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      Sawyer Elementary after Gilbert's closure

      Nearly a year ago the Gwinn School district decided to close Gilbert Elementary and move students to K.I. Sawyer Elementary

      The decision was a cost cutting move to reach financial stability. School staff say the transition has gone well.

      It's the first time in years Sawyer Elementary school has more than 500 students. Last fall around 270 children were relocated to Sawyer after Gilberts closure.

      "Everybody has merged together very well. Kids get along great the staff gets along wonderfully. There's lots of extra things the kids are doing together," said Amy Kimsel, First Grade Teacher.

      At the school you will find classroom sizes have increased. Connie Sather's 3rd grade class is almost pushing 30 students.

      However, it's not the extra children which concerns staff, it's how much space they have.

      "We don't have a music room we don't have art room. So, those specials come into our rooms. We still have our prep time, but it's outside of our room. And, so we're not getting as good of use out of that time," said Connie Sather, Third Grade Teacher.

      So, the district is looking at what will benefit the school in the long run.

      Interim Superintendent Stephen Piereson says the board is working on a long range plan. They are conducting a building capacity study to find out how to maximize classroom space.

      "In the more distant future as you look at goals would be to try to work toward, at some point in the future, a centralized K12 campus. To maximize the use of facilities," said Stephen Piereson, Interim Superintendent.

      Piereson says they are also working on streamlining their bus routes. They plan to add another bus to their routes after spring break.

      He plans to continue collaborating with the board, community, and staff on working towards their future.