The Howell Public Schools have scheduled an information session for next Thursday on a rebalancing plan that would impact schools from Adelphia to Ramtown. The meeting is scheduled to be held at 7:30 in the Middle School North Cafetorium.
For close to a year the facilities and operations committee has held numerous meetings with a demographer hired by the district to address enrollment issues at various schools. While some schools are well below capacity there are others that are at or near capacity. There have been several plans discussed with the most recent being agreeable to many members of the committee.
If approved this would be the first movement of students since the district decided to close the Southard School which is currently being run by the board, the township and the Howell PAL. The plan calls for students in the area north of Route 33 to move from Ardena School to Adelphia School. The current estimates put that number at close to 34 for the upcoming school year.
Students living in the Adelphia Greens neighborhood would also see their school moved in September.
The estimated 35 students would move from their current home at Griebling to the Adelphia School as well. With the two moves Adelphia’s enrollment is figured to move from 348 this year to 360 next year. A report from the committee said that would still leave the school well below the target maximum of 92 percent utilization capacity. The numbers include 15 students that are expected to be added to the Adelphia numbers from the Angle Inn development.
According to the plan from the committee the largest move of students would be those located north of Interstate 195 who would move from Aldrich to Land O’ Pines School. That would add an estimated 43 students to next year’s enrollment numbers. In order to accommodate the move the gifted and talented program with two classes would be moved from LOP to Greenville in the Ramtown section of town.
If the plan is approved Aldrich School’s enrollment would grow from 527 students this year to 537 next year. Ardena would see its population decrease slightly from 372 to 368 and Greenville would decrease from 407 to 397. In an email sent to parents Ardena PTA President Dana Keegan encouraged parents to attend Thursday’s meeting. “All schools will be potentially affected by this rebalancing proposal in some way or another and the voices of Ardena parents and children need to be heard!”
With the move of the Adelphia Greens students Griebling would shrink from 510 this year to 489 next, still above the 92 percent capacity number of 487.
One of the most dramatic decreases would be LOP, going from 419 this year to 374 next year. That would put them below the 92 percent capacity as well which the committee put at 381. Newbury’s enrollment would drop from 287 to 277, which still puts them well above the target number of 233.
Without any changes to their borders enrollment at Ramtown is still expected to drop from 419 to 399 next year. Their number for 92 percent capacity is set at 466 according to the most recent projections. Taunton’s enrollment is also expected to drop from 416 to 394 which puts them over the 92 percent capacity number of 381. Taunton is expected to add one classroom for the upcoming school year, one more the year after and two more in the 2016-17 school year with the elimination of special programs classes.
Overall the district’s enrollment is expected to drop from 3705 to 3595 next year. The committee said enrollment is expected to decrease even more after next year and through the 2017-18 school year. Superintendent Enid Golden said the numbers on the report are only for students in kindergarten through fifth grade and do not include special class programs or middle school students.