Poland Schools Superintendent David Janofa met with staff at Poland Middle School and Dobbins Elementary School on March 22 and announced that Dobbins Elementary will be closing.
Dobbins Elementary is home to third- and fourth-grade students. Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, third and fourth grade will be attending McKinley Elementary.
The district’s administration and staff are working together to develop a bell schedule and classroom schedule with the move. A staffing analysis for the new grade level configurations is currently taking place. The district is working on a schedule that will have Poland Middle Schools students (sixth-eighth grades) on separate schedules for arrival and dismissal than McKinley students (third-fifth grades).
In February, the Auditor of State’s Office released its performance audit of the Poland Local School District. The audit was performed due to a projected fund balance deficit, beginning in FY19, as provided in the May 2017 five year forecast. The audit listed several recommendations the district could implement to reduce expenses. One of the recommendations was closing Union Elementary and Dobbins Elementary. At this time, the district is only closing Dobbins Elementary in an effort to continue the “right sizing” of the district.
There have been discussions about the condition of the McKinley building, and eighth-grade students are currently at McKinley.
“Absolutely,” Janofa stated about the Mckinley building being safe.
“The Mckinley building is an expensive building to operate due to the style of construction. The Board of Education has been discussing the conditions of all our facilities, and the resources we are allocating to repair the buildings for many years,” said Janofa. “McKinley is no different than the other buildings. Significant resources have been used for all our buildings for repairs. The McKinley building will have the normal summer cleaning, painting and waxing, just like every other building in the district.”
Superintendent Janofa expects the 2018-2019 school year to begin smoothly. He appreciates the understanding and flexibility of the students, staff and parents as the district reduces costs, while continuing to provide an outstanding educational experience for all students.