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UPDATE:  Well, we have some good news (and it's rare in these times!)  The Filer School Superintendent told me the board believes Hollister Elementary will remain open.  It appears they've found the needed teachers.


Idaho’s teacher shortage is a threat to many rural districts and many smaller schools.  Hollister Elementary School is historic and the center of the tint farming community in southern Idaho.  Generations of kids have passed through the halls.  Could this be a  permanent closure?  Statewide, the teaching shortage reaches into the thousands and is often the most acute in rural Idaho.  If you can’t staff a building, then often the immediate solution is to close the doors and send the kids to another building.

I haven’t confirmed any of this.  I’ve only seen some sad posts on social media from some parents.  I have a call out to the Superintendent and will update you as soon as I get a reply.

Hollister is in the Filer School District, which would mean busing the children several miles away.  It would also mean parents would have some driving if they were needed for a conference.

We’ve seen this play out in the region in the past.  A couple of years ago it was the lovely old school building in Almo.  Parents may not be pleased with the decisions of school boards and administrators but those very same people have to pinch pennies and find staff in a dwindling talent pool.

My mother attended a two-room school until the 7th grade.  Her elementary school was across the street from her house.  One of her uncles taught three of the six grades.  She received a wonderful education and could obviously walk home for lunch.

We’re losing something special every time one of these old buildings closes.  It’s usually permanent.   I sure would like to see a solution that would please everyone but most of us know win-win solutions aren’t very common.

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