JERSEY SHORE — For the second time in a year, elementary schools in a district in Lycoming County could be on the chopping block.
The Jersey Shore Area school board is meeting tonight and is set to vote on a plan that could start the district down a path toward consolidation.
Citing declining enrollment and escalating costs, administrators are presenting a plan to the school board calling for just one elementary school instead of four.
Board members are expected to vote on a multi-million dollar plan to renovate and add onto Jersey Shore Elementary in the borough.
That could possibly make way for a proposal from the superintendent to close the district’s three other elementary schools.
“Our goal is to maintain, preserve and enhance the programs and opportunities we offer our students,” said Superintendent Richard Emery.
Emery would not go into specifics but indicated the goal is to have all students in the district attend schools on a campus in Jersey Shore.
It could take 2 to 3 years to complete renovations on the elementary school in Jersey Shore, according to school officials. Once that’s completed, it would mean a restructuring in grades with K-3rd at the elementary school, 4th-7th in the middle school, and 8th-12th in the high school.
A similar plan to close elementary schools was voted down last February.
Some parents would like to keep all the elementary schools including Nippenose Valley, Avis and Salladasburg open.
“With working within their budget is the only goal they see in mind, is to close down all the outlying elementary schools, we just want them to consider other avenues,” said Michelle Folmar whose kids go to Salladasburg Elementary School.
“We would like our board members to make an informed decision about this and we want them to hear the public,” added Adrianne Stahl.
There’s no indication when the Jersey Shore Area school board will decide on the proposed plan to close elementary schools.