The Greater Albany Public Schools board officially closed the door on holding classes at Clover Ridge Elementary School during the 2020-2021 school year.
On Monday, the board provided an official motion and vote to the Oregon Department of Education noting that the school would not be used for kindergarten to 5th grade instruction. According to GAPS spokesperson Andrew Tomsky, future plans for the school could include pre-K services.
The vote on Monday was a formality after the board voted last April to close Clover Ridge and Fir Grove Elementary schools. The decision was triggered by the construction of two new elementary schools funded by $159 million in bond dollars.
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Oak Grove Elementary opened earlier this year. Meadow Ridge Elementary will not host its first new class until September after several delays in its opening. The school was scheduled to open in January but delays related to subcontractors postponed that timeline leaving the school board to decide whether to open the school mid-year or wait until September 2020.
On Tuesday, Tomsky said GAPS was clear in its language that Clover Ridge was not being closed down, but rather plans were still in the works with outside organizations for other functions for the building. Those functions, he said, may include pre-k services.
In February, GAPS announced it would be using Student Success Act funds — garnered through recent legislation that levied a new tax — to save Maple Lawn Preschool. The school was one of the few pre-K options in the area and was funded, in part, through the city of Albany that announced last year it would cut that funding due to budget shortfalls.
After announcing that Maple Lawn would remain open, GAPS Superintendent Melissa Goff said the district would be exploring additional early childhood programming opportunities.
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