Update 2-22-17

During last evening’s meeting of the Board of School Directors, the Board voted to close Audubon Elementary School. This decision was made as a result of a process that began in 2014 in response to a decline in student enrollment.

 

This decision will result in changes to the district. It will have an impact on our families, our staff, and our entire community. While a great deal of time and effort was dedicated to preparing for this decision, we now begin the important work of planning and preparing students, staff, and families for the transition. To begin, allow me to assure you that our students, their needs, and their well-being will be of the utmost priority as we continue this process.

 

Our next step is to invite families to partner with us, and share feedback that will aid in our planning.

 

To begin, meetings are scheduled for the purposes of gathering this feedback and providing information. Families are invited to attend a meeting at their child’s proposed 2017-2018 school according to the draft boundary maps found online.  If schedules do not permit, families may attend the meeting of their choosing. The same information will be shared at each. More detailed information about these meetings is forthcoming:

  • 7 p.m. on Monday, February 27 – Woodland and Worcester elementary schools
  • 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 – Arrowhead and Eagleville elementary schools

In addition to feedback gathered at these meetings, specific comments or suggestions on the proposed boundaries may be shared by sending an email to boundary@methacton.org.  All feedback will be shared with the Board of School Directors and the district’s consultants. We ask that you please send feedback prior to Monday, March 6 to ensure that it will be considered by the Board and the consultants in determining the boundary lines.

 

The school board will schedule public meetings to review and approve the boundary lines that will go into effect starting 2017-2018 school term.

 

This is the first step in moving Methacton forward. We continue to appreciate the support of our families and wider community as we continue through this transition process.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. David Zerbe
​​​​​​​Superintendent of Schools


Update 2-10-17
The following is an update on the matter of school consolidation.
 
Recently, Milone and MacBroom (planning consultants) presented several scenarios for the Board’s consideration. In their presentation, each scenario included conceptual maps showing attendance boundaries for the purposes of those discussions. When developing potential boundaries, Milone and MacBroom was given the following direction by the Board:
 
  • Balance enrollments between schools
  • Maintain neighborhood integrity where practicable
  • Place students in neighborhood schools and minimize transportation times where practicable
  • Ensure alternatives are viable long term
 
In the event that a vote requires a school closure and/or redistricting, the district will seek feedback from stakeholders on the resulting boundaries.
 
In order to provide our community with an in- depth look at the conceptual boundaries given the scenarios being discussed, we have listed high resolution files for your viewing.
 
We continue to appreciate our community’s thoughtful questions, discussion, and comments.
 
The next meeting is scheduled as a voting meeting on the scenarios. This meeting is planned for 7 p.m. at Arcola Intermediate School on Tuesday, February 21. Historical documentation, presentations, and updates can be found on the district’s website at www.methacton.org/enrollment.
 
Thank you,
 
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
 

Update 2-7-17

The Board’s consultants, Milone & MacBroom, presented the Board with information requested from the January 10, 2017 meeting. This information was to be considered the last in a series of meetings where options for consideration were presented and additional education opportunities, costs, and land use could be considered in terms of the remaining potential outcomes. You can find historical documents regarding this process via the links at left.

 

To understand the process and how the district progressed to this point, it shall be understood that a decline in student enrollment over time; the unbalanced enrollment among elementary buildings; future capital investments in elementary buildings; and budgetary constraints, along with an overall interest in preserving the quality of educational programming in the district; has perpetuated this comprehensive, but important conversation on this matter.

The Board and administration continue to discuss the scenarios as they look to a meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 for a vote on the preferred outcome. This voting meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Arcola Intermediate School. During that meeting, it is intended, as with any action meeting, to hear public comments on action items. This meeting’s sole purpose is to address the matter of school consolidation and therefore no other action items are being considered outside of this matter. The agenda with the action items will be posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting. In general, the Board will address a preferred outcome from among the following considerations:

  • Close Audubon or Arrowhead elementary school, or
  • Close Audubon and Arrowhead elementary schools, and address grade reconfiguration options for remaining schools.
  • Redistrict without a building closure for the coming school term.

Historic information on the matter of school consolidation, including presentations, videos, documents, and other updates, can be found on the Methacton website at www.methacton.org/enrollment

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