DuBois, PA – The DuBois Area School Board has decided in a 7 to 2 vote that they will move forward with the plan to reconfigure of the DuBois Area Middle School from grades 6-8 to grades 5-8, effective with the 2018-2019 school year.

So many upset parents, community members, teachers, and students came to the DuBois School Board’s voting session on Thursday night that there was barely room to stand.

A picket line had formed an hour before the meeting, with people like Linsey Roy holding signs showing their opposition to moving the 5th graders to the middle school.

However, in a 7 to 2 vote, the school board decided to move forward with the plan at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Directors Sam Armagost and David Schwab voted against the proposal.

Click Here to see a video of the actual vote.

Deb Hoyt, the president of CG Johnson PTA, says they weren’t even expecting there to be a final decision last night.

Students Layden Mooney (5th grade, shown on the left, heard second in the audio) and Hailee Clark (8th grade, shown on the right, heard first in the audio) say the current 4th graders, who will be the first 5th grade class to move to the middle school, will have to grow up quickly.

Sherry Bailey, a 5th grade teacher at CG Johnson Elementary, says kids are resilient and will adjust and flourish with the help of their teachers and parents.

Superintendent Dr. Luke Lansberry says the move will give students more opportunities. The consolidation could mean that more students would be able to take educational programs that are being cut back nationwide, such as music and art.

The school board also voted 6 to 3 to approve KCBA Architects to continuing exploring possible designs for a new elementary school building. It’s part of preparing for how to handle the two elementary schools that are in the most desperate need of repairs: Wasson and Oklahoma. Superintendent Dr. Luke Lansberry and KCB Architects say that it would make more sense financially to rebuild Wasson as a bigger, more well equipped and more energy efficient building than it would be to repair both Wasson and Oklahoma.

The cost to rebuild could be between $25 and $33 million, depending on what configuration they decide.

The board also voted 5 to 4 to approve The EADS Group to perform the civil engineering and land development services for the new elementary school building.

Click Here to see the full presentation of possible reconfiguration plans and their costs, information about each school’s capacity, the district’s goals, and much more.

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