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Closing school has final celebration: Graduation marks last day for San Bruno’s Crestmoor Elementary
June 15, 2013, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal

Heather Murtagh/Daily Journal Fifth grade student Seena Nasser poses during the promotion ceremony at Crestmoor Elementary School in San Bruno Friday. This will be the last class to complete their elementary school studies at the school which will now close.

Students in Crestmoor Elementary School’s last fifth grade class took turns individually sharing lessons and thanking those who helped along the way Friday.

Parents got shoutouts. Teachers were called out by name as being “the best fifth grade teacher” a particular student ever had. Other teachers were recognized for simply putting up with a student. Custodians were thanked for keeping the classrooms clean. Many recognized the lesson to never give up.

Christopher Park said he learned “that you should enjoy being young while you can because it only gets harder,” which generated a few laughs by the audience that had gathered in the multipurpose room of the San Bruno campus in the morning.

When it came time to discuss what the students will miss, a handful of the 30 students pointed simply to the school, which will be closing after this school year. Principal Leigh Schwartz ended the hour-long gathering Friday morning by announcing the students as the last graduating class at Crestmoor.

In February, after nearly two years of public debate, the San Bruno Park School District Board of Trustees voted to move forward with closing the school to help close a $1.4 million budget. Crestmoor is the third district school to be closed.

Declining enrollment forced the closure of two schools in the ’70s. Carl Sandburg Elementary was closed in 1978 and was sold for $30.5 million last year. The district leases 20 acres for a driving range on what was once Engvall Middle School at Interstate 280 and Sneath Lane to VB Golf Inc. What to do with Crestmoor once it’s closed has yet to be decided.

Getting to the decision took much time. Talk of closing a school within the district first came up during the 2006-07 school year when enrollment took a big dip. During that school year, a committee was put together to evaluate the schools and a possible closure. Instead, enrollment inched back up which halted talks.

In the fall of 2011, closure talks returned.

In April 2012, the board voted against a proposal to close two elementary schools — El Crystal and Crestmoor. Parents wanted the chance to come together and raise the needed funds to keep schools open. It resulted in a parent-driven parcel tax effort to cover the budget gap. Measure G, a $199 annual parcel tax on the November ballot, failed to meet the two-thirds threshold.

Once school is out, Crestmoor staff will start prepping for their new assignments. Classroom furniture, textbooks and other instructional materials will be moved to different campuses as needed, said Superintendent David Hutt.

Friday, however, wasn’t about the battle to keep the school open nor focusing on the closure.

As fifth grader Gabrielle Gonzalez said to the audience, “We are all very sad that our school is closing but we should have a happy day.”

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: school, crestmoor, students, schools, closing, district,

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