It’s not just the end of the school year this week for students and faculty at Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Groton, it's the end of an era for generations of families.
The school is closing its doors forever, as it is the victim of state budget cuts.
Thursday is the last day, and for students and staff it will be a bittersweet goodbye.
On Wednesday, Mrs. Dalton was packing up her room. for the last time, not to return in September.
When the state cut $5 million out of the town budget in April, the school board had to make tough decisions, and one of them was to close the school.
"The superintendent sees us not just as a building but a community and he kind of sees us moving out there and sharing the Pleasant Valley School with all of the schools in Groton,” said Pleasant Valley School Principal Kathleen Miner.
The 300 students, many who are from Navy families, will now head to the district's five remaining elementary schools.
While some teachers, paraprofessionals, and others will lose their jobs, other long-time educators, like 4th-grade teacher Margaret Sullivan, have opted to retire.
She will remember her students by a giant wall mural they created.
"I think it’s been very positive, we try to put something positive on a negative sad situation. I think its reality, I think we need to be thrifty,” Sullivan said.
"I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the military lifestyle and the trials and tribulations they experience,” said Susie Brody.
Kristi Pereira, a Navy mom with two children at Pleasant Valley, said it is sad to see the school closing.
"It’s all new faces and an all new start and it’s a little sad and frustrating but my kids will persevere and do great,” Pereira said.
"The kids I think transition more easily than the adults. So, I’m trying to embrace the change and look at it as the new chapter,” said Gail Abercrombie, the school nurse.
The students and faculty are moving on but what happens to Pleasant Valley remains up to the town council.
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