Parents Fight to Keep Elementary School Open

NESCOPECK -- The high cost of repairing one school in Luzerne County has school board officials thinking of closing it.

A group of parents with kids in the Nescopeck Elementary School are fighting to keep it open.

Brandy Switzer walked her daughter to school on Tuesday at Nescopeck Elementary. She wondered how many times she’ll get to do that because the school may close.

“Our classroom size is a lot smaller. Other schools have 22 to 25 students, a big class in our school is 22 and that's one class. Most of ours are 16 students, which makes a big difference,” Switzer said.

Closing the school is the most drastic step the Berwick Area School Board is looking at. The board is also considering a variety of plans that would renovate and keep the school open.

Some parts of the building date back more than 80 years.

“We definitely need to put a roof on the building and a lot of internal work is needed. It's been projected to cost about $9 million,” Superintendent Wayne Brookhart said.

Nescopeck Elementary is home to about 150 students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

If the school closes, no teachers would be laid off and students would be bused about ten minutes away to Salem Elementary.

Second grader Gabrielle Switzer just wants to stay in her school.

“We have a big gym. We have nice teachers and nice classrooms,” Gabrielle Switzer said.

In a meeting a few months back, five members of the nine-person school board said they would vote to keep the school open. Now, parents just hope they keep their word.

“We voted for you for that reason and that is five out of the nine people,” Switzer said.

The decision ultimately comes down from the school board, not the superintendent. However, Brookhart said the board is listening to parents concerns.

“We really value Nescopeck. We value the community, the building, obviously the kids. They've been really successful. Many years they've been our highest performing building academically,” Brookhart said.

The next meeting to talk about potential plans for Nescopeck Elementary is set for Monday in school’s gym at 6 p.m. A final decision on closing the school is not expected to be made then.

5 comments

    • trucker

      Completely agree, parents who homeschool or send their kids to private school should not be punished.
      When your argument is superior the weak minded attack spelling and grammer

    • Jen

      Not too bright are you? Large class sizes in grade school leaves kids lost in the system. Salem Elementary also it not that big to fit 150 more students. Try actually knowing some things rather than spouting off your mouth on a topic you don’t know anything about. All you see is a monetary number…. nothing else… typical.

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