The Galien Township School Board has voted to close their doors for the 2012-2013 school year.
In a vote last night, the board voted 6 to 1 to close its doors to students after this year due to low enrollment.
The board also passed two resolutions to lay off five teachers and four support staff.
Supt. Tim Allard said they had 78 students at the end of this year. For pre-enrollment for next year they only had 22 students.
Wednesday is the last day for students for this school year. They got out at 11:15, teachers have to work a full day.
Next year kindergarten through 8th grade students living in Galien will attend Buchanan Schools.
But high school kids will still attend River Valley. That's because when Galien's high school closed in 2004 they reached an agreement at that time with River Valley Schools.
But Galien students entering 8th grade this fall will eventually go to Buchanan High School, as will students in future years.
The following release was issued Tuesday morning:
Galien Township-During a special Board of Education meeting held last night, the Galien Township School Board voted 6-1 to close its doors to students following the conclusion of the 2011/12 school year. The Board indicated low enrollment as the reason for their decision. The Board also passed two resolutions to lay-off teachers and support staff and gave Superintendent Tim Allard authorization to take the appropriate steps to implement those resolutions. The resolutions passed unanimously.
"The Galien Township Schools have educated many students in loving and caring ways,” said Galien Township School Board President Anne Goodenough. “Many of those students have been very successful in their personal and vocational lives. They will pass on their values and education to others. Tonight is a very sad night in the history of our town, District and school. We had families who remained loyal, but there are not enough students returning to our district to keep it open. It is the fault of no one thing and no one here."
As for the children who would have attended Galien Township Schools in the fall, they will now have the opportunity to attend classes at either Buchanan Community Schools or the River Valley School District. Galien will be entering into cooperative agreements with the two neighboring districts over the summer to provide for the education of the resident Galien students. Details relative to the agreements will be shared with families as soon as possible.
"The Galien Township Schools Board of Education should be commended for seeking every possible solution and opportunity to secure funding to remain open and vibrant as a school district,” Superintendent Tim Allard said. “Each Board member agonized over this extremely difficult decision. In the end, however, the decision was made due to lack of enrollment. I am proud of our board and I am equally honored to have worked with this staff. Galien teachers and staff members have consistently taken concessions and worked with less and less while at the same time delivering quality instruction. The board and the staff fought the good fight. This is a sad day and an unfortunate outcome for a small town and a small school system. There are no winners in this decision; it was simply a matter of revenue versus expenditures and without students, the revenue was not able to be secured."
In regard to the District’s financial concerns with the Michigan Department of Education, the Galien Board of Education continues to move forward with its appeal process regarding the pupil accounting audit for the years of 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11. As this process unfolds, the District will continue to inform the community of the results.
According to Superintendent Allard, the District has full confidence in their position and remains hopeful for a positive outcome.
Families are encouraged to contact Galien Township Schools for further information and to answer any questions they might have relative to their child’s education at (269) 545-3365.
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