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Walcott Elementary School parents, community react to potential closure

The Davenport Community School District is considering closing down Walcott Elementary and converting it into a junior high school.

WALCOTT, Iowa — In 1956, Walcott Elementary became part of the Davenport School District. Today, the school is in danger of being closed and converted into a junior high school. 

"Why would they do that?" asked Kirk Koberg, a member of Walcott City Council. "That's the question everybody is asking."

On Aug. 25, the Davenport School District held its school board meeting, presenting the plan on cutting K-5 students from the school. This could result in students potentially having to attend school in Bluegrass or Buffalo Elementary, a 6-mile bus route for Walcott students. 

"I currently have three kids at the school," said Tim Hamman, a concerned parent of a Walcott student. "Them having to be bused to another town is going to impact their day of learning." 

The change could come as early as the next school year, causing a sense of urgency for parents to quickly take action. 

Austin Burts, a local of Walcott, created a petition on change.org to spread awareness of the potential change. So far, the petition has received over 1,800 signatures.

"It's really important that we get the word out and let them know that not only this is gonna affect the town of Walcott, but also our neighbors to the south Bluegrass and Buffalo," Burts said. "It's gonna have a huge impact on the district and these communities"

With a population of 1,800 residents, Lynnette Tarchinski said the community is proud to be able to create an environment where residents can rely on each other. 

"When you live out here. You're part of a community, you're not just a citizen with an address," Tarchinski said.

The group of concerned parents plans to attend a school board meeting on Sept. 12 at the Young Opportunity Center in Davenport. Walcott will hold a town hall meeting on Sept. 13, which the parents group also plans to attend.

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