School to Close on Grímsey Island: One Student Left

Vala Hafstað

When you live on and island with a population of 61, moving away can mean the school has to be closed. One family is moving away from Grímsey island, reducing the number of grade school students from three to one. No school will be operated on the island, next winter, Morgunblaðið reports.

Last year, there were three students enrolled in grade school on the island, which lies 40 km (25 mi) off the north coast of Iceland, and two children in preschool. One family is moving away from the island, leaving a single student enrolled in grade school and one child in preschool. Akureyri’s Educational Council has voted to temporarily close the grade school for the coming school year. The decision is expected to be reviewed a year from now.

The only student remaining will be attending 9th grade in the coming school year and has the option of attending school in the Akureyri district.

Karen Nótt Halldórsdóttir, principal of Grímsey Grade School, is saddened by the news, but admits that it had been expected. Still, she’s optimistic about the future.

“I hope the school will reopen as soon as possible. We have the facility, all the textbooks and teaching material. The school is not being closed for good.”

Only one preschool-aged child will be on the island next winter. “I don’t expect a preschool to be operated for one child,” Karen remarks.

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