PHILIPSBURG — At Tuesday night’s brief Philpsburg-Osceola Area School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Gregg Paladina said the district will be taking a look at where fifth grade students would be better suited for the 2020-21 school year.
Paladina said he’s consulted his administrative team, principals and parents.
“I think it’s time for us to study fifth grade and see where it fits the best,” Paladina said.
Paladina said the elementary school is already going to be realigned due to retirements for next year and that, “it may make sense to take a look at fifth grade.”
Currently, P-O fifth graders are a part of the middle school that houses grades 5-8.
“It was placed here at the middle school for a variety of reasons,” Paladina said. “Part of it was rooms and I think part of it was educationally, too. I think we need to come back and say, ‘Is the middle school the appropriate age or would it make sense now that we have room in the elementary to relocate them back in the elementary and let them stay (at that level) for an additional year?’ I don’t have the answer to that question.”
Paladina said in order to find an answer, it will take a study from the administrative team for the next two to three months, at which time they would make a recommendation to the board.
“We will get input from stakeholders, community people and look educationally at what’s best for the kids,” Paladina. “I know there’s certain things that do align here well (with fifth grade at the middle school) and I know there’s certain things that don’t align here well.”
Paladina was adamant that in looking into the matter, they are trying to “put the kids in the best possible position” and that is solely what the decision would be made on.
“It can’t be about what’s best for adults,” Paladina said. “It has to be what’s best for the kids. And if it’s best for them to stay here, let’s keep them here (at the middle school). And if it’s best for them (to be at the elementary), let’s do that.”