Poconos Coal

Superintendent asks school board to stop spending time on "garbage'

Big rift in Stroudsburg is "draining and stressful"

STROUDSBURG, Pa. - Running a school district is no easy task but sitting through another fractious meeting of the Stroudsburg Area School District might be just as challenging.

The deeply divided board, which has been criticized as largely dysfunctional, spun off into several circuitous arguments about policies concerning not students or teachers but about themselves, the powers of school board president and related procedural matters that went nowhere, though it was fodder for taunts and laughs from the audience.

At one particular low-point at Wednesday night's meeting Superintendent John Toleno, a generally low-key man, put his head in his hand, staring at the table before he spoke, picking his words carefully.

The loopy, if not petty arguments were "draining and stressful," he told the board, because "they have nothing to do with education."

At another point, he made a suggestion.

"Let's stop spending the time on the garbage we are spending it on," the superintendent said.

The board did approve a $38,000 feasibility study to determine the cost of changes that may be required at district schools to accommodate the students who will be dislocated by the closing of Ramsey Elementary School in the Hill Section and next summer's planned closing of Clearview Elementary School.

Architectural Studios will conduct the study.

The school board voted, 5-4, in May to close Ramsey but left Clearview open until June 2015.

Toleno said if the study determines "it's not feasible (to close Clearview), Clearview won't close."

Ramsey, Toleno said, is "gone" and will not be coming back as a school but if Clearview closes, then the students from both schools will be reassigned to possibly Hamilton, Morey and Arlington schools.

Changes may be required in those schools for those students in kindergarten and first grade.

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