Northeastern Nebraska school closing for lack of students

NEWCASTLE, Neb. (AP) — A northeastern Nebraska school is closing its doors because of a lack of students.

The Hartington-Newcastle School Board voted in June to close the Newcastle building, which most recently had taught only 18 children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade classes, the Sioux City Journal reported.

School officials cited the dwindling population of students from Newcastle, a village of around 325 that lies about 107 miles northwest of Omaha. This fall will mark the first time since 1890s that the town has not had a school.

Starting this fall, all students will attend classes in Hartington, about a half hour drive from Newcastle. That will consist of only three first-graders and a handful of pre-kindergarten students, officials said.

Board member Dana Rosener cast the lone dissenting vote, saying he thinks members “owe it to the community to look at other options” and maintained the school school should have been maintained for at least one more year to give the community a chance figure out what to do.

Newcastle consolidated with the larger Hartington district beginning with the 2014-15 school year.