Students at Elmwood Elementary School in Syracuse left for summer break Thursday morning, but they walked out with heavy hearts because they knew they wouldn't be coming back.
The district decided to close Elmwood for good this year. This is the second time the school was targeted for closure. In 2011, the district proposed closing the school, but the school board eventually voted to save it.
This year, Superintendent Sharon Contreras, who is finishing her first school year in the position, said the district does not have the money necessary to provide the services Elmwood needs to boost its test scores. Her budget plan was approved.
Thursday was an emotional day at Elmwood as students cleaned out their desks and enjoyed the final moments with their classmates and teachers. The school held a carnival Wednesday to celebrate the hard work of students and staff members throughout the year. Many students say there are a lot of things they'll miss.
"Learning Math and ELA and my teachers helping me," says Elmwood student Marlo Braxton.
"I like all the teachers because they help us get through things when we have a hard time," says Elmwood student Chloe McIntyre.
Some parents say they're unhappy with the district's decision to close the school.
"You could just bring better opportunities here," says Rokeisha Smith, who has two children at Elmwood. "Why are you kicking them out to go to a better school, so they can get a better education? You should've made Elmwood into a better school."
Elmwood students will now be divided among other schools in the district. Principal Margaret Wilson says the district held a lottery system to decide where students will go, and almost every student received his or her first choice. She says she hopes the students will remember their elementary school fondly.
"What I said to the students this morning on the announcements is, 'You are somebody. Each of you has learned something here at Elmwood, and we're expecting you to be a great leader in Syracuse,'" says WIlson.
What do you think about the decision to close Elmwood? Do you think students may have access to more resources in other schools in the district? Post your comments below.