The Indiana Area School Board will hold a workshop meeting tonight to further explore the district’s options on elementary school grade realignment.
In May, the district administration presented the board with a report on a five-month study of the elementary schools, offering three major plans for kindergarten through eighth grade students.
Briefly, those options are to use two of the elementary schools for kindergarten and first grade and the other two for third-through-fifth grades; or the district could close one of the elementary schools and modify the remaining three, sending kindergartners through fifth graders to them all. Or they could maintain the status quo with the four elementary schools, which would be the most expensive option according to Superintendent Dale Kirsch.
Under the first two scenarios, with various options within each plan, the school district would see estimated savings ranging from $350,000 to $945,000. If the board chooses to maintain the status quo, it would cost the district more than one million dollars, according to Kirsch, considering the staffing upgrades that would be needed. The report also emphasizes that there would be a negative effect on high school and middle school programming under the third option.
Adding to the district’s conundrum is the likelihood that any changes at the elementary school level would most likely mean a tax increase above the state index. The board will convene tonight at 6:30 to work on the issue.