The community discussion over how to solve overcrowding problems at Five Points Elementary School is expected to result in a decision Thursday by the Springboro school board.
Superintendent Todd Petrey and Business Manager John Pennell laid out their latest proposal to offset the effects of residential growth along the Montgomery-Warren county line on the school.
Rather than redistricting, the administrators urged the board to move all first graders to Clearcreek Elementary School, joining preschool and kindergartners already at this school to create an early learning center.
“When you really look at short-term versus long-term, it seems like it would be better to move all the first graders to Clearcreek,” said Jenni Bratton, mother of four children in the Springboro schools, including a kindergartner at Clearcreek and first grader at Five Points.
At $165,000 over two years, redistricting was the least expensive option considered in discussions begun in January.
But Petrey and Pennell ultimately recommended the district spend as much as $175,000 this year for a mobile classroom and other equipment and one-time expenses; and as much as $200,000 a year to create an early learning center designed to optimize the educational experience for young students.
The projections also anticipate as much as $275,000 in savings for staff otherwise needed at Dennis and Five Points, so the net cost is now projected at about $100,000.
While redistricting would solve the problem for about two years, there is room around Clearcreek for additional expansion if the student populations in the younger grades continue to spike.
The recommendation was unveiled after parents who would apparently be affected by the redistricting expressed their dissatisfaction at a parent meeting.
A map displayed at the meeting indicated the lines would be shifted north along Ohio 48 and Ohio 73, affecting residents living east of the city of Springboro in Clearcreek Twp.
“We’re almost as far away from Dennis as we could be,” Sheri Slesinger-Hall, the mother of three children at Five Points, said.
She and others living within three miles of Five Points were to be moved into the Dennis district, while other families living closer in neighborhoods such as Settlers Walk, would be staying put.
“We wanted their input. That’s who we are responsible to,” Petrey said. “This plan will get us five to 10 years, while the redistricting will at best get us three years.”
The board meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at Springboro Junior High School.