DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Public Schools got one step closer to deciding the fate of several schools Tuesday. It was the last official meeting before the acting superintendent gives her recommendations about the district’s underused buildings to the school board.
“A lot of things have been digested and thought through,” said acting superintendent Elizabeth Lolli. “I think we just need to make sure we make the best decision to serve our students.”
In December, DPS reported dwindling enrollment and identified nine schools operating below 45 percent capacity. The findings sparked a conversation about possible school closures to “right-size” the district and maximize its resources.READ MORE: DPS reports low enrollment, may close some schools next year
In January, district and city leaders announced the formation of a facilities task force to conduct research and provide recommendations to the Dayton School Board about how to proceed.READ MORE: Dayton Mayor, DPS leaders form school facilities task force
The 16-person task force has been discussing demographics, academic performance and facilities costs, in addition to touring several buildings and fielding public input.
Tuesday, the city presented observations and suggestions about the district’s underused schools. Its suggestions included re-purposing buildings for residential use, sharing space with community groups or consolidating several schools.
The task force split into smaller groups to discuss the findings and come up with several resolutions. A theme emerged among the task members, stressing the importance of giving students equal access to resources and weighing costs, staff and geographical factors to promote academic achievement.
“It’s not about a building,” Lolli said. “It’s about the services we provide to our students. I think that was the over-arching theme.”
The public can weigh in on the facilities decisions at several public input meetings:
- 6 p.m. Thursday, February 22 at Meadowdale Elementary
- Wednesday, February 28th at Joel Brown Middle School
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