Officials in the Southwestern School District have decided to close Shipman Elementary School next school year. School board members estimate they are facing deficit between $450 and $750-thousand next school year due to the state's financial problems. The move will mean the students will be transferred to either Brighton or Medora schools.
In October, Superintendent Brad Skertich briefed the board on possible solutions centered around the idea of shifting students to other schools and possibly turning one or more schools into district offices. A series of public meetings were held in the months since, culminating with this week's decision. He says the district has been pursuing ways to reign in costs for months.
The board anticipates saving over a quarter-million dollars next year and over $318,000 annually by closing Shipman Elementary and turning it into the district office.