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Quakertown School Board to Consider Closing Tohickon Valley Elementary
Written by Jennifer Butler, Correspondent

            Last Thursday, the Quakertown Community School Board received an update on recommendations related to the proposed closure of Tohickon Valley Elementary School. Assistant Superintendent Nancianne Edwards presented an overview of the work of the elementary reassignment committee, a group consisting of school staff and parents.

            The committee was formed to consider the best way to reassign students should the school close. The Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on the future of Tohickon Valley during their November regular voting meeting.

            "There is a strong feeling among the committee members that we don't want to do more redistricting than we need to do to address the situation," Edwards said.  "That has been a theme throughout their discussions.

            In April, the closure of both Tohickon Valley and Quakertown Elementary were presented as part of a plan to begin closing a $4.7 million structural budget deficit. At that time, Superintendent William Harner reported that the cost of upkeep and repairs to both declining buildings could cost the district over $8 million.  

            Milford Middle School, also part of that plan, closed in July of this year. Students from Milford have been reassigned to either the Sixth Grade Center or Strayer Middle School.

            According to Edwards, one of the main influences on the committee's recommendations will be projected growth. Currently, projections show a decline in student enrollment. Harner's class size update confirmed this, indicating a decrease of 80 students in this year's kindergarten class. Edwards noted, however, that students sometimes attend private kindergarten elsewhere then come into the district for first grade.

            The committee will present their recommendations to the board by the end of October, allowing for board consideration in November.

             In other business Thursday night, Board President Paul Stepanoff announced that the Board had met in executive session prior to the meeting to discuss a personnel matter. There was no further announcement or resultant vote. 





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