AlliedNews.com - 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.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • hula loom class1.jpg Park staff: Walk this way

    Slippery Rock Community Park is already home to playgrounds, pavilions, classes, programs and more for all ages, and a two-mile walking trail would be a welcome addition.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal park proposed for Rt. 258

    The owner of Living Treasures Wild Animal Park is proposing a similar facility for Mercer Butler Pike in Liberty Township that could open in about two years if all goes as planned.

    July 30, 2014

  • Blackburn gets probation, time served

    A man whose former Grove City apartment was raided by state and federal authorities in December for weapons and military items was sentenced in Mercer County court Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • sru chiequestrian center.jpg SRU plays host to China

    Slippery Rock University is one step closer to potentially forming a partnership with a university in Wuhan, China, which would expand educational opportunities for staff and students.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • gc farm mkt produce table1.jpg Farm fresh

    The Olde Town Grove City Farmers' Market was packed with shoppers and vendors on Thursday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling violations, actions reported

    Six violations and 42 permits for local gas and oil drilling were issued in June by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

    July 29, 2014

  • Board action, CAN will help locals

    Grove City school directors on Monday approved a request made by two nonprofits that will further help local families, and they touched on an issue concerning administrative employees' work schedules.

    July 29, 2014

  • live united fire merkel.jpg Local live United

    The Grove City Area United Way is kicking off a summer campaign that features locals who are examples of how to "Live United."

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • gina burger-file.jpg Police: 'Cool customer' arrested in girl's murder

    An Ohio man charged in the murder of Gina Marie Burger, 16 - whose body was found at Tri-County Industries waste transfer station in Pine Township June 25 - stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public questions Rock band director's position

    Slippery Rock school board members on Monday heard from several people who were concerned about the marching band director's position, which has been opened up for anyone to apply.

    July 11, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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