Crescent Elementary parents fight district’s proposal for closure

The district says low enrollment numbers are to blame.
The Council Bluffs Community School District is considering boundary changes that would shutter one of its oldest elementary schools.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:16 PM CST
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CRESCENT, Iowa (WOWT) - The Council Bluffs Community School District is considering boundary changes that would lead to the closure of one of its oldest elementary schools. This isn’t the first time the district has tried to close Crescent Elementary, and community members aren’t happy about having to fight again.

An email came Monday, and the Petersons didn’t see it until Tuesday when the City of Crescent’s Facebook page blew up.

Just like back in 2017, the district wants to close Crescent Elementary School.

They’re living in the Crescent home Dustin grew up in. Beckham starts kindergarten in the fall, and Harper is a 2nd grader at Crescent Elementary.

“It’d just be tragic for everybody in the community, the teachers, the students,” Dustin Peterson said. “Losing all their friends and stuff, going to different schools.”

The email they received from Superintendent Vickie Murillo provided details and said the board would hear public comments at the March 28 board meeting, and then vote on redistricting -- including CES’s potential closure.

“We’ve done a lot of back-and-forth talk with people in the town that dealt with the same issues when their kids were going here at the same time, and some other parents that are also going here too,” Dustin said. “But this has just been released in the last two days or so.”

Amanda Fasano spoke at Tuesday’s meeting and said the results of an online questionnaire will be presented to the district at that time.

“You may look at it and say there are only 64 kids, but those are kids who you’re going to upend their entire lives, and that’s who is already there, not looking at the kids you have incoming,” Fasano said.

The first Crescent school opened in 1902. A new building followed in 1958, and fire took that down in 2006. Enrollment numbers are low, but performance is high, as the school’s principal proudly pointed out in his winter letter to parents.

“Thank goodness for social media, because with that, we might have a fight,” said Jessica Peterson. “We might be able to keep this open, with everyone standing together...people that their kids graduated from here, their grandkids are going’s not just a school, it has a meaning.”

6 News reached out to the district for interviews, which were declined. Their correspondence encourages the public to reach out via email or attend the March 28 board meeting.