Northmont district may close elementary school amid declining enrollment



Two public meetings planned Feb. 13 and Feb. 16; Englewood Elementary families would be split between two other schools.

The Northmont City Schools board of education is considering a proposal to close Englewood Elementary School next school year, due to a decline in enrollment and efforts to save money.

The proposal about the school at 702 Albert Street, just west of Main Street in Englewood, was presented to the board of education on Monday. If approved, the children and staff currently associated with Englewood Elementary would be divided between Englewood Hills Elementary, which is a little over a mile to the south, and Union Elementary, which is about 2.5 miles north.

The proposal says Northmont’s districtwide student enrollment has declined from 5,043 students in the 2015-2016 school year to 4,682 students in the 2022-2023 school year. The proposal also cited the need to keep the district’s budget financially stable.

Closing Englewood Elementary could save the district about $1 million per year, the proposal said. Northmont’s five elementary schools have between 244 and 476 students enrolled per school, and Englewood Elementary is the oldest building (1956) with the smallest enrollment.

The building costs the most per square foot to maintain, the proposal said, and does not qualify for certain federal funds that Englewood Hills and Union do qualify for.

Englewood Elementary also does not qualify for Ohio Facilities Construction Commission funding —which has helped Northmont and other local districts renovate or build new schools — because its enrollment is too low, the proposal said.

If the district does choose to close Englewood Elementary School, class sizes in Union and Englewood Hills would be around 24 to 25 students, the district said in its proposal. They added that closing the building could bring more resources to the remaining four buildings.

The public will have a chance to comment on the process, which has not yet been finalized, said Jenny Wood, spokeswoman for Northmont Schools.

The school board is holding a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 at Kleptz Early Learning Center, focused on public input. The school board’s vote on the proposal will come during a board meeting on Feb. 16 at 6 p.m., also at Kleptz Early Learning Center.

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