L-S parents, execs exchange ideas
Participants support electives, sports; officials outline academic, financial challenges L-S parents, execs exchange ideas BY CINDY HUMMEL, Correspondent
Residents of Lampeter-Strasburg School District shared their ideas with school officials during a Community Engagement Meeting held Monday.
Some parents among the 20 residents who attended the meeting concluded that they did not want anything to change.
Administrators talked about facing the challenges of test scores, academic successes and finances. Benefits and retirement contributions accounted for much of the increased costs of running the district, officials said.
In small groups, the participants discussed three questions posed by the school board.
The first question was about extracurricular activities and sports.
JoAnn Cohen, the mother of three L-S students, said things that took place outside the school room are what she and her classmates chat about at reunions. She also said eliminating extracurricular activities and sports would take away the potential for students to earn scholarships.
Pat Welk, who has a son in 8th grade and marching band, said it is important to have something available besides academic classes.
She recalled an earlier public meeting during which a resident said parents should pay for their children's activities. Welk wondered if that person would rather have students hanging out on street corners and doing drugs.
The next question asked how community members felt about noncore classes, such as agriculture, which are not required by the state.
Cohen said if the district eliminated some electives, students would still need to take other classes to fill out their schedule. She wondered if the district would save much in the long run.
Pat Welk's husband, Jim, said noncore classes help to turn students into well-rounded individuals.
Mrs. Welk said, "These are future members of the community."
The third question dealt with taxes.
Cohen admired the way business manager Terry Sweigart has found savings, calling the district "fiscally responsible" and fair to Willow Valley residents who have no students in the district.
Pat Welk and Cohen both summed up the evening's conversation, saying, "Keep things the way they are."
Board president James Byrnes said he was pleased with the turnout on a cold, slushy evening.
Superintendent Kevin Peart encouraged residents to attend school board meetings, which are held the first and third Monday of the month. He said their input is welcome.
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