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Carbon County One Considers Closing Sinclair Elementary School

Tom Kelly via Flickr Creative Commons

UPDATE: Carbon County School District One Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to close Sinclair Elementary.

The Carbon County District One school board will decide Thursday whether or not to close Sinclair Elementary School. 

Superintendent Fletcher Turcato recommended closing the school, which would save the district about $100,000 a year, due to legislative cuts to school funding.

Turcato says it’s not an easy recommendation to make, but it’s necessary after lawmakers cut funding by 1.2 percent over the next two years.

“That comes out to about $585,900 for our district,” says Turcato. “That is catastrophic to the classroom. The reason we’re looking at Sinclair is because the enrollment has dropped significantly and the educational quality out there of having a teacher teach two grades—education is not what it used to be. The demand on teacher performance for just one grade level is astronomical.”

If Sinclair Elementary closed, the school’s roughly 24 students would be bussed to Rawlins Elementary. The school district does not yet have a plan for what it would do with the shuttered school building.

Turcato says Rawlins Elementary could handle the influx of students, and Sinclair students would have access to more resources and wraparound services than they do now.

“I hate to say this, but small community schools, it’s hard to give them the same resources you give to a bigger school,” says Turcato. “It really is. So, this is a tough recommendation that I was faced with because of the cuts that the state gave us.”

The School Board will vote on the issue Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Carbon County One’s Central Administration Office at 615 Rodeo Street in Rawlins. 

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