- Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

April 26, 2013

Har-Mer issues hashed out again

SLIPPERY ROCK — The soonest meeting where Slippery Rock school board members can vote on whether to close Har-Mer Elementary School is less than a month away, and they're still debating the issue.

"I still don't think we're set on anything if Har-Mer were to close," board member Diana Wolak said at Monday's work session of how there are still numerous options on the table.

School officials on Feb. 4 held a public hearing that attracted many parents and taxpayers, many who said they want the Harrisville school to remain open.

The hearing was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which has said the board can vote 90 days after the hearing. They have a work session scheduled for May 6.

If the board decides to close Har-Mer, which has had declining enrollment, that will be effective July 1 and the kindergarten through fifth grade students will be transferred to Area Elementary in Slippery Rock or Moraine Elementary in Prospect.

Board member David Hutner, who on March 11 criticized the public for spreading rumors that Har-Mer was definitely closing, said on Monday he thought the district was moving in the right direction by considering adding more staff to keep class sizes manageable if the building is shut down.

Kenneth Speer, board member and chair of the Har-Mer building committee, who has continued to disagree with class size projections, said he believes there would be too many classes with too many students.

Area Elementary and Moraine would have more kids per class, some up to 26, if no changes are made to the current situation, Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Nogay said.

Some parents feel the best interest of their child's education is not being communicated very well, Wolak said.

"So many parents just keep saying 'my kids do better at Har-Mer,'" she said.

That's not the case, she said of parents who worry their children won't excel if they're transferred out of Har-Mer, and they might do even better at one of the other buildings because of better access to more special services.

"Moving Har-Mer to Area to me looks like maxing out that building," Speer said.

Nogay said she doesn't think class size numbers should be the main issue because enrollment figures change every year.

Board President the Rev. Michael Scheer questioned what it would take to provide that same level of special services at Har-Mer if it stays open. He hopes to have that answer at the April 22 meeting.

"Add a full-time principal to that," Wolak said of how Har-Mer shouldn't have to continue to share administrators with the other buildings.

The district needs to improve the way it gets this kind of information to the public and the website isn't updated on a regular basis, Hutner said.

"We need to take steps to correct that. We need to do a better job of it," he said.

Nogay was expected to meet with the district's technology coordinator Tuesday and she said she'd discuss the website with him.

In other business:

Paul Cessar, board secretary and district business manager, gave the board a brief update on the 2013-14 budget of about $29 million, which now carries a deficit of $410,000, down from the February shortfall of $775,000.

That change mainly comes from retirement notices, which were still coming in as of Monday, the submission deadline.

Those retirements also mean a $380,000 reduction in salary expenses and a 1 percent decrease in health care costs, but other medical costs will go up by $217,000 due to retiree benefits, he said.

The district is still waiting on the state's final budget before the board can adopt its own final budget by June 30.

Current property taxes are 89.15 mills and the board has yet to discuss whether they plan to raise the rates.

Published April. 10, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

Text Only
Local News
  • IDC speaker Route 208 area keeps growing

    The Route 208 corridor that encompasses Grove City and Pine and Springfield townships was the main focus at Friday’s annual meeting of the 79-80 Interstate Development Corp., its members learning more about current and potential projects.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling permits, 14 violations recorded

    Fourteen violations and multiple permits for gas and oil drilling were issued over the past month, according to records detailing activities in and around the Allied News coverage area.

    April 18, 2014

  • Winter's chilling cost

    Grove City Borough Council will be considering options to pass along a $200,000 electric bill to residents – maybe.

    April 18, 2014

  • pryts,monica-headshot.jpg Allied coverage wins 2 press awards

    Allied News and The Herald garnered awards in the annual Keystone Press Awards, sponsored by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • grilling organic chicken.jpg Connections made for the future of local foods

    Representatives of Sustainable Slippery Rock and the Northwest Pennsylvania Growers Cooperative, along with community members, came together Wednesday night to exchange ideas about area food systems and raise awareness of local sustainability.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • holocaust speaker1.jpg Finding good in the darkest time

    Paul Bartrop works hard to find the good - accounts of heroism and selfless acts - in one of the most evil events known to mankind: the Holocaust.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • College to raze old middle school

    At 101 years old, the former Grove City Middle School will soon be razed.
    Last summer, Grove City College purchased the middle school at 130 E. Main St. from Grove City Area School District. It was built in 1913.

    April 16, 2014

  • Board sets calendar, make-up days

    Slippery Rock school directors on Monday set the calendar for the 2014-15 school year and scheduled the remaining two snow make-up days for students.

    April 16, 2014

  • goalball trio2.jpg Sports group serves blind, visually impaired

    A non-profit organization based at Slippery Rock University that serves blind and visually-impaired children is gearing up for its spring sports clinic, among other events and fundraisers that keep participants and organizers busy year-round.

    April 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • girl scouts2.jpg Sold!


    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide