School Closings Recommended in Parma

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Huge changes could be headed to the Parma City Schools.

"I am recommending closing four elementary schools. Hanna, John Glenn Elementary, Pearl Road Elementary School and State Road," said Superintendent Jeffrey Graham.

The recommendations were made Thursday at a special board meeting at Parma High School.

The were the same recommendations Dr. Graham made back in April.

It's all part of a major consolidation plan.

"We would have three high schools, serving grades 8-12. Three middle schools, serving grades 5-7 and eight elementary schools serving grades K-4," added Graham.

That would amount to a savings of almost $2 million dollars a year.

Teachers, for the most part, will keep their jobs.

The cuts will come from administrative positions, as well as support staff.

"Two of the four schools going down immediately affect people in Parma Heights. So, I am concerned about what is going to happen next," said Parma Heights Mayor Mike Byrne.

The board will vote on the closings on Dec. 12.

If they approve the recommendations, the administration will begin redistricting and deciding which students will go where.

"Are these buildings that these students are going to, can they hold the number of students that Dr. Graham is recommending? That's my concern!" said Sandie Spencer, a parent.

"They really need to find out how they are going to redistrict before they close the schools. There are so many kids at State Road, I have no idea what they are going to do with these kids!" exclaimed Denis Benak, a parent.

According to the plan, special education services will be reconfigured as well.

"I work with special needs children and I can't see them being brought into the regular school classroom. It would be harmful to them, and harmful to the other students," stated Laura Smith, a bus monitor.

If approved, the schools would close at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.

Students would be consolidated for the start of school in September of 2012.

"It's a tough thing to do, but unfortunately, we have more space than we need, and we need to be respectful to the tax payers," said Dr. Graham.

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