Wednesday, February 27, 2008

NMS, Tawanka closures under consideration

As I reported to you a couple weeks ago, the board agreed to consider closure of Neshaminy Middle School for the upcoming school year. The process calls for a public hearing followed by a 90-day period before the board can render its final decision. Due to scheduling difficulties which would have conflicted with Spring Break, the board agreed to hold the hearing on the only other business day available to them - Friday March 14th at 6:30pm. Please keep in mind that the public can continue to address building closure issues at any public meeting.

The board also agreed unanimously to close the Tawanka Learning Facility at the end of this school year. No firm plans have been made as to where the alternative education program will be housed next year.

The board was divided on the subject of closing an elementary school for the 2008/2009 school year with 6 members opposing the idea. As you might expect, the large crowd on hand was divided mostly along generational lines with younger adults applauding the choice not to rush a decision, and seniors upset that the board wasn't doing enough to reduce expenditures.

Click here to read the Courier Times' recap of the meeting.


Hoover mom said...

I am just wondering why Hoover was singled out last night. I honestly do not know. Can anyone fill me in? I would like some more information. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It just seems that the decision is a money decision and the benefits for children in smaller class sizes isn't being considered.Maximizing class sizes will drive education and test scores into the basement. The senior citizens just want taxes to go down and seem to have the attitude "i've got mine and heck to the rest of you. Their position that they don't have kids in the system so why should I pay holds about as much water as the younger parents saying "I won't see a dime of Social Security so why should I pay the retired people" - someone else paid for their kids to go to school now they don't want to pay the same. If taxes going up will force them out of their home then they better not get the flu or have a flat tire because both would cost more and force them out. This doesn't mean that the board should have carte blanche but be smart with the taxpayer funds and always keep Neshaminy Kids first, not settle for just something mediocre.

William O'Connor said...

I'm not speaking for anyone on the board, but here is why I believe Hoover was singled out. Among the elementary schools, Hoover has a higher commercial value due to its location. And I know you'll hate hearing this, but the perception is that Hoover is not considered a
"neighborhood" school (meaning that it is not nestled inside a residential neighborhoood).

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mr. O'Connor. Unfortunately, neither was Tawanka considered a neighborhood school when it was targeted a few years ago. It sits along a main road and is surrounded by a large piece of ground making it a valuable piece of real estate, not to mention, along the way someone found a useful purpose in the building for use as an alternative school. In my opinion, the end-use of the building will inevitably be a huge determining factor in the building that is targeted.

A piece of advice for Hoover Mom, in the event that at some juncture an elementary school is targeted take a leadership role in ensuring that the best decisions are made on behalf of the children that will be impacted. Don't sit back and wait for the next shoe to drop, hoping that it won't be your school. Get involved to ensure that our school board is held accountable and makes decisions based on what's right for our students and they are not bowing to political pressure. In the end you'll feel more empowered knowing you had been a part of the process and not filled with dread over the unknown.

Hoover mom said...

I am aware that Hoover is not looked at as a "neighborhood" school, as much as we who attend it feel differently. But I guess my real question is, where is the district going to put 640 (plus or minus) children? We are running pretty full. Above being a "Hoover mom" I am a "Neshaminy mom" and I just want what is best for the students. That is quite a few students to find new schools for. Will the public be aware of the redistricting plans prior to a decision being made?

Anonymous said...

Option 2 of the McKissick report lists Everitt as the school for closure. Hoover may have higher real estate value due to the property surround it but the district is not looking to SELL the property...just rent it if someone is even interested. Remember that report is just that..a proposed "report". I am sure once the board puts their heads together and makes the decision that will affect the least amount of students they will make the right decision. Not one based on a hypothesis. I also think that Pearl Buck should be considered as redistricted for Carl Sandburg. They are closer to Sanburg and are a LEVITTOWN COMMUNITY SCHOOL. Why not stay in Levittown if you have a LEVITTOWN address? I'll be curious to see where they are redistricted to for the sake of middle school attendance. Their numbers are low and they have the added real estate value of having an air-conditioned facility.

Anonymous said...

Hoover Mom
Read the McKissick report online. The only reason Hoover appears an "option" is because of it's real estate value. That is not even a valid interest unless they are planning on selling the building and property.
It appears only one board member even named Hoover and that was because "he drove by it".
Too bad the board member has never set foot inside of the building.