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Almo Elementary School

Students read at Almo Elementary School in November 2015.

ALMO — Idaho has a handful of tiny schools with fewer than 10 students in class on an average day.

Under Idaho law, those schools must get special permission from the state to stay open. The Idaho State Board of Education heard an information item Wednesday during a meeting in Lewiston, but didn’t take action.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra already gave her OK to keep the state’s nine smallest schools up and running this school year.

Two of the schools are here in south-central Idaho: Almo Elementary School in Cassia County and Three Creek Elementary/Junior High School, about 36 miles west of Rogerson. And slightly farther away — a few hours from Twin Falls — is Stanley Elementary/Junior High School.

The teacher at Three Creek, a one-room schoolhouse, answered the school’s phone Wednesday, but wasn’t available to comment because she was in the middle of working with students.

Almo Elementary Principal Tina Loock, who’s also principal at Raft River Elementary School in Malta, didn’t return a phone call from the Times-News.

Ultimately, it’s up to a school board to make the request to keep a school open with an average daily attendance of fewer than 10. Three of nine school districts affected this year only have one school, according to the Idaho State Department of Education.

Each year in October, the state education board receives a list of affected schools. It’s based on average daily attendance — how many students show up at school. That’s different than the total number of students enrolled.


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