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Quakertown School Board Votes to Close Tohickon Valley Elementary
Written by Jennifer Butler, Correspondent
2017-12-13

            Four new directors were sworn into the Quakertown Community School District Board of Directors Dec. 7, prompting a split vote on whether to close Tohickon Valley Elementary School. New directors Jennifer Weed, David Ochmanoweicz, Keith Micucci and Kaylyn Mitchell all voted in opposition of the school's closure.

            However, five existing directors voted in favor of the closure, passing the motion to continue plans to shutter the school after the 2017-2018 school year.

            The decision to close Tohickon Valley is part of the district's long term plan to close a $4.7 million budget deficit. Milford Middle School was closed after the 2016-2017 school year as part of that cost-saving plan.

            The vote included the recommendation of the elementary reassignment committee, presented to the board of directors last month. That recommendation relies upon the renovation of Neidig Elementary. The committee acknowledged that, under this plan, the average elementary school class size would increase from 21 to 23 until the Neidig renovation is complete.

            Before the vote occurred, several district parents and staff spoke out, asking the board to reevaluate plans with the four new directors before making a final decision.

"They did all this work to see what it would take to close it," district resident Chris Spear said of the committee. "Let's do the same amount of work to see what it would take to keep it open."

            In other business, plans are proceeding to have the organization Pearl S. Buck International implement the Welcome Workplace district-wide diversity and inclusivity training. The $32,000 program was approved by the board in October, after two Quakertown students were suspended for throwing rocks and shouting racial slurs at Cheltenham cheerleaders after a football game.

            The program will begin with an assessment of more than 400 district employees, including the board of directors. The online assessment will gauge intercultural knowledge and awareness. The results will then be used to develop a customized plan to build intercultural development and individual competencies for students.


 

 

 

 

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