By Amy L. Ashbridge
DELHI — Scott Hudson said he was coming before the Delhi Central School Board of Education to "beg" members to not close the A.L. Kellogg Elementary School.
Hudson, of Treadwell, said he had daughters attend the school, and one of those daughters is expecting a child of her own.
"I would love to see her child have the chance to go to Treadwell," Hudson said during a public hearing Monday night. "Please, just think about the grandchildren that are coming."
Between 60 and 70 people attended the meeting at the auditorium at Delaware Academy. Some who spoke discussed the need for children to continue to have the identity of coming from the Kellogg school, and others discussed the finances that would be in
volved if the board decided to close the school.
If the board closes the school, it is likely the district would lose at least some of the money granted in namesake Judge A.L. Kellogg’s will. That’s a serious issue for Treadwell and the district, parent Debbie Tuthill said.
A decision will be made in October, Board President Thomas Flanders said. He said the school will at least be open through the 2006-07 school year.
"There is a cohesiveness at the A.L. Kellogg school," former teacher and substitute teacher Gretel Bachler said. "The teachers know the pupils and so do the staff. No child falls through the cracks."
According to a report filed April 24 by the Advisory Committee regarding A.L. Kellogg Building Utilization, enrollment at the sc
hool has dropped from 57 students to 46 in kindergarten through fourth grade between the 2001-02 school year and the 2005-06 school year. That’s a 19.2 percent decrease.
Delhi Elementary School had a 20.2 percent decrease — going from 306 students in the 2001-02 school year to 244 students in 2005-06.
"Both communities need more kids," said Scott Oles, of Delhi. "You’ve got to get more kids in town."
It’s mainly an enrollment problem, Oles said, and he said he wondered how the situation would be if enrollment had been addressed earlier.
"The enrollment is something that needs to be seriously addressed," he said. "It’s a community issue."
This isn’t the first time the board has been in this place, said Cynthia Cobbe, an alumna of Delaware Academy.
She shared the story of the consolidation of the A.L. Kellogg School in 1967, when four girls came to her door with a petition and asked her to sign it, explaining that they didn’t want to attend Delaware Academy.
Two districts were combined in 1967 and students in grades six through 12 at Treadwell — which had held students in kindergarten through 12th grade — had to go to Delhi.
"I think you have to be practical and wise," Cobbe said. "You really don’t have people that are coming in. I think I will live long enough to see the elementary school up here close."
But, Cobbe said, "You will never lose the community."
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