The board of the Wissahickon School District is scheduled to vote on January 14th on the permanent closing of Mattison Avenue Elementary School.
The administration and board announced the process for closure at the end of the 2011-2012 school year and hoped the news would go by unnoticed. It didn't. Why close Mattison?
Their reason for closing the school was declining enrollment.Enrollment, in fact, was increasing.
Then, 'financial reasons'.
They were relying on a report that included a cost of $442,500 for kitchen equipment because the dishwasher was broken and $202,410 to renovate the boys and girls bathrooms to be handicap accessible - they already are.
Finally, an “achievement gap for 4th graders caused by their move to Shady Grove”.
In fact, an achievement gap exists-for 5th grade students. And nothing is being done about it.
A report surfaced showing what this board really wants to do.
They want to close Mattison, followed by Blue Bell Elementary, to save about $5 million. They are planning on building a new high school, replacing the middle school's swimming pool and building a new middle school auditorium. $41 million price tag. They claim taxes will not have to be raised.
Did you know the Wissahickon School board has never been to the schools they are in charge of? Isn’t this a textbook example of a school board being out of touch with the community? Maybe that’s why they are okay with spending $442,500 on a dishwasher.
This board has presented misleading and wrong data, and are completely disconnected from the schools they govern. They have hired a union-busting lawyer to negotiate with district support staff who have been working without a contract for months while they look into replacing them with per diem folks. What else are they hiding? And at what cost?
Keep Mattison Avenue Elementary open and elect new board members in May.