East Marshall schools considering a central campus

The long-range future of the East Marshall School District could mean consolidation of schools in its district.

East Marshall is hosting a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the high school in Le Grand to get input from community members on future facility plans.

A facility committee of community members has given the school board two options for the future – to create one central campus with preschool through high school all in Le Grand or locate the preschool through fifth grade in Gilman and the sixth through 12th grades in Le Grand.

Currently, the school district has a preschool and middle school in Gilman, elementary school in Laurel and a high school in Le Grand. These options will be discussed in small group meetings Monday.

East Marshall Superintendent Dianne Anderson said this long-range plan came as a result of the committee and the school board and was not her idea. She said she is acting as facilitator in this process but does see the merit of merging schools.

“It’s a lot more economical to have it in one or two locations, rather than three locations,” Anderson said.

Anderson said action on the plan and closing of a school could take 15 to 20 years. “It’s always a sensitive issue when you talk about no longer having a school in a community,” Anderson said. “That will be in the discussion for these focus groups Monday. We want everybody to be there.”

The board will take into account input from the community as it makes a decision on the long-range facility plan. The meeting will be held in the commons/cafeteria area at the high school.