Thu., 11:16 pm: Reconfiguration of Howland elementary schools discussed


HOWLAND The future of the Howland Local School District’s elementary program was front and center tonight as dozens of parents and community members turned out for an information panel discussion with school administration.

A conceptual plan to reconfigure the district’s schools for 2014-15, which would include closing North Road Elementary School, was the topic during the 90-minute-long meeting.

The plan, which would save the district about $500,000 a year in general operation costs, would also call for the remaining three buildings to house students based on grade level, not geographically.

Koula and Stavros Anastadsiades, who have two elementary school children in the district, said that they are pleased the administration is asking for feedback, but some questions remained unanswered.

“My main two concerns are transportation and classroom size,” Koula Anastadsiades said. “Obviously, no parent wants their kid on a bus for 45 minutes.”

Superintendent John Sheets said, “We feel there would be even less riding time for students under this (plan) compared to the old system.”

Tom Depoy, a father of two elementary school children in the district, said he wants to be sure the teachers are kept a part of the conversation.

“A lot of times they are left out,” Depoy said. “If the teachers are happy, that will trickle down to the kids. The (administration) said they were going to meet with them, so I hope they are. I just hope they do what is best for the children.”

Read more of the questions and answers from tonight’s meeting in the Friday Tribune Chronicle.