Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Finneytown school board favors revamp

3 elementaries, 1 middle affected

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FINNEYTOWN - The Board of Education for Finneytown Local Schools on Monday unanimously approved a plan to reconfigure its three elementary buildings and middle school, effective this fall.

Superintendent Sam Martin recommended that Brent Elementary house grades K-2, Cottonwood 3-4, Whitaker 5-6 and the middle school 7-8. The plan takes sixth-graders out of the middle school.

"Acceptance of this recommendation will best serve our students and our residents by improving educational practices, broadening each student's base of exposure to other students and staff members, and maximizing the use of district resources," Martin said.

"Any delay in implementation will only prolong the anxiety caused by uncertainty, further polarize our district, put our finances in need of more immediate additional funding and postpone the educational and social benefits for our students."

The district hopes reconfiguration will help delay the need for an operating levy until 2005.

Board member Jan Smith voted for the reconfiguration, but she said she was disappointed by the process because some people felt excluded. She said she wished there had been more opportunities for staff and the community to be involved. The process became the focus, Smith said, instead of the many advantages of reconfiguration.

A proposal to reconfigure schools was first announced in January. Four public meetings were held, but residents were not asked to comment Monday.

A number of residents and teachers in the 2,000-student district, which earned an Effective rating on the 2003 Local Report Card, earlier had expressed opposition to the plan or at least wanted the district to spend more time studying options.

"So many people in the district have moved in because they have researched our neighborhood schools," said Patty Kathman, parent of a third-grader and seventh-grader.

"If this is a good plan for the children, then it will be a good plan for the children a year from now."

E-mail ckranz@enquirer.com

TRISTATE REACTS TO WAR ( Latest war news )
Ky. pilot hurt in attack on camp
Truck scatters antiwar protest
Local Marine at front makes front page
Keeping in touch with Tristate military
Donations sought for troops
Kits prepare Muslims for backlash
Clermont County to hold rally
Messages of support invited
Stalled Ky. tank crew eager to join battle

Pete look-alikes wanted for Opening Day parade
Soldier's suicide worsens children's plight
Flashover simulator may save firefighters
Public welcome at firefighter's services
Foster father indicted for murder

Springer avoids Iraq debate
CPS school designs unveiled
Finneytown school board favors revamp
Norwood may OK blight study of development area

A.M. Report: Kings Island adds metal detectors
Good News: Foundation gives more than $1M
Obituary: Dr. Pierce started companies, ministries

Ask us questions about Hamilton
Butler Co. may raise sales tax
Fairfield sets deadline on justice center plan
Butler Co. observes 200th birthday

Lebanon rethinks pay for reservists
Former Franklin clerk indicted

Ohio Moments: 6 Ohioans received first Medals of Honor
Lawmakers negotiate on gas tax
Dozens trying to copy Wrights

Garbage to become electricity
Sentencing today in Epling case
Hearing on rights ordinance tonight
Youths want to improve Covington
Around the Commonwealth

Lawrenceburg city hall moving