Jerome Prairie School to Close

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NEAR GRANTS PASS, Ore. — After years of speculation, a Southern Oregon elementary school will close its doors for good, because of budget cuts.

Parents say they’ve held out hope for years that Jerome Prairie Elementary School would stay open, but now it’s official: the school going to be closing its doors by next fall.

Parents picking up their kids from Jerome Prairie Elementary on Tuesday say it’s a disappointing decision. Now they have to explain to their kids what’s happening to their school.

The school board voted Monday night to close Jerome Prairie and send teachers and students to Madrona Elementary School, nearly six miles away. Some parents said it should not have reached this point, but Three Rivers Superintendent Dan Huber Cantola said it was a tough decision.

Cantola said consolidating Jerome Prairie into Madrona saves the district $175,000 next year. The school’s closure allows the principal to work full time in one building instead of going between the two and reduces blended classrooms. He says two teaching positions will be eliminated with the move, but some parents aren’t convinced.

Even though the board has made its decision, some parents NewsWatch12 spoke to said they’re holding out hope that a decision will delay the closure for a short while, while they look for more funding.