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The school year may be coming to a close, but the Superintendent’s Future Planning Committee is still hard at work, and they have made some decisions that may be of interest to the greater Hopewell community.

The committee was established earlier this year to evaluate statistics pointing to declining enrollment across Hopewell Valley, and to make recommendations to the Board of Education. MercerMe has covered the progress of the meetings which thus far have included topics such as area taxes, budget and real estate trends.

James Creegan, a lawyer, father of three and Toll Gate Elementary representative on the committee, confirmed to MercerMe that at the last two closed committee meetings, the group formally decided that they would not recommend to the Board of Education closing one of the four local elementary schools, nor would they recommend transitioning to a more fragmented elementary school system, with one building housing grades K-3 and one housing grades 4-5.

Creegan recently reported the committee’s decision to the Toll Gate PTO.

In an email to the PTO Creegan said the “vote is definitely the most notable development so far, since the meetings have been mostly informational up to this point.”

“We are still in the early stages, but this is a step in the right direction,” he added. “Over the next several months the goal is to explore different scenarios in more detail to arrive at a set of findings and recommendations for the Board in the fall.”

He noted that the committee is also closely examining the information contained in the report issued by the demographer who provided the projected enrollment statistics. The demographer’s data is the basis on which the meetings to address the district’s declining enrollment are taking place.

The demographer also is preparing an updated report which will is scheduled to be presented at morning and evening meetings on Wednesday, June 11.

“This meeting will be open to the public and should be a good opportunity to see if any of the trends have changed, as it will take into account the improved real estate market and actual population over the last few years,” Creegan says.

MercerMe will be there and we hope you will too!

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