Relocated Abbott Loop Elementary families get first look at Trailside

Trailside open house
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 7:02 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Families at Abbott Loop Elementary got the chance to take a look at the place they will be moving to this fall, Trailside Elementary.

The Anchorage School Board approved the budget for the 2023-2024 school year, which included the closure of Abbott Loop Elementary beginning in the fall. The move was in efforts to help close up a nearly $50 million budget deficit in the Anchorage School District.

It’s been a hard time for some students, teachers, and families at Abbott Loop Elementary, as many are starting to have to say goodbye to a school that they cherish.

Monday’s open house was meant for students that will be relocated to Trailside Elementary beginning this fall. For students and their families, the tour in their new school served as a way to introduce them to staff. Based on the home address on file, most students will either transfer to Kasuun or Trailside elementary schools.

The principal of Trailside Elementary, Heather Jones, says that as of right now there are only 44 students moving from Abbott Loop to Trailside, with a pretty even spread across grade levels. There are 268 students who attend Abbott Loop, according to the school district.

“Everything we’re doing right now is to make that transition as easy as possible,” Jones said. “It’s going to be hard for those kiddos to have their school closed but we want to be as welcoming as possible. They’re going to become ours, right, they’re going to become a part of our community, which is really important.”

Jones and other teachers were there to answer any questions that came up during the tour.

An email from the district to students and families of Abbott Loop Elementary on Feb. 24 tried to assuage concerns of parents, informing them of Monday’s open house that was set up to answer questions they may have.

“Please know that you and our students are our top priority during this change,” the letter read. “We are here to help and ensure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible ... 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.”

“We’re excited to have them come here, we’re excited to have the students and families, eager to open the doors and get to know them better and just let them know that I’m here to help them with this transition,” Jones said.

Parents of students making the move from Abbott Loop to Kasuun Elementary received a similar email, informing them of an open house scheduled Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.