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Bond County school district votes to close Sorento School at end of school year

Students currently attending Sorento School will be assigned to Pocahontas Elementary or Greenville Elementary based on new boundary lines.

SORENTO, Ill. — The Bond County CUSD No. 2 school board voted Wednesday night to close one of its schools.

The district voted 4-2 in favor of closing Sorento School at the end of the school year. The small town of Sorento has a population of just over 600 and around 100 students are enrolled in the school.

Students currently attending Sorento School will be assigned to Pocahontas Elementary or Greenville Elementary based on new boundary lines. The boundary lines have not yet been set.

In a letter sent to parents, the district cited economic uncertainty, labor shortages, and the impact of the COVID pandemic as reasons for the vote.

Stephanie Gerl, a board member who voted against closing the school, said she was aware of parents planning to take legal action in response to the closure.

The board was originally scheduled to vote on the closure in December, but delayed the vote after receiving “numerous questions and requests for information” related to the closure of the school, according to a December press release from the board.

Last year, several people in the community shared how upset they were about the potential closure of the school.

“The school is the heart of the town,” said Jack Wall.

“It’s the focal point of the community,” said Jeremy Hudson. “It’s where all of the community comes together. All of the people of this community support it with their whole heart.”

“That’s what makes this town so great is our little school,” said Wall.

It came as no surprise to many in the community that Sorento was named a Blue Ribbon School in 2011.

“I really and truly believe that this school helped shape me into the man I am today,” said Wall.

That success kept the school board from shuttering Sorento in 2019.