Wilkes-Barre Area School District Has As Many Elementary Schools As Pottstown

Here is another example that demonstrates Pottstown School District has too many elementary schools.  Wilkes-Barre Area School District has 9 schools.  Five elementary schools, one junior high and three high schools.  The enrollment for Wilkes-Barre Area is approximately 6700 students or about twice as many as Pottstown.  Very similar to Norristown Area School District, which I profiled the other day.

Elementary schools are K – 6th grades.

The Solomon/Plains Junior High School is 7th & 8th grades only. 

There are three high schools.  It was just announced that Wilkes-Barre Area is looking at possibily closing one of the three high schools (Meyers High School which has the lowest student population of the three with 840 students in grades 9 – 12 is being studied for closure).

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District encompasses 123 square miles and only has five elementary schools.  I would think a borough of 5 square miles, with half  of the student population of Wilkes-Barre Area, could easily get away with three elementary schools.

District data from Wikipedia and GreatSchools.org

5 comments on “Wilkes-Barre Area School District Has As Many Elementary Schools As Pottstown

  1. Great research Roy! I think if you looked at more PA school districts, you’ll find the same trend.

    Why does Pottstown need all of these elementary schools? What the heck?

    It’s sad to say, but a very small percentage of voters are brainwashed by Tom Hylton and it needs to stop.

    Unfortunately, not nearly enough of those voters read your blog or any of the other factually correct Pottstown blogs.

    Wake up people!!! This man is costing you tax dollars and sinking your property values!

  2. You know Ed, it seems like there are brain washed voters but I suggest that, in truth, there are just “lazy” voters. These folks are not motivated or very bright, unlike the hard working Task Force volunteers. You could think of these voters as McVoters:

    Serve ’em something fast, glossy, and deliver it right to their front door. Dazzle ’em with colorful graphs, charts and big $$$$ signs – it’s a no brainer. The rest of the voters know that the graphs and charts only remotely resemble intellectual thought and hard work but nevertheless, McVoters eat it up. They know it’s not good for them but it’s fast, it’s easy, it’s cheap and they don’t have to think for themselves. Visualize Tom Hylton as a clown called Tomylton McHylton, who, like cousin Ronald, laughs all the way to the bank as he pedals chopped crap in colorful wrapping. Ohhhhhh sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Hylton shoves a glossy colored piece of paper in front of the faces of the McVoters then * *ZAP* * the numbers and graphs take on a magical life of their own. However, ask any one of them to expound on the exponential meaning and value of Hylton’s *fantsasmagorical* b.s. and they can’t. No surprise there.

    The McVoters have proven that they are prepared to knock the nuts off anyone with an original thought and the audacity to speak of it in public, if it threatens their “Fast Food for Thought” mentality and their favorite clown. Underneath their blind defense of McHylton lies a nagging sense that they really don’t care enough to really understand the challenges faced by our School District. and our Borough. Like junk foodies, they don’t really want to know what they’re eating.

  3. Well, if you ask me – and you didn’t – the very thought that a town so small in size/student population stacks up to other larger districts having the same number of buildings is nonsensical, at best. Without doing the research on all the details, I would presume the tax bases to be larger, given the size of the SD boundaries. Under that assumption, it seems likely that the area supporting the SD tax effort can better afford the operational costs (both fixed & variable) for that number of facilities. It seems clear to me that, despite an initial cash output, fewer buildings set up a better, more manageable future. I can’t get over the fact that if nothing really changes and a choice to downsize occurs in the coming years (rather than now) it will be more expensive, as the economy rebounds – lesser expenses then become a band-aid or, potentially, wasted money.

    It would be helpful to know what reasons people purchasing in Pottstown cite in making their choice to move here. Rather than pandor to the ‘will of the people’ why not capitalize on the ‘new blood’ to (hopefully) parlay that thought process into a snowball effect in getting more new people to town. Many of the frequently claimed ‘over whelming majority’ are faithful, civic-minded, fixed-income seniors and I can understand why they vote the way they do BUT are they the future of this town or the stable present, soon-to-be past? Is that vocal majority really in charge of rebuilding the town or does that fall to the next generation? If people believe in a notion of letting their parents or grandparents make all the choices then they HAVE to live with their values and limited perspective (not that that is a bad thing but are choices made for survival in the now or building a better future).

    Those who can access these blogs need to spread the word to those faithful voters since, as recent trends show us, they are making the decisions. Go one better than the glossy mailers, talk to people on your block as they sit on their porches these summer nights and express concerns for the advancement of this town. PRINT some of the blog articles and provide the other side of the story to these people – having it in black and white will allow them to read and reread the observations of others and pick up on details they won’t find in the pages of the Mercury (aside from the nightly news, their soul source of information other than their own circles of friends/relatives). Before print media, word of mouth got things done and it can do so again in a quest to diminish the importance of people believing they can take a showy road to get their heart’s desire.

    We can make a difference and while the costs, at present, seem large and over whelming, to many, the costs of taking no purposeful action will cost the next generation. We can be the risk-takers or we can follow the same path until a situation arises that forces action, somewhere down the road. So, who’s driving this bus?

  4. Steph, here are some additional stats on the Wilkes-Barre Area SD for your information:

    Students per FTE teacher: 14
    Ethnicity: White 66%, Black 18%, Hispanic 14%
    Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program: 58%
    Spending per pupil: $10.119
    The City of Wilkes-Barre is about 2/3 of this district – 2010 census 41,498 population
    Estimated median household income in 2009 – $27,406
    Estimated per capita income in 2009 – $17,070
    Estimated median home value 2009 – $80,679
    City data crime index for 2009 – 330.0
    (Pottstown’s crime index is 456.6 if anybody wants to know!)

    As you can see, this is not a wealthy district by any stretch of the imagination. They just have a lot more students so they need more schools. However, we here in Pottstown certainly do not need the same amount of schools this district has – HINT TO MR. HYLTON.

  5. Thanks, Roy!!

    So, they are pretty similar and a fair comparison – with minor differences (like oranges to tangerines).

    I would agree more bodies necessitate more facilities. Given that argument, this would be a hint worth taking but I already thought that. Given your details, I think it even more!!

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