The doors will soon be permanently closed at a local elementary school, as the district looks for a way to cut costs. It was a decision just finalized last night at the Rossford school board meeting.
The school board president says closing Indian Hills Elementary is part of a larger plan by the district to save money and improve student performance. She says one of the main reasons they chose it is because it is a school in the district with the fewest students.
Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, the hallways and classrooms will be empty. Rossford schools will be switching to a "grade cluster configuration." Pre-kindergarten through second-grade students will go to Glenwood, third through fifth-grade students will go to Eagle Point, and sixth-grade students will go to the junior high.
"It's a two-fold plan. We feel that the grade clustering will improve academic performance. It assists teachers with the opportunity that they can collaborate and work together. And the other aspect, of course, would be cost savings," explained Bill McFarland, interim superintendent.
Exactly how much money the district would save is still up in the air. Details are not finalized yet, but the superintendent says closing this school will mean layoffs. McFarland also said winning parents over on this idea could be tough.
"You gotta think that there will be a lot of parents who are opposed to it, simply because it does eliminate the neighborhood school concept, and the Indian Hills is one of those neighborhood schools where a lot of students walk to school," said McFarland.
Residents who live nearby voiced the same concern.
"I would really hate to see it close because, I mean, there's a lot of kids that I see walk to school. It's just so convenient for it to be where it is," said Laura Pickens.
The district will work on a new bus or shuttle service to go along with the plan.
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