Parents continue to oppose school realignment plan
nPequea Valley School District proposal would involve Salisbury and Paradise elementary schools. BY CINDY HUMMEL, Correspondent
Salisbury Elementary parents upped their efforts to prevent grade realignments, creating a Facebook page to discuss the issues and share information about the proposal the school board is considering.
Salisbury Elementary parent Charles Alexander, during a Feb. 5 Pequea Valley School District board meeting, asked school board members why they could not have a two-way conversation with residents during meetings.
During the meeting's public comment period, Alexander said that in earlier meetings, parents and board members had open discussions.
The concerning issue is the possible realignment of elementary school students in the district. The board is exploring a plan to have all pre-K and kindergarten students at Salisbury Elementary, with students in grades 1 through 5 at the more energy efficient Paradise Elementary.
Superintendent Erik Orndorff said the possibility would even cut class sizes and allow teachers to collaborate and give the same education in all classes. By having entire grades together, he said, the district would not have to refill positions of teachers who plan to retire or resign in the next two years.
During the Feb. 5 meeting, acting board president for the night Vernon Wright told Alexander that board policy is to listen to public comment only.
Orndorff asked Alexander to call him to discuss concerns.
Alexander and parent Joe Flaim also questioned if earlier items discussed on a capital reserve budget, including an electronic sign and a fence, could be eliminated in order to keep the school alignment as is.
During the discussion about the sign, only Wright gave verbal support.
While six parents attended the meeting, some 22 people are participating in a Facebook page title Pequea Valley Elementary Schools. The page lists upcoming board meetings, links and opinions as well as school board members and their terms.
During the Feb. 5 meeting, the superintendent told board members that a decision about whether to continue exploring the school realignment options would be needed by March.
In other news, the board considered a tractor for $49,819, a cost that would be reduced by trading in the current tractor.
Part of the reason for the tractor and an earlier discussed fence, said director of facilities and grounds manager Charles Daubert, is because of damage to district property. The fence would prevent damage to the baseball diamond, while the tractor could help maintain the fields.
Daubert said he is seeking information on a black, extended cab pickup truck that damaged property at Salisbury Elementary and the high school/middle school campus between 12:12 am and 12:16 am on Dec. 24.
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