Committee Considers Merger Between Exeter, Antietam

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antietam and Exeter school district officials are trying to flesh out what a merger of the two districts could look like, and they’ve formed a new committee to discuss the possibilities.

Closing Antietam’s two elementary schools and forming a single high school for 10th- through 12th-graders were among the ideas the committee kicked around at its first meeting Monday at Antietam Middle-Senior High school.  The committee is made up of an administrator, board president and three additional board members from each district.

Committee member Beth Calabria, who serves on the Antietam School Board, said there needs to be some sort of time frame for coming up with a merger model.

A merger feasibility study by Civic Research Alliance, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, was released to the public in April and outlined four models for the districts’ futures.  The models were keeping things as they are, sharing programs and services, adopting a regional school model and a full merger.

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OJR School Enrollments Predicted Down Over Next 10 Years

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SOUTH COVENTRY — Enrollments in the Owen J. Roberts School District are expected to remain flat or even decrease over the next ten years, according to new enrollment projections presented to the board at a recent committee of the whole meeting.

Projections show the overall student population rising slightly through 2016, from the current 5,121 students to 5,240. If the projections prove true, the numbers will begin dropping in 2017, when 5,233 students are expected to be registered, rising and falling in some years, but hitting 5,218 students in 2022.

Those predictions, presented by Director of Pupil Services Holly W. Acosta, are based on a new study by Decision Insite, an enrollment impact firm which looks at kindergarten enrollments, planned residential developments, and student cohorts through each grade level.

The numbers are a far cry from the steady growth the district had been experiencing in the past, with district wide enrollments climbing by over 1,000 students in 10 years, from 4,050 in 2002 to 5,121 in 2012.  That’s a reflection of the economy and the dip in the housing market which has put a number of large scale development projects on hold, according to Superintendent Michael Christian.

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