Howland School District receives input on consolidation plan - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Howland School District receives input on consolidation plan

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HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio - The Howland School District is reaching out to the community for input on a proposed consolidation plan that would close an elementary school.

Parents, teachers, administrators and staff packed Howland Middle school's cafeteria Monday evening to learn more about the district's proposed consolidation plan of elementary schools.

 "We know the power of teacher collaboration in having all the students of the same grade in one building," said superintendent John Sheets.

Under the proposed plan, the district would reduce the number of elementary schools from four to three. Students would go to certain schools based on their grade level, instead of the current format in which elementary students go to different schools based on where they live in the district.
 
Kindergarten and 1st graders would attend Springs Primary School, 2nd and 3rd graders would go to Glen Primary and 4th and 5th graders would attend Mines Intermediate School under the proposed plan.

The reconfiguration would put North Road Elementary out of service if it's approved. School Superintendent John Sheets says the district needs to find a way to utilize classroom space more efficiently.

Sheets says the move would save the district between $450,000 and $500,000 a year.

Howland consolidated once before in the 1980s. One parent spoke out saying it worked for her kids back then and was harder for the parents.

Some talked about the social benefits of students getting to know the other kids in their grade from the beginning instead of the way it is now. Currently students get to know the kids from the other elementary schools when they go to middle school.  

Parent Mike Ferguson is worried about possible staggered drop off and pick up times, a school no longer on that side of town where he lives and property values.

"And I think part of that concern is that once you remove that school, families are going to move away from that area," he said.

The positions eliminated would include a secretarial position, three custodian jobs and two cooks. Sheets said that an interim principal was hired so that position would be eliminated and the rest of the elementary principals would stay on.

Another parent and the superintendent both said that they do not want the building to become an eyesore if the plan is adopted.

"We do think that there's going to be some interest in using that building in some format in the future, whether it's by our district or some outside entity," said Sheets.

An architect said that North Road School was chosen because it's the oldest of the buildings and it has Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) challenges due to the multiple levels.

The board needs to make a decision by the end of February, the first of March.

Voters in the district have turned down levies three times in the past two years.


The district will be asking for input on the proposal from parents and members of the community at upcoming meetings:

Thursday, January 16th-Mines
Tuesday, January 21st-North Road
Tuesday, January 28th-Glen
Thursday, January 30th-Springs
 
All Meetings are from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
 
Questions or comments can also be emailed to hwld.boardpresident@neomin.org or john.sheets@neomin.org
 

 

 

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