Community members talk to school board about potential school closure

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The Superintendent of the Mount Union Area School District is proposing closing Mapleton-Union Elementary School because of shrinking attendance and bad test scores. Parents say they want other solutions for those problems.

“It’s just a whole new place to get used to, where’s the bathroom?” Patti Veitch, parent in Mount Union said. “Where’s the cafeteria? Who are these new teachers? New principal, new lunch staff, and there are children who this is really overwhelming for, especially the little ones like mine.”

Pattie Veitch doesn’t want her son who’s in 1st grade at Kissler Elementary to change schools.

But Superintendent Amy Smith wants to close down Mapleton-Union Elementary School and send those students to Kissler and Shirley Township Elementary schools.

Smith wouldn’t go on camera but says she’s propsing to close Mapleton-Union Elementary school because it has the lowest test scores of the three.

Plus, attendence is down to just 81 students.

Students in Kindergarten through Second grade would potentially go to Kissler and students in Third through Fifth would potentially go to Shirley Township Elementary School.

That means Patti’s son will have to move to Shirley Township Elementary.

“Academically and emotionally we are trying eliminate that one move at least, where they have to retransition and get used to everything in a new building all over again,” Veitch, said.

But Smith says the proposed plan will shrink classes from 20 to around 15 students because teachers from Mapleton-Union will move to the schools.

Monday night, the board then voted to hold a 780 hearing on December 18th at the high school, which will give the community a chance to ask the board questions.

By state law, the school board cannot vote on a school closure until three months after the 780 hearing.

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