York Dispatch education reporter Andrew Shaw will be tweeting live Tuesday night from a public hearing on a proposal to close York City School District's middle schools. Check yorkdispatch.com later Tuesday for the full story.
Earlier story: York City School Board president Margie Orr said that she has been hearing from residents the "pros and cons" for a proposal to close two middle schools so the district can shift to a K-8 educational model.
"(The cons) I'm hearing are about the older kids being with the younger kids," Orr said. "For the pros, some people are saying that their kids will be at one school. The older kids can take their younger siblings to school. That's why we're having a hearing. We want to hear from the public."
The board will hold a public hearing on the K-8 model proposal to close the district's middle schools and make its elementary schools K-8 at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the William Penn Senior High School cafeteria at 101 W. College Ave.
"The board will take (the comments) into consideration," Orr said.
Board members will have to make a decision on the proposal by July, Orr said.
"If we decide to do the K-8 model, then we would want to give teachers and administration time to move and get those (elementary) buildings in shape," she said. "But first we have to hear from the public before we decide which way to go."
The board is considering closing Hannah Penn Middle School and Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School and converting Davis, Devers, Ferguson, Goode, Jackson and McKinley elementary schools into K-8 schools.
The elementary schools currently run K-4, while the middle schools consist of grades 5 through 8.
Under the proposal, Hannah Penn's 1,275 students would go to Goode, Davis and Jackson elementary school buildings.
Smith's 800 students would have their classes in Devers, Ferguson and McKinley elementary buildings.
The middle school class sizes would average roughly 25 students per classroom.
District Superintendent Deborah Wortham did a proposal presentation during an April 11 board committee meeting.
At that time, Wortham said she is convinced the K-8 model would be good for the district's middle school students, who would have an easier time transitioning into higher grade levels by continuing to learn in buildings where they completed their elementary school years.
She also said the idea originated last fall when community members came together to talk about ways to save money in the district, which is facing a $19 million deficit next year.
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 505-5438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.