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County considers consolidated schools

May 09, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

In several years, Washington County parents could see their children head to school with more students or to a different school.

Once the county budget is settled, county and Board of Education officials want to consider whether they should consolidate schools to save money.

The Washington County Commissioners and School Board members discussed the topic during a joint meeting at the County Administration Building on Tuesday afternoon. They stressed that this is a long-term consideration and no schools are in danger of imminent closure.

"As soon as the public hears this people will call and want to know if their school is on the list to be closed," said School Board Vice President Doris J. Nipps.

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With the School Board planning physical improvements at Williamsport, Maugansville and Salem Avenue elementary schools it makes sense to look at those schools first, Commissioner Bert Iseminger said.

Commissioner John Schnebly said Salem Avenue is practically on top of Winter Street Elementary.

Iseminger said they may find the savings wouldn't be sufficient to warrant consolidating some schools, but it's worth a look.

Schnebly said neighborhood schools have had benefits, but during the current economic climate larger schools may make more sense.

Larger schools could increase curriculum possibilities since some schools now don't have enough students interested in a particular subject to offer that course, he said.

One possibility could be to partner schools with kindergarten through second grade at one school and third through fifth grades at the other, officials said.

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