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A committee of parents, staff and administrators established to address the issue of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District’s (HVRSD) falling enrollment has their first meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the district’s Administrative Building at 425 South Main Street in Pennington.

While tonight’s meeting is not open to the public, future meetings featuring outside presenters, such as the demographer who provided the projected enrollment statistics, will be open to anyone who is interested. The school district says they will notify the public about open meetings, and will post meeting minutes online and distribute them through the schools.

Each elementary school principal sent emails to their respective communities with the names of the parents chosen to represent their school on the Future Planning Committee last Friday. A staff person in the Superintendent’s office says the full list of participants will be made available on the HVRSD website soon.

Members of the so-called Future Planning Committee include three parents, two staff members and one administrator from each of the four grammar schools in the district, as well as from Timberlane Middle School and Central High School. Also, there will be one representative who does not have a child in the school district from each of the Hopewell Valley communities — Pennington Borough, Hopewell Borough and Hopewell Township.

The committee is charged with reviewing possible ways to deal with the falling population, including redistricting; consolidating schools and services; reorganizing the grade levels at the existing schools; expanding pre-K programs; and developing more magnet programs.

MercerMe wrote about the first round of presentations by Superintendent Thomas Smith as well as the parent reaction during a second round last month, and both stories include links to presentations, press releases and other information provided by the school district about the declining enrollment situation.

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Andrea Fereshteh has been writing for as long as she can remember. An avid journal-keeper as a child, she dabbled in dramatic notes to her parents and designed her own stationary. With a zest for small talk and meeting new people, she pursued journalism in college and worked for nine years in PR, writing and media relations for the higher ed and nonprofit sectors. She has a mousters and ducktorate from Disney University and is a mother to two lively boys who inspire her to just keep writing, just keep writing.

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