Moving Forward with Consolidation

by Rene Garrett

APS to close two grade schools.
 
The Akron School Board has voted to consolidate the district further and close two elementary schools. Smith and Lawndale schools, which are in the Kenmore cluster, will close at the end of the current school year.

Students from Smith -- on Chester Avenue -- will go to Pfeiffer, which is located on 9th Street SW. Akron Public Schools administrators hope to rebuild with what is left in local money from the ongoing districtwide construction plan. Sam Salem CLC -- on Waterloo Road -- will take in Lawndale students. Lawndale is located on 25th Street SW.

The consolidation of the two schools, which have enrollments of fewer than 200 in each school, would save the district about $1 million a year, according to APS Treasurer Ryan Pendleton.
 
Superintendent David James said aligning teaching, support and custodial staffs will be done through retirements, not layoffs.
 
James will meet with all three unions (administration, teachers and support staff) to ensure that requested transfers are done with priority given by seniority, as negotiated.
 
APS will conduct community meetings to answer questions. Those sessions will be held next month.
 
Further, the board discussed the future for Garfield, Kenmore and North high schools. Ohio will only assist financially in rebuilding one, maybe two of the three.

APS to close two grade schools.
 
The Akron School Board has voted to consolidate the district further and close two elementary schools. Smith and Lawndale schools, which are in the Kenmore cluster, will close at the end of the current school year.

Students from Smith -- on Chester Avenue -- will go to Pfeiffer, which is located on 9th Street SW. Akron Public Schools administrators hope to rebuild with what is left in local money from the ongoing districtwide construction plan. Sam Salem CLC -- on Waterloo Road -- will take in Lawndale students. Lawndale is located on 25th Street SW.

The consolidation of the two schools, which have enrollments of fewer than 200 in each school, would save the district about $1 million a year, according to APS Treasurer Ryan Pendleton.
 
Superintendent David James said aligning teaching, support and custodial staffs will be done through retirements, not layoffs.
 
James will meet with all three unions (administration, teachers and support staff) to ensure that requested transfers are done with priority given by seniority, as negotiated.
 
APS will conduct community meetings to answer questions. Those sessions will be held next month.
 
Further, the board discussed the future for Garfield, Kenmore and North high schools. Ohio will only assist financially in rebuilding one, maybe two of the three.