Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton school board voted this week to close two elementary schools and one middle school in the district in an effort to save money. The closings were one of several options presented to parents and the board based on the findings of a consolidation report and two years of studies and meetings.
Under Option I, the plan the board voted for, Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt elementary schools will close along with Kenmore Middle School, which would be converted into administrative offices.
Option I will also change the grade levels for each program. High schools will now run grades eight through 12, middle schools are grades five through seven and elementary schools are pre-K through fourth grade.
The plan supposedly will decrease the chances of additional school closings over the next five to 10 years.
The board says the plan will be implemented in the 2016-2017 school year and is said to save the district about $5 million in the first year.
As a parent, I am not really sure how the board’s decision will play out over the long term.
Both of my children attend school in the Ken-Ton district. My youngest is in third grade at Hoover Elementary and my oldest is in seventh grade at Kenmore Middle School.
I understand the financial constraints school districts in New York state are under with cuts to state aid. I also realize that with dwindling enrollment, due to many factors including the “brain drain” and an aging population, it doesn’t make sense to have half-empty school buildings.
But, I also see how some parents feel that this may be upsetting to the kids who have to move schools and leave teachers and friends they have known for years.
Personally, my son will be one of the last classes to attend Kenmore Middle School. We weren’t sure in the beginning how we felt about him attending Kenmore Middle.