“It’s tough. It’s real tough. It’s heart-wrenching.”
That’s how north Kitsap School Superintendent Patty Page describes the decision to close Breidablik Elementary School. But the logic at the root of that decision is inescapable, at least to Page. Dropping enrollment and dropping state funding levels mean consolidation is inevitable.
“We have more schools than we need,” she said.
The district has been studying the issue for more than a year, with Breidablik, north of Poulsbou, just one of several schools under consideration. The logic and the reasons for the decision still don’t add up for lots of parents, who now face longer drives or longer bus-rides for their kids as they transition to other schools around the peninsula.
“We had the highest test scores - the highest scores!” said mom Toni Oliveros, ruefully. “I guess that isn’t rewarded.”
“It’s scary. It’s really scary,” said Kami Freke. “I have a lot of decisions to make.”
Two-hundred-ninety-two kids attend Breidablik. They will be dispersed into the rest of the school system with many of them headed for Vinland Elementary. In addition, boundary lines for middle schools and high schools will have to be redrawn to accommodate the changes in student population and future flow through the system.
Breidablik will remain open through the end of this school year.