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School Board Votes To Close Elementary School

School board members in the St. Marys Area School District voted in favor of closing the Bennetts Valley Elementary School at a meeting Monday night.

Citing a need for fiscal responsibility, the board justified its decision over proposed budget constraints, however, many parents and community members are against the closing.

The closure of the school will force students to go to Fox Township Elementary School instead.

Parents came out to have their voices heard Monday evening, prior to the meeting, and some say this decision will create hour-long school bus commutes and crowding in classrooms.

We spoke to a couple of concerned parents and alumni about the potential closing before the meeting.

“My son has autism, and I can’t begin to express the sick feeling that I got in my stomach today just trying to think about how I’m going to have to explain to him tonight if they vote to close the school that he’s going to be going to a different school, new surroundings, new classmates, new staff and he’s use to, he thrives on regularity,” one parent said.

“If you are really okay with a child being on the bus for two hours a day, especially during the winter, then you know, close the school down with expediency. It’s very clear the school board doesn’t care about that,” one former graduate said.

The school board members did not say when the school will close.

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