- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WISNER, Neb. (AP) - Church members say increasing operation costs and sluggish enrollment numbers led to the impending closure of Zion St. John Lutheran School and pre-school near Wisner.

The 2014-2015 academic year will be the last for the school that has only four students in kindergarten through eighth grade, plus two preschoolers, the Norfolk Daily News (https://bit.ly/1zACqyE ) reported. The congregation of the Zion St. John Lutheran Church voted in October 2014 to close the school.

The building will continue to be used by the church for large events while school items will be auctioned off or used at other Lutheran schools.

“We’ve tried different things over the years (to gain new students) but we haven’t been successful,” said church member Boyd Beune.

Beune was a student in the early 1950s at the one-room school before it moved into a larger brick building. He has volunteered for 10 years to drive a bus route, picking up children from around the area.

Teachers Roxanne Bayer and Mary Heine say they view the small number of enrolled students as an advantage. Students can get more individualized attention because they’re in smaller classes, Bayer said.

Church members like Brad Brockemeier add that the school always has been “considered to be an important mission of our church.”

In June, the church will hold an annual festival during which former students can visit the school.

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Information from: Norfolk Daily News, https://www.norfolkdailynews.com


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