Upper Perkiomen School District officials said last Thursday a move of the district’s boundaries may be necessary to shift more students to Marlborough Elementary.
A presentation by Superintendent Dr. Beth Yonson outlined student enrollment at both Hereford and Marlborough elementary schools, noting a shift in those numbers since 2002-03. After redistricting in 2008 and an expansive addition at Hereford, that school is now seeing significantly higher numbers.
Enrollment numbers, out Oct. 1, saw Hereford with 891 students and Marlborough with 669. Total district enrollment went from 3,217 in 2011-12 to 3,251 this year.
“We are very concerned and we feel we need to look at this,” Yonson said. “We should see if we need to move a boundary line.”
Yonson attributed the higher numbers to rental units on Main Street/Gravel Pike in parts of Pennsburg, East Greenville and Upper Hanover, but also said the restart of building in THP’s Northgate development, namely townhome sections that appeal to younger families, may facilitate the move sooner rather than later.
Karen Henry, director of registration and transportation for Upper Perk, said the district only gained 22 students from the closure of St. Philip Neri Elementary School in East Greenville. They are, though, seeing an increase in new families registering “non-stop” at a rate of about two per week.
Henry explained that the district could look at possibly moving one of its east-west boundary lines off E. Buck Road in Pennsburg/Upper Hanover to send those children in Northgate and others to Marlborough instead.
“If, in fact we do move to redistricting, it will be a big chore to look at all the ramifications,” said Board President Harry Quinque.
Henry said staff will begin collecting data and will get back to the school board concerning their findings.
In other district news, Upper Perk Mohawks youth football and cheerleading program representative Dave Kilroy asked the board for a reduction in rental fees for Tribe stadium at Upper Perk High School.
Citing an “unforeseen” expense of $15,000 to purchase 120 new helmets this year, which no longer met safety standards because of their age, he asked the board to lessen the organization’s expected $6,500 bill. The organization rents the facility for eight home games, seven practices and an all-day Turkey Bowl event.
“The facility really is marvelous and the kids feel like big shots when they get to play there. I really want to be able to give that to them,” he said.
Quinque said the board would discuss the request at a later date.
School officials noted they authorized Facilities Director John Sheeran to get estimates to renovate the tennis courts at the high school.
The board adopted a policy update on reporting child/student abuse that was said to be in the works for months at the request of their solicitor, Ken Roos. It clarifies district policy and state law.