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      Hawthorne Elementary gets ready for open house

      There's going to be a different look next year when students head back to school in Keokuk.

      T he district is ready for pre-school through third grades to be at Hawthorne elementary and fourth and fifth graders going to class at George Washington Elementary.

      A new addition to the building contains eight classrooms is a boon for both the district to save taxpayer dollars, Superintendent Lora Wolff said.

      "That will allow us to share resources better, art, music and P.E., our special education teachers, Title-One teachers are going to be able to serve kids more appropriately and save a significant money in our general fund in salaries and benefits," she said.

      Donna Tracy is the principal at Hawthorne and she says the $3 million project is part of the districts reorganization plan to move some grades to different buildings and to close Wells Carey Elementary School. She says each grade will have a wing of their own at Hawthorne when school starts next August.

      "We will absorb all of the first through 3rd grade students from the rest of the district. Those teachers are coming over here, we'll be able to team at the grade level and each grade level has a sort of a wing concept and that will be really exciting," Tracy said.

      The district says they've sent a letter home to parents updating them on the changes.

      Wolff also said she and her staff are planning to take a look at changing and possibly adding a couple of extra bus stops to accommodate the changes for next year.