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Jersey Shore board shuts doors at Nippenose Valley Elementary

June 18, 2013

JERSEY SHORE — When schools open across the county in about two months for the start of a new school year there will be one less building as the Jersey Shore Area School Board voted Monday to close......

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Jun-18-13 1:53 AM

This breaks my heart. I remember my days when I attened Nippenose Valley. I understand the district needed to save money, but in reality, how are you saving money by shutting down the rural schools and building an additions for millions of dollars and then haveing to transport those rural students farther to school? My children will be attending Walnut Street Christian when the time comes. Not that I don't believe teachers in Jersey Shore are capable, many of them are excellent teachers, but how excellent can you be when you are 1 teacher for 30+ students? How are you going to have time to have individual attention to students who are struggling or need an extra push? The public school system seems to just want to mainstream education and the students who need a little extra encouragment or the students who are excelling above their classmates are going to fall through the cracks. I don't believe Jersey Shore school district has students best interests at heart.

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Jun-18-13 6:05 AM

I never went to Nippenose Valley Elementary School, or for that matter any school in that district, but I have attended multiple schools that have since been shut down in Williamsport. This is in large part why the education system continues to deteriorate. Less Schools, Less Teachers, cramming more students into classes.

Ladydawg you're wrong about just one thing. The kids who need help, aren't going to fall 'through the cracks' they're going to fall into what has become a country wide crater, an Abyss if you will.

I also do not believe that the School Districts, ANY of them, have the students' best interest at heart. This is about money, saving money, not educating children better.

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Jun-18-13 7:59 AM

Nobody wants to see a local elementary school closed. But, unless you want substantial increases in your property taxes then this is the solution left to most districts. With largely declining enrollments, increased staffing expenses, older building that require more maintenance and a decrease in state and federal subsidies something has to give. I believe it is only going to get worse. That is not a pleasant picture for many, but it is also an opportunity for more parents to become involved in the education of their children by volunteering for classroom assistants and by spending more time with your kids helping with homework and augmenting what the curriculum has to offer. Sometimes a negative can be a positive.

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Jun-18-13 8:15 AM

My family lived in and around Antes Fort when I was younger and I attended 1st grade at Nippenose Elementary (my brother went there from K-3rd). The emotional side of me is sad that this nice rural school had to close.

From a fiscal standpoint, many studies have been done on economies of scale in rural schools and have shown that consolidation can help control costs, even figuring in the added costs for transportation. Whether this will help or hurt students academically still seems to be up for debate.

For the sake of the students, let's hope that school board's plans include just as much focus on increasing educational achievements as they do decreasing fiscal obligations.

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Jun-18-13 8:23 AM

I don't think cramming more students into classes is ever a positive. I don't ever think saving money by taking away the effectiveness of education is the right choice.

Also, nobud, I hear you on the whole "parents volunteering in classrooms" except for the fact many of us parents have jobs that exist during school hours which disallows us to do so. Yes, I agree that parents have to be responsible enough to sit down and help their children with their homework. I know several parents that aren't that responsible, I however am not one of them. But that doesn't change the fact that a decrease in teachers and increase in the # of students per classroom will devalue the education they are receiving.

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Jun-18-13 8:29 AM

Nobud74, you hit the nail on the head. Education starts at home. if parents are engaged from day one, the building the child attends shouldn't matter.

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Jun-18-13 8:41 AM

nobud, I also agree that parents need to be involved in their childrens' education. That being said, the days of parents being classroom assistants is long gone. The most a parent can do is help out with extracurricular activities (school parties, office tasks, fund-raising).

That's not to say that those tasks aren't important, just that there isn't much we as parents can do INSIDE the school to affect our kids' education.

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Jun-18-13 9:13 AM

EDUCATION starts at home.

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Jun-18-13 9:31 AM

Why not send the lids to prison for their education. After all, the people in prison get more and are treated better then the elderly in nursing homes, or students in classrooms in public schools.


... just an observation.

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Jun-18-13 9:31 AM

* kids

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Jun-18-13 9:53 AM

Thank you Craig Allen, Harry Brungard, Shelly Helm, Harry Miller Robert Pryor, Karen Stover and Heather Williamson for your service. Thank you for thinking about all the students in the district while remembering us, the retired folks on fixed incomes.

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Jun-18-13 11:21 AM

Congrats to the JSASB on making the tough decision for your taxpayers. Now the next time a teacher contract comes up, I hope you continue to make the tough decisions for your taxpayers.

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Jun-18-13 12:00 PM

Listen, I'm not saying education doesn't start at home, I agree with that part of it, however the idea that the 'building doesn't matter. B.S. Yes it does and the quality of teachers matter, the ability to teach individuals and assist individual kids in school matters. You can't have just 'one part' of education be a success. It all has to work cohesively, from the parents to the schools, to the people in charge of making educational decisions, to the student themselves.

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Jun-18-13 12:07 PM

On top of that, I understand the need to decrease fiscal responsibility/burden however, I am a believer that education is the wrong place to do it.

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Jun-18-13 12:19 PM

Fiscal Reality---Hits you hard when you child's local community school closes. My only comment on this is that Brungard brought this up in 08/09 as part of his wrestling room. At that time, Avis was on the block which was fine with him. When it turned to Nippenose, he was in a "tough" spot. After his spanking in the election, he showed his true colors by trying to get back at the people who did not vote for him. The circle of life is amazing how it works. I have a question: Who do you think is going to be bidding on this vacant building in the coming years? Hopefully, all of the nonsense talk of a charter school will now cease. I am trying to excite my children in attending the "new" Locust Street Elementary school.

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Jun-18-13 12:20 PM

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Jun-18-13 12:21 PM

One more thing...The quality of the teachers in/was and will be there. We have great teachers and administrators in our district. Let's hope the nonsense stops NOW so the board and administrators can get back to their job at hand.

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Jun-18-13 12:50 PM

I want to clarify the last comment I made earlier. I fully believe that parents need to play a HUGE role in their child's education. My comment was specifically targeted to nobud74's "volunteering for classroom assistants" statement. That just isn't allowed in today's classrooms, for both educational and legal reasons.

Trust me, I have a daughter with special needs and if I could be in the classroom to help her and her teachers I'd be there as often as possible. Unfortunately, that's not permitted.

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Jun-18-13 4:25 PM

Education is everywhere!

School Board members are elected officials who take an oath to uphold State laws after sworn in by whom?

They vote for not only their constituents, but for all residents, taxpayers, employees, and students in their elected district. According to Pennsylvania School Boards Association, votes should be impartial and made for the good of the school district.

On another NOTE: Keep in mind that board members are a 'governing body', NOT an 'Administrative body'. Their most important function is to select competent administrators who adhere to policies established by the board and in reality the law. If micro-management is needed??

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Jun-18-13 10:30 PM

So... when you don't get your way, you just lie about the facts. According to poor Julie, closing Nippenose will increase class sizes. Well, Nippenose school was open last year and what happened? INCREASED class sizes! Funny, you're all about being fair when it concerns your kids riding a bus to JS. Was it fair for the school district to transport JS kids to Nippenose? The parents from "the valley" apparently think that route 44 is more dangerous in only one direction? Your may have a minor valid point that smaller schools improve academics. However you fail to mention the impact of the learning environment on student success. The renovated JSE will have the most advanced classrooms of all elementary buildings. How about doors on JSE classrooms as opposed to no doors at Nippenose. Does noise reduction improve learning? Apparently, it DOES or every elementary school in the U.S. would have the same open, no doors design at Nippenose. What idiot that THAT was a good idea?

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Jun-18-13 11:48 PM

"Who do you think will be bidding on the vacant building in the future?"-ValleyDad 987 JDS Enterprise or Wasson vs Amish

Will the board subdivide off community ball fields soon?

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Jun-19-13 6:05 AM

@ iaxudis;

I hear what you're saying and I'm not saying you're wrong but it is my opinion that smaller class sizes improve the individual learning and assistance a child can receive. Having said that, I'm not saying that children can't receive a good education in Jersey Shore, however, again, it is not my belief that 'budget cuts' should be made in education. I believe education is one of the more important areas to be spending money. I'm from Williamsport, we've seen Sheridan, Lose, and other schools close in recent history. Now Curtin is going to close and let me just say, I think that's a big mistake. I do believe upgrading Roosevelt was long overdue so I'm glad they finally chose to do it. If they were going to shut down ANY school in Williamsport, it should have been Lycoming Valley, it's not even got real walls...c'mon now... The point about 'no doors' is absolutely valid. If we're going to pay for a school, especially continuously raising taxes, it should be for a

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Jun-19-13 6:05 AM

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Jun-19-13 6:06 AM


School that is updated (or group of schools). There's no excuse for a school not having walls.

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Jun-19-13 8:48 AM

wwhickok--- first, Curtin is not closing, second, did you attend Lycoming Valley? I did. Lack of walls did not disrupt my learning process. If anything it teaches one to focus.

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