Parents Concerned Over Temporary School Closure

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WATSONTOWN – The Warrior Run School District in Northumberland County is talking consolidation to save money. The plan calls for temporarily closing an elementary school.

Families we talked with aren't happy one bit.

Students who attend Watsontown Elementary School may have some new classmates starting next year. Administrators at Warrior Run School District plan to recommend temporarily closing the school and busing K-3 graders to Turbotville Elementary School.

"In this case, the best way to be as efficient as possible is to have one elementary school instead of two,” said Dr. John Kurelja.

The superintendent believes the Watsontown Elementary School could be closed for at least two years.

It would save the district over $700,000 a year while plans for a long-term consolidation plan were completed.

"I think it's a crazy idea. I don't think parents are going to like shipping their little kids to the next town over to Turbotville," said Linda West.

"I'm highly against it,” said Angela Shade.

Angela Shade has two daughters who attend Watsontown Elementary School.

As for the fourth graders, the plan is to have both Turbotville and Watsontown students attend classes at the middle school next year.

"The fourth graders, they are still little, and for them to be in that big bad school. I have an eighth grader, so she's even said it's not going to be good for her little sisters to be in that school,” said Shade.

"We can house all the fourth graders on the second floor. So the only students they would come in contact with during the course of the day would be their fifth and sixth grade classmates," said Superintendent John Kurelja.

Warrior Run's superintendent says about 14 positions would be eliminated because of the closure.

"I wouldn't want to see it close but I guess sometimes you have to do what you got to do to make things better," said Melissa Morgan.

Again, this is just a temporary closure. The long-term plan would include either building a brand new elementary school on site or renovating Watsontown Elementary School while it’s closed. The board will vote on the idea next week.

4 comments

  • Springfield Armory

    Dr. John Kurelja is a moron. I agree that the school could easily be consolidated, but he is just making sure that his increase in salary is not jeopardized after he attacked homeowners last summer by raising only certain homeowner’s property taxes. Luckily the County Commissioners saw it for the attack and discrimination it was. How about he take a paycut in these difficult times to help the school he so deeply cares for? He is ok with cutting anyone else’s pay or jobs.

    • Ratchet 99

      Northumberland County has not reassessed properties since 1972. The County Commissioners should be the ones to get off their lazy cans and get a reassessment done county wide so that the taxes are fair across the board. If you built a $200,000 house today, you would pay taxes based on its current market value. If you had an identical house from pre-1972, you could be paying on an assessed cost of $30,000. The county is corrupt and lazy.

      • Springfield Armory

        Agreed that it should be done, however across the board not just a select few. Others that met the same criteria, approved by Kurelja and the school board, were not included in their attack. Nor were residences that were sold for a dollar, gifted, etc. etc. They handled it very poorly and were clearly out to try to make an example of a select few. Their criteria should have had at least a couple hundred or more, not just the 41 or so using their own criteria.

  • Amanda

    All three of my children go to this school and they r excited bc they have friends that go to turbotville and I think the parents need to realize it’s for the better and the four grades will do just fine at the middle school it’s honestly not that big of a change for them!

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