult enough to teach one grade level with one curriculum, with one frame work and with one mapping schedule as compared to teaching two,” said Dyson. He adds, “[Next year] teachers can work with [students], under one curriculum as opposed to working with two different grade levels. It’s going to be the best thing to do.”  

They will allow all current and future students to attend either Portland Elementary or Noble/Allbritton Elementary in Hamburg.

Teachers will also be given the opportunity to work in other schools within the district. “No one will loose their job; everyone will have the opportunity to work,” says Dyson.

The next step will be to seek the approval of a Federal Court, which they say could take up to six months. 

Story reported by David Cawton.
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