STROUDSBURG — A big decision that’s been months in the making for Stroudsburg Area’s School Board: whether to close Clearview Elementary in Stroud Township, W.H. Ramsey Elementary, both – or none at all.
Last December, the board asked Superintendent John Toleno to investigate all possibilities, and now it’s finally up for a vote.
“Ultimately we’ll have a final decision on Wednesday night whether it’s going to be one, two or none, and we’ll just move forward from there,” said Toleno.
The superintendent says closing both schools would save the district up to $650,000 and consolidate a student population that has shrunk.
But each closure comes with the consequence of cutting staff and possibly letting teachers go. The superintendent of seven years says he’s given the board and the community the best facts he can to move forward.
“Will we miss some things, probably, I don’t think – I’ve based this plan on imperfect information based on an imperfect time line to make an imperfect decision,” said Toleno.
But many parents and community members say they feel that closing one or both of these schools would destroy the communities they’ve grown to know and love.
“Nobody wants to see a beautiful building like this close down and just left empty,” said Larry Aceves of Stroudsburg.
Aceves has a little girl in second grade and lives on Thomas street, right across from Ramsey Elementary. He says he would hate to see this school close.
“I love it, from the kitchen window I can see the school and when the kids are getting ready so it’s wonderful,” said Aceves.
Other community members like Kathleen Lockwood say they believe their property values are at risk if the school’s doors close, changing their neighborhood that’s grown so close.
“They should listen to the people who voted for them. They didn’t vote for them knowing that this was what they were going to do,” said Lockwood.
The school board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Stroudsburg High School cafeteria.