DELPHOS — Parents whose children attend Landeck Elementary School had the opportunity Thursday to voice their concerns with the proposal to close the school next year.
The school board announced on Dec. 7 in a letter dated to parents that it is considering the probable closing of the building and consolidating the students in Franklin Elementary building when school starts next fall.
School officials said the purpose behind the proposal due primarily to finances and declining enrollment.
The school board is expected to decide the fate of Landeck Elementary at its next board meeting on Monday.
Currently only 85 students are enrolled at Landeck Elementary, a building which is being leased from the Delphos parochial schools.
Those students would be absorbed back in the Franklin Elementary in town. To make room for them, the fifth graders from Franklin and Landeck will be moved to the middle school.
Approximately 200 residents attended Thursday’s meeting to learn more about the proposal and express concerns.
Lindsay Richards, who has four children and the eldest attends Landeck, said she does not want to see Landeck close.
“At Landeck, parents are allowed to be involved in student’s parties and we are scared about not having that much involvement at Franklin,” Richards said.
Erika Pimpas, school board member, said closing the school is the last thing the school board wants to see happen.
“My kids went to Landeck and we have strength in numbers and are a great school district that cares and will try to make this an easy transition,” Pimpas said.
Joel Hatfield, interim superintendent for Delphos schools, said the school system has to work out financial problems.
“When expenditures exceed revenue, you have to make changes that aren’t very pleasant,” Hatfield said.
Brad Rostorfer, Delphos schools treasurer, said the school system received a letter from the Ohio Department of Education stating it needed to eliminate the deficit.
“In order to satisfy the state, we need to make cuts in our expenditures,” Rostofer said. He added there is space at Franklin to handle changes for the recommendation to close Landeck.
He provided an enrollment history. In 2019, projected enrollment in grades kindergarten to fifth at Delphos schools is 407. That compares to 442 in 2018, 453 in 2017 and 468 in 2016.
Currently, there are 83 students at Landeck Elementary. In 2017-‘18, there were 90. In 2016-‘17, there were 101.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.