Boundary Map Showing New Lewis & Clark and College View Elementary School Attendance Areas
Beginning with the 2023-24 School Year
Crescent Elementary School
Boundary Changes Proposal FAQ
Q: Why are you considering the closure of Crescent Elementary as an attendance center?
A: The decision to make this recommendation was made after careful consideration and after significant efforts to increase enrollment at the school over the past 5+ years. We recognize that this will be a significant change for Crescent school families. This recommendation to the Board is based on wanting to provide the best possible educational opportunities for your children while being responsible stewards of the school district’s financial resources.
With only 64 students attending Crescent Elementary on site this school year, the school district cannot equitably dedicate as many resources in counseling, specialized services, talented & gifted education, and academic intervention for students at Crescent as it can in all other schools. We want the students currently attending Crescent to have every opportunity that students in all of our other elementary schools have.
Q: The Board voted in 2016-17 to keep the school open. What changed?
A: At the time, the district committed to work in partnership with the community to increase the enrollment.
Explored opening a parent-pay preschool program and conducted a joint fundraising campaign for new preschool-appropriate playground equipment.
Added Virtual Academy to increase enrollment and eliminate combination-grade classrooms.
Assigned a full-time principal to the school (previously shared with another school)
We also partnered with the Crescent Community Alliance to develop and implement an awareness and student recruitment campaign and to conduct outreach.
Held Community Picnics
Sent direct mail to attendance area households
Called area residents/families who had enrolled elsewhere to invite them back
Developed slogan/branding to communicate throughout the community (Come Grow With Us! #ChooseCrescent)
Conducted a Crescent Open House and activities during Crescent Fall Festival
Established the district’s only elementary PLTW program to attract students
These efforts have not resulted in a growth in enrollment. In fact, onsite enrollment has declined steadily since 2017
Q: Which school would current Crescent students attend in the future?
A: Current and future Crescent students would attend either Lewis & Clark or College View Elementary Schools depending on home address, beginning in August of 2023. Both schools have the capacity to serve more students. Class sizes are estimated to be 23:1 at both Lewis & Clark and College View. The district’s elementary class size goal is 24:1.
Q: Will students be provided transportation?
A: Yes, school bus transportation will be available if students attend the school designated by the school district as their attendance area school. Bus routes with the stop locations and times will be available this summer.
Q: Can my child attend any school in the Council Bluffs Community School District?
A: Your child will be bussed to either Lewis and Clark Elementary or College View Elementary, based on your home address. If you would like to attend one of our other Council Bluffs elementary schools, you can request a transfer. We will prioritize those requests for the 2023-2024 school year, and accept the request as long as there is classroom space available at the grade level.
Q: How will the class sizes change at Lewis & Clark or College View?
A: Lewis & Clark is also a small school with 231 students in K-5 this year, small enough to welcome Crescent students and still have excellent class sizes in all grades. There are two classrooms of each grade level at L&C. College View is a medium-sized elementary school, with 399 K-5 students and capacity to accommodate new students from Crescent. There are three classrooms of each grade level at College View. Class sizes are estimated to be 23:1 at both Lewis & Clark and College View. The district’s elementary class size goal is 24:1, which is typically smaller than class sizes at many neighboring districts.
Q: What will happen to our current Crescent teachers, support staff, principal?
A: All current Crescent staff members will be placed in openings at other Council Bluffs schools.
Q: Will the Virtual Academy still be an option for elementary school students?
A: Enrollment in the Virtual Academy has declined to a current enrollment of five students. The district will evaluate the program and provide an update at a future date.
Q: What will happen to the building?
A: There are no plans to sell the Crescent School building in the near future. We have offered to lease the building to the City of Crescent to be utilized for a community center. It is a well-maintained and up to date building we would want to have available to the school district if there should be substantial population growth in the Crescent area.
Even keeping the building, the move of Crescent students to Lewis & Clark Elementary/College View Elementary will allow for a financial savings of an estimated $935,000 annually, which is important as the school district faces continuing budget challenges due to inadequate state funding and the introduction of school vouchers for private education.
Q: How can we afford to open an Early Learning Center if we are recommending closing Crescent?
A: The school district funds Crescent using general operating dollars, while separate funding sources are utilized to support preschool for three and four-year-olds. Parents who will enroll their infants and toddlers, as well as preschool students who do not meet the criteria for grant funding, will pay for this service at the Early Learning Center. The substantial portion of the building construction cost is being funded by private donors as well as a State of Iowa Innovation grant.
The recommendation to close Crescent as an attendance center is primarily driven by the goal to provide Crescent students with as many resources in counseling, specialized services, talented & gifted education, and academic intervention as students in all other schools. We want the students currently attending Crescent to have every opportunity that students in all of our other elementary schools have.
Q: How can I submit my concerns or questions?
A: Parents and community members are welcome to email Communications@cbcsd.org. We will respond to questions in a timely manner and keep this FAQ current on the district’s website.