Anchorage School District assigns new schools for Abbott Loop Elementary students

Anchorage School District assigns new schools for Abbott Loop Elementary students
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 6:40 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage School District alerted the parents of the 268 students who attend Abbott Loop Elementary School which school they will attend next year in an email sent Friday evening. The district moved to close Abbott Loop Elementary due to a nearly $50 million budget deficit at the end of this school year.

“Please know that despite the plans for next year, here at Abbott Loop, we are still focusing on student achievement and staff are still working hard to help our students learn every day. Our goal is to finish strong by sending our students to their new school homes well prepared,” Abbott Loop Elementary School Principal Brenda Edwards wrote in an email to parents. “Please know that you and our students are our top priority during this change. We are here to help and ensure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible. We will make the most of the time we still have together and ensure that even after we close, Abbott Loop Wildcats will continue to shine. Together we will keep our focus on closing our current school year strong and creating supports for a successful transition into the next school year.”

At the start of the school year, Anchorage School District Chief Financial Officer Jim Anderson said that due to what was a $68 million budget deficit at the time, school closures were possible. In October of last year, Anderson said that even closing six proposed schools would only make negligible impacts on the deficit. During an emotional November town hall held at Abbott Loop Elementary School, the district announced that students who live north of East 88th Avenue would likely attend Kasuun Elementary School, and those south of East 88th Avenue would attend Trailside Elementary School.

In December of last year, ASD estimated that the closure of Abbott Loop would save the district approximately $974,000, with a budget deficit down to $48 million. In January, the Alaska Native Charter School asked the district to allow them to move their program into the vacant Abbott Loop Elementary School building starting in the fall of 2023. A decision on that move has not yet been made, and the condition of the Abbott Loop Elementary School building was described as poor by the district’s consultant in November.