'Diverse Ideas' Coming to Enrollment Issue
Residents sharing ideas of short, long range plans for township schools.
After two meetings of residents and Washington Township School board members to discuss short and long-term facilities plans, a wide variety and diverse representation of ideas have come forth, according to board member Michelle Munley.
Munley, who heads the board’s Proposed Facilities Plan committee, said more than 45 residents–representing a host of different demographics–attended the first meeting on March 7, which outlined a demographic study and analyzed potential steps that could be taken going forward.
The demographic study, put together by Dr. Richard Grip, shows enrollment trends for the school district will drop more than 500 students by the 2015-16 school year. If the projection is true, the district’s schools will have about 1,000 empty seats below its available capacity.
On March 28, a second meeting was held, where 30 residents came to share their thoughts, Munley said.
“The residents are bringing valuable resources to the table,” Munley said. “People were comfortable sharing their ideas.”
The committee, which also includes board members Chance Healy and Kevin Daly, asked the community members what they envisioned regarding the use of buildings and facilities, as well as programs for students in the coming years.
“We want to discuss what facility use may be like (if the projection comes to fruition),” Munley said. “There’s a diverse representation of ideas, and we need to consider what these concerns will do to the school district.”
Munley said just about every demographic type from the township is represented, including parents of children in the schools, parents with children in private schools, empty nesters, senior citizens and parents with children not yet in the system.
Residents can join the group at any time going forward, Munley said, and all ideas are welcome.
The next meeting will be held Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. The session will be held at Flocktown-Kossmann School, and will be preceded by a tour of the buildings.