With enrollment expected to increase by nearly 1000 students over the next six years, the Lower Merion Board of School Directors and Administration have been working diligently to identify, review and discuss facilities options. Through a newly-launched survey, the District is reaching out to the community for additional input. The survey can be found by clicking here.
The survey, which takes between 8-10 minutes to complete, asks community members to identify the issues they feel should be most influential in guiding decisions about addressing enrollment growth within the elementary, middle and high schools.
The District's core values and its commitment to its strategic plan form the basis for items throughout the quantitative survey. Survey respondents are given multiple opportunities to indicate if those values should be prioritized above or below other factors when planning for district enrollment growth.
"We encourage members of the public to provide feedback for the Board to consider as we move closer to making decisions informed by District core values," said School Board President Dr. Robin Vann Lynch. "These values include maintaining current academic, co-curricular and extracurricular programming, class size targets as well as strategic plan implementation - all while being mindful of ongoing District fiscal constraints."
The Board of School Directors has taken a number of steps to educate the community on the various issues surrounding its enrollment growth and facilities planning. In April, the District distributed a newsletter, "Tomorrow's Students, Today's Challenges: Planning for Growth and Achievement in Lower Merion School District," describing strategies and considerations for facilities planning during this era of significant enrollment increases.
The District provided information and received public comment and questions regarding each of the six elementary schools at a special Board meeting held on May 22. The meeting can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/kx8tnfw.
A similar Board meeting to address enrollment and facilities needs at the middle and high schools is scheduled for June 14.
The feedback from both special meetings as well as that collected from the survey will be analyzed during the summer, presented and shared with the public at another special meeting in the fall to ensure as much participation from the community as possible.
"Additionally, feedback will be integrated into a district-wide Needs Assessment that considers enrollment growth and facilities issues K-12 at all ten schools and will guide the District's decision making and consideration needed from Lower Merion Township Commissioners in the upcoming months," explained Dr. Vann Lynch.
"There is no perfect answer when it comes to developing a comprehensive facilities plan, but the Board of School Directors and the Administration are committed to thoroughly evaluating all options," said Superintendent Robert Copeland. "Conducting this survey is one step along the way."
To complete the survey, follow the link at http://www.lmsd.org/enrollment-planning/survey