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Scranton School District unveils proposal to consolidate schools

The school board heard a proposal Monday night to consolidate several elementary schools in an effort to cut costs.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Monday night's special meeting is just the latest step in the district's financial recovery plan, meaning several schools could be on the chopping block.

Now, school directors have a lot to consider as this is their first look at the proposal.

Inside West Scranton Intermediate School, options were laid out on the table for the future of the district's elementary schools, with closures looming.

"We as a board, if we wish to lead the district out of recovery as soon as possible, need to ensure that every dollar that is spent in the budget is squeezed to its absolute maximum," said Director Ro Hume, Scranton Operations Committee.

The chief recovery officer is recommending a two-phased approach. Phase one- consolidating John Adams Elementary into Neil Armstrong School, closing Charles Sumner, and splitting those students between Isaac Tripp and Frances Willard schools.

That could all happen by the end of the current school year.

Phase two would consolidate William Prescott into Robert Morris, relocate Electric City Academy to Charles Sumner, while also looking into options for the administration building with a target date of the end of the 2025 school year, stirring lots of questions from school board members on costs and class sizes. 

"With the pandemic and all of this stuff, why are we adding more kids to a class when we should be focusing on the children and having smaller class sizes in elementary where I think we have to make up for the lost time from Covid," said Sean Mcandrew, Scranton School Board Director.

The Scranton School Board will hold a public hearing next Monday for parents to voice concerns. 

That hearing will also be at the West Scranton Intermediate School, but a vote on the proposal is not expected until January.

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