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Corridor Elementary School to Close in June

The Eugene School Board has voted to close Corridor Elementary School at the end of this school year, in light of significantly decreased student enrollment at the small alternative elementary school and expected school funding shortfalls resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Corridor’s enrollment had fallen by nearly half over the past several years to 142 students in fall 2019. Board members noted in a review of the data that Corridor had the highest operating costs per student and the lowest diversity among 4J’s 20 elementary schools.

Facing a significantly changed economic outlook, considering significant budget shortfalls and the program’s decreased student enrollment, Superintendent Gustavo Balderas recommended that the district consider closing Corridor Elementary School at the end of this school year, to reduce school operating costs and before incurring the costs of construction to relocate Corridor as planned.

The board held multiple discussions and a virtual community forum to hear from parents, staff and community members before voting to close the school, with expressions of regret and sadness for the families who would be impacted.

Corridor is co-located with another alternative school in a building that will be demolished to make way for construction of the new North Eugene High School building. The program had been planned to move to a wing of the current high school building this fall, after renovations and additions this summer to facilitate the relocation.

The school closure will save about $317,000 per year in operating costs and reallocate about $57,000 in Title I funds to support student services at other schools. The $1 million in bond funds saved by not making renovations at North Eugene to accommodate Corridor’s relocation will be reallocated for other needed capital improvements.

Corridor is a small alternative program in the North Eugene region, founded in the 1970s. “Alternative schools” in Eugene School District 4J enroll students by request and are not the default neighborhood school for any students. There are five other alternative elementary schools in the district—Family School in the Churchill region and language immersion programs in each of the four high school regions, Churchill, North Eugene, Sheldon and South Eugene—as well as a Spanish immersion program in a neighborhood school in the North Eugene region.

The district will engage in a special process to support Corridor families with school enrollment for next year, as the regular school choice period has passed. Students may enroll in their neighborhood school or in a different 4J elementary school where space is available.

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