Seidenberger said administrators have kept track of issues raised by Willow Lane parents, not only Monday night, but also at the Nov. 27 and Dec. 10 school board meetings. He promised parents “we will continue to listen and to refine these plans.”
He stressed many issues raised by parents –including adding signs and crosswalks -- are the responsibility of Lower Macungie Township, not the school district. “We’re trying to work with parents on issues that we can control,” said the superintendent.
Seidenberger said district officials had a “productive” meeting about improvements needed at the school on Friday with Lower Macungie officials. He expressed optimism the township will add an additional crosswalk, which will have a crossing guard. He said no final decision has been made yet about who will pay for crossing guards, “which technically are the responsibility of the township.”
He said district and township officials will meet again in three or four weeks and eventually may issue a joint statement regarding their progress. He also said the township and district “will speak with one voice” on the issue, so residents hear the same information whether they go to a township meeting or a school board meeting.
Seidenberger also said a small advisory committee will be organized with parent representatives from each Willow Lane neighborhood. Dr. Anthony Moyer, the school’s principal, will head that committee.
“There are only three or four issues relative to the operation of Willow Lane School,” said Seidenberger, again explaining the district can’t control issues that are the township’s responsibility.
After the meeting, Susan Coenen, one of several parents who regularly attend meetings of both the school board and Lower Macungie commissioners to press for Willow Lane Elementary safety improvements, said she “is optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction.” She’s glad the school district and the township are communicating about the issue. “We just have to continue to stress the importance of the safety of the kids.”
Coenen said not all parents want all the children to continue to be bused, only that “we find the safest, most cost-effective way to get our children to school.” She said developing that plan involves research, planning and input from parents.
“Even though I have busing, there are days I walk my kids to school,” she said. “Do we run across Willow Lane for fear of getting run down? Yes. For me personally, it’s not about losing busing. It’s about if I walk my children to school, can I cross Willow Lane safely to get them there?”