As I will not be able to be there for at least the beginning of the meeting on the Landeck school closure Thursday night, let me say that I understand the need to make “sound economic decisions” as well as the realities of maintaining a building. I am a parish council member at Landeck church and I know that the school district pays the parish $20,000 per year for use of the building. The majority of this amount is put back into building maintenance. The cooperation between the church and school district is a source of pride for all involved. I also understand the need to pay the staff at the building.
There are those in the school district who will applaud this move. There are even those that will see a failure or a decrease in enrollment in the public schools as a good thing. However a school district is not a for profit entity. There are more important considerations than dollars and cents.
There are numbers that matter though. Those numbers are student to teacher ratio and test scores. Franklin was recently named an ESEA Distinguished school for closing the achievement gap between student groups. Has any thought been given to the fact that this may be due to smaller class sizes? The Landeck building has consistently had high test scores and excellent marks on the state grade card. Test scores and the state grade card will drop with this move. One only needs to look at the state grade cards for a small school district such as Ft. Jennings as opposed to Lima or any of the larger cities in the state. This move will provide at best a mediocre not strong future for the school district.
The other point that must be made is that there is ongoing discussion of a K-12 building in the future. Why would we close a building while contemplating new buildings? Is this a means to that end? When I first saw that the K-12 building was being discussed my first reaction was that it would be very difficult to pass a levy for it. The Landeck building closing would change that very difficult to impossible.
Terry J. Knebel, Delphos