Central Plains school board votes to close Wilson Junior/Senior High School

Once the school year is finished, the school will close leaving only a K-6th grade school open in Wilson, Kan.
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 8:29 PM CST
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WILSON, Kan. (KWCH) - Board of education members in the Central Plains school district in their meeting Monday night voted to close the junior/senior high school in Wilson due to financial struggles. The closure, planned for the end of the current school year, is leaving some parents unsure about where their children will attend school next fall.

Students at Wilson Junior/Senior High School say it’s difficult to imaging going to school anywhere else.

“Wilson has definitely been my home for a lot of years, since preschool. I moved here. And it’s just kind of upsetting we’re getting this taken away and there’s no Wilson Dragons anymore after this year,” one student said.

Another student described the closure decision as “heartbreaking.”

After the school year, only the school for kindergartners through sixth graders will remain open in Wilson. The older students and their parents have limited options.

“Now that they’ve closed Wilson, they are transferring students to their Central Plains High School in Claflin. More than likely, none of the high school students will go to Central Plains,” said Kayla Cullens, mother of a Wilson High School junior.

If students don’t go to Central Plains, Cullens mentioned Ellsworth, Russell or Sylvan as potential options for Wilson students.

“And that’s only if they accept us because they have a limit on the number they can accept out of district,” she said.

Cullens said she thinks Wilson Junior/Senior High School should stay open.

“It’s devastating. Schools are the backbone for any rural community,” she said. “I mean, we have to have schools to help us survive.”