Oak Grove schools–closed forever?


Imagine attending elementary school for seven or so years, making friends and creating memories, only to find out one day that your beloved school is closing. On Friday, February 2, 2018, the Oak Grove School District (OGSD) announced that Glider and Miner Elementary Schools would be shut down. Students, parents, teachers, and staff were in shock to see their beloved schools closed forever.

Due to declining enrollment and a financial deficit district-wide, OGSD made the tough decision to close two to three elementary schools. The schools on the list for possible closure were: Glider, Miner, Stipe, Del Roble, Anderson, Frost, Santa Teresa, and Oak Ridge.

Parents, teachers, and staff from these schools voiced their opinions in meetings held by the District over the 2017-2018 school year. At last, the Oak Grove School District selected Glider and Miner as the two schools to be shut down. The students from those two schools were moved into new schools like Sakamoto Elementary to begin the new school year.

Laura Meusel, the principal at Herman/AdVenture, was the acting principal at Glider Elementary two days a week last year. “The district had a strong process but I didn’t agree with the decision to close down just Glider and Miner out of the many schools that were in the district.” Ms. Meusel said she understood why the district closed these schools but it was really hard for her, the students, teachers, and staff at Glider to close their school forever.

Hannah Muñoz, currently a 7th grade student at AdVenture STEM, attended Glider from kindergarten to 4th grade. “In my opinion, it wasn’t fair since it had a nice campus and the layout of the school was good. I understand why the district had to close the school but I wish they didn’t,” she said.

Another student at AdVenture who went to Glider was Jenika Fernando, who is currently a 7th grader. She was the Student Body President at Glider and attended all the way from kindergarten to sixth grade. She was sad that they closed down Glider, but at the same time, glad to see that everyone got a fresh start. When asked what her favorite memory was, she said, “It was not a memory but more of the feeling of community that I always looked forward to while I was there at Glider.”

Anthony J. (AJ) Gerard, also currently a 7th grade student at AdVenture said that it was sad for him and his family that both Glider and Miner closed since he and his sister attended Glider and their mom worked at Miner as a teacher. “I think the thing I will miss most about the school is all my friends who went there. When I left to go to Adventure, I didn’t know that many people, and I missed my friends at Glider,” he said.

Although Glider and Miner Elementary Schools closed, which led to many students, staff, teachers, and parents shifting to a new school, Oak Grove School District facilitated a process that helped everyone transition. With the right support, students and staff at their new schools will continue to excel with the help of the district and their new community.