Area parents pleaded to the Lower Salford board of supervisors for their help last Wednesday night to keep the doors open at all of the Souderton Area School District’s elementary schools.
During a public comment period, parents said they were concerned about the possible closure of one of seven elementary schools in the district. A spokesperson for the group, Ami Goodman, gave a presentation to the board and the audience of community members stating that, based on declining enrollment, the school board feels it’s necessary to close one of their facilities.
The school to be closed in the 2013-2014 school year would reportedly be either Lower Salford Elementary in Lower Salford or Salford Hills in Upper Salford. would reportedly be either Lower Salford Elementary in Lower Salford or Salford Hills in Upper Salford.
However, Souderton’s school board has not announced which school could be closing as they feel it is premature and further information on building conditions and capacities need to be reviewed at each of the seven schools prior to a decision.
Souderton administrators are said to get the results of a study by the Pennsylvania Economy League (PEL) by mid-September 2012 and move forward from that. A PEL study is conducted with the goal to provide solutions that will increase the effectiveness and quality of the school district and then follow with a suggested plan of action.
Goodman went on to say that the group of parents is extremely concerned for the community and their children, and they are looking to get any support they can including members of the board of supervisors. She explained that a large group of parents have rallied together to establish a petition to save the school to be closed. The petition has approximately 400 signatures at the present time.
The group believes that if Lower Salford Elementary is closed there will not only be repercussions to the students that will be shuffled into other elementary schools, but also have negative effects on the community itself.
Lower Salford Elementary is a 100-year-old landmark in the community and Goodman said the group wishes to, “preserve the historical aspect of Lower Salford.”
Supervisors’ Chairman Douglas Gifford said, “I’m not sure what kind of influence we would have, if any, but we can try.”
The Souderton school board is reportedly planning to make a final decision on which school to close on February 28, 2013. The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for July 26 at 7 p.m.