Howland postpones closing

HOWLAND – The Howland School District is delaying the reconfiguration of its elementary schools.

Citing input received from parents, community and staff, the school board on Monday voted to postpone its former plan to close North Road Elementary School and shift students to the three remaining elementary schools.

“We feel it is prudent to take additional time to plan for the future implementation of this plan so that we do not compromise the quality of education in the district,” Superintendent John Sheets said in a news release.

The plan, which was developed after reviewing elementary enrollment numbers and the physical capacity of the schools, would have saved the district $500,000.

In further action, a separation / transition plan was approved to facilitate separation from Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center – A-Tech – in order to join the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.

The decision to separate from A-Tech will save the district around $400,000 per year – the fee Howland pays to the school – but residents will automatically pick up the cost to join TCTC by paying the center’s 10-year, 2.4-mill levy if it renews this year.

Since Howland won’t officially join TCTC until 2015, Howland taxpayers will not be able to vote on the countywide tax.

Trumbull County Deputy Auditor Christy Sosteric has said the owner of a $100,000 home in Howland would pay roughly $76 more per year.

The A-Tech to TCTC separation / transition plan involves the following:

l 2013-14: Junior and senior students continue to attend A-Tech for vocational programs; TCTC will recruit Howland sophomores for the 2014-15 year while A-Tech ceases recruitment activities. The HHS Multi-Media program under A-Tech will continue;

l 2014-15: Howland juniors attend TCTC while Howland seniors attend A-Tech and complete programs; HHS Multi-Media program under A-Tech will be discontinued and the TCTC board action to change career-technical planning districts will initiate in 2015;

l 2015-16: Howland juniors and seniors to attend TCTC for vocational programs while TCTC continues to recruit; Howland Schools will have changed to be part of the TCTC planning district.

The board also accepted the retirement resignation of its treasurer, Thomas Krispinsky, who had been employed by the district for more than 20 years, effective July 31.