AMITY >> Daniel Boone School Board members will vote March 27 on the motion to implement Phase 2 of its Elementary School Reconfiguration Plan.
Phase 2 would involve moving first grade out of Amity Elementary Center and into Monocacy Elementary Center, as well as moving fourth grade out of Birdsboro Elementary Center and into Amity Elementary Center for the 2017-18 school year.
Phase 1 occurred in September, when all kindergarten was moved to Monocacy Elementary Center, and third grade was moved from Birdsboro Elementary Center to Amity Elementary Center.
District Superintendent James P. Harris, and James R. Thompson, of Thompson Associates Architects & Planners, Harrisburg, presented the elementary school reconfiguration plan last April to address declining student enrollment.
The plan puts all elementary grades into two school buildings, resulting in an empty elementary school building.
That building is currently Birdsboro Elementary Center.
A “building closure hearing” is scheduled for April 6, which is part one of the process to close Birdsboro Elementary Center.
Board member Carol Beitz and Birdsboro Borough Manager Aaron Durso have asked the board to consider closing Monocacy Elementary Center instead of Birdsboro Elementary Center.
Harris’s future plans for Birdsboro Elementary Center are as an early childhood center (with the district’s Pre-K Counts program), as a community resource center, and Reading Hospital medical clinic.
The district would also relocate their administrative offices from the former Amity Primary Center building to Birdsboro Elementary Center.
Thompson said the grade reconfiguration allows for Monocacy Elementary Center — which is geared toward kindergarten — to accommodate the new, at-risk kindergarten program, as well as the expansion of early childhood education at Amity Elementary Center and Monocacy Elementary Center.
He said fifth grade is also better in the elementary schools (and not at the Middle School, which would also unbalance the busing).
“Kindergarten wanting to be together is what got this going — and other grades want to be together,” said Harris.
“It is more effective and allows us to deliver more complete resources.”
Harris and board Vice President Jeff Scott said at the board’s March 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting that discussion on March 27 — prior to the vote to implement Phase 2 — will include a current student “head count.”
“The [enrollment] numbers are lower than projected in a study done years ago,” said Scott, adding, “What it does to [future] classes will all be discussed in public.”