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Council Bluffs school faces closure again: one family hopes it stays open to 'see a little community thrive'

Posted at 11:24 AM, Mar 01, 2023

CRESCENT, Iowa (KMTV) — "I love my school," said Harper Peterson, a second grade student at Crescent Elementary. "I heard that the kindergartners have been working on their ABC's."

She is eagerly awaiting for her little brother to join her at Crescent next year.

"My little brother is going to go to school next year, he's five, because you can go to school when you are five," Harper said.

But that reality faces challenges now. The Council Bluffs Community School District, school board, plans to meet on March 28, to discuss the possible closure of the school. The closure wouldn't happen until after the school year is over.

"What I am hearing is that the shortage of the students that are in this school has been a concern, kind of a down trend," said Dustin Peterson, Harper's dad.

This is nothing new for the community, in 2017, the school faced closure, but the board voted to keep it.

"A lot of those kids, they don't go to school here anymore, that was their fight back then, and now we are kind of re-living the same idea that is going on now," Dustin said.

The district said enrollment has been declining, 64 students currently go there.
Some classes are as small as 7.

"Their achievements and their education and stuff has been doing really good as far as MAP testing," Dustin said.

The district said 127 kids live in the Crescent school zoning area, but only 49 of those actually attend the school. The others opt for other schools in the district or neighboring districts.

"It is kind of just the heart of the little town, all of the kids get together, they do activities and things like that, they have a good kids and company program here that the kids all go to," Dustin said.

The district said current students would be re-zoned and moved to two other schools, College View Elementary or Lewis & Clark Elementary.

"That's going to make it really hard, it makes it hard having little ones like that, to send them on a bus into town when we have a nice little school this close," Dustin said.

Harper and her dad, hope their school will stay open.

"I want it to be able to keep open, and see a little community thrive and see all these kids have a good little school to go to, and become a focal point of the town," Dustin said.

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