The Akron Board of Education has postponed a vote to close three APS elementary schools – Barrett, Essex and Rankin – until next Monday, March 5.
Board members said they needed more time to answer questions raised by parents and to consider options.
“It’s not just about the numbers,” Board member Patrick Bravo said. “We do recognize that it’s also about the schools, the students, the families and the communities we serve. That’s a point that was not lost on any of us.”
Superintendent David W. James recommended closing the buildings at the end of this school year as part of the district's plan to right-size itself and remain fiscally responsible.
The recommendations were based on several factors, including enrollment and building capacity at nearby schools and community learning centers.
The district faces major budget cuts ahead and will need to make tough choices very soon, Board member Rev. Dr. Curtis T. Walker, Sr. said.
He asked for suggestions from the public.
“We have a willingness to listen,” Walker said. “But the bottom line is that we are going to have to make decisions that we feel are in the best interest of all students in Akron Public Schools.”
A special meeting has been scheduled for Monday, March 5, at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room.
Proposed changes still under consideration include:
Current enrollment: 222 students
Students south of Eller Street would be reassigned to Voris CLC. Students north of Eller Street would be reassigned to Firestone Park. (Read Barrett closing FAQs.)
Current enrollment: 200 students
Students north of Sand Run Parkway would be reassigned to Case. Students south of Sand Run Parkway would be reassigned to King. (Read Essex closing FAQs.)
Current enrollment: 188 students
Students west of Storer Avenue would be reassigned to Schumacher CLC. Students east of Storer Avenue would be reassigned to Crouse CLC. (Read Rankin closing FAQs.)
Students enrolled in special education programs at these three schools would be reassigned to schools that can meet their unique needs, or the entire class would be reassigned to another school.
To read frequently-asked questions regarding the proposed closings, go to: www.akronschools.com/news/news_detail.dot?id=512f9ab8-99b9-4c57-bdb5-d9b755c512f4.
APS estimates the changes could save the district $910,000, plus additional savings in teacher salaries, once staffing is determined in the spring, which will help make a dent in a multi-million-dollar budget deficit.
The district would accept open enrollment requests for students who prefer to attend other schools.
Call Mary Kelly, executive director for elementary schools, at 330.761.3075 for more information; or send comments and suggestions to board members at www.akronschools.com/leadership/board-of-education/index.dot.