In a special meeting held Jan. 5, 2019, the Essex School Board approved holding a public meeting to discuss the future of the school district. That meeting will be held Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. in the Allen Stuart Gymnasium.
Essex School Superintendent Paul Croghan said at the meeting administrators would talk about enrollment trends and future sharing possibilities. “It’s just an opportunity to give the public a chance to be informed, understand the situation, and be heard,” said Croghan.
Croghan said the meeting was being held in response to enrollment trends. He stated the school district is actually in very good shape financially, but the school’s administration wants to be proactive in monitoring enrollment trends and acting, rather than reactive. Croghan pointed out declining enrollment had been an issue for the last few years, but said the district was taken by surprise with a decline of 21 students this school year.
Croghan stated that declining populations and subsequent declines in school enrollments were a problem across southwest Iowa, and a reflection of rural economics.
Croghan said the school board hopes to address questions and hear comments and suggestions from the community at the Jan. 26 meeting, and make that input a part of future decisions.