About two weeks ago we parents with kids in the Harlem District learned they may be closing one fo the elementary schools due to shrinking enrollment numbers.

That vote was set to take place on Monday evening but the board has postponed the Facilities Utilization Plan until they can conduct further research.

The plan is to close Marquette Elementary, which would move that 1st through 3rd-grade students to Machesney Elementary who currently teaches grades 4th through 6th.

This would then make the Machesney sixth grades move to Harlem Middle School. Some school officials have concerns with that move, saying that some students may not be ready for that big of a change.

School Board Secretary Evelyn Meeks thinks bullying might also paly a factor.

You know, they’re still young minds and I think when we put them ahead with the seventh graders, there could be some seventh graders that come in and influence them, bully them…I just don’t think they’re ready for that,”


No word yet as to when the board will be voting on this matter but at least four members are saying they're not on board with closing the school. They will continue to hold closed-door meetings to discuss this matter further.

If they were to pass this, however, the Marquette building would then be turned into a district health clinic.

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