DPS school closing plan moves forward

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Dayton Daily News 

Chris Stewart Staff Writer

March 20, 2018

The Dayton Public Schools board voted Tuesday to close two schools in the fall while more elementary and high schools could close in the future. Shortly after the board voted 7-0 to make Elizabeth Lolli permanent superintendent, they also voted unanimously to follow through with Lolli’s recommendation to begin a three-year plan that also calls for further consolidating some grades in other schools.

Under the plan, Valerie Elementary and the Innovative Learning Center will close as well as the DPS headquarters building at 115 S. Ludlow.

More schools at both the elementary and high school levels could be closed in the future, according to the capacity plan.

Lolli also made a recommendation to consolidate the district’s seventh- and eighth-graders from seven into four schools, except those at Stivers School for the Arts. The proposal was later modified so that current seventh graders at Meadowdale High School, Belmont High School, Dayton Boys Preparatory Academy and Charity Adams Earley Girls Academy would stay one more year at those schools and then transition into high school.

The process generated an impassioned response in the community by some, including Dayton resident David Esrati, who filed a lawsuit challenging the district over open meetings laws.

On Monday, a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge denied a preliminary injunction sought by Esrati to halt the school capacity plan process. Esrati alleged an Ohio Open Meetings Act violation because he was denied access to bus tour of DPS facilities by the School Facilities Task Force.

Judge Richard Skelton did write that the 20-member panel formed to help Lolli was a public body — disagreeing with DPS and Dayton city attorneys.

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