Staff and students say goodbye to Polk elementary - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Staff and students say goodbye to Polk elementary

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The sound of laughter fills the Polk elementary auditorium as students look back on the year that was. 

"There's the emotional aspect of leaving a school that they've been at," said Lisa Tebockhorst, principal at Polk.

This assembly signifies more than the end of the year.  It's the end of an era.

Some staff were visibly saddened having to say goodbye to a school that has stood in the Northeast side neighborhood for more than 120 years.

"When you develop those relationships with people and you have that bond, it's hard to let go of that bond. Change is hard," Tebockhorst said.

Many have resisted Polk's closure, with hundreds signing a petition trying to influence the decision.

Alothina Jackson has two boys there.

Next year they will attend Taylor elementary.

"I'm just not ready for it to be over. I just really love Polk," Jackson said. "I don't think that any other school can put their kids through the test like Polk did."

Ready or not, declining enrollment has forced the district's hand.

Now, students and staff will look to carry over Polk's legacy to a new building.

"When you look back and you look at those celebrations of the things you've accomplished together and you try to look at those aspects that have made it what it is, and take it with you to move forward," Tebockhorst said.

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