Tilghman school town hall slated
Talbot County Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Griffith will host a town hall Wednesday, Sept. 27, to discuss the possible closure of Tilghman Elementary School.
EASTON — A town hall hosted by Talbot County Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Griffith will be held at Tilghman Elementary School at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27.
Tilghman residents circulated a notice encouraging residents to attend and voice their concerns about the recommended closure of the school. “This is a matter of great concern to the Tilghman community,” the notice stated.
Griffith asked the Talbot County Board of Education at its July 19 meeting to consider the possibility of closing Tilghman Elementary School as it deliberates its 2019 budget.
She presented data from an Educational Facilities Master Plan prepared by Dr. David Lever of Educational Facilities Planning LLC in Annapolis.
The potential closure of the small elementary school is “one of several recommendations in the plan,” according to a statement released by the district office.
By closing TES, the district would save an estimated $384,276. The plan’s cost avoidance summary used average cost data from fiscal years 2013 to 2016.
“Declining enrollment for the past decade” prompted another look at the viability of the small school, Griffith said at the July 19 meeting.
According to a state school capacity formula, TES’s capacity is rated for 160 students. The projected enrollment figure for fiscal year 2018 is 59, which means 37 percent of the school’s capacity is being used.
“The under-utilization of Tilghman Elementary School not only represents an inefficient use of Board of Education operating and maintenance funds, more importantly, it may deprive the students at this school of educational opportunities that are available to students at larger schools,” the EFMP report stated.
“Consolidation of the Tilghman Elementary population with the St. Michaels Elementary population at the St. Michaels facility would result in a school ... operating in approximately the 89% to 93% utilization range,” the EFMP report stated. “Any such effort at consolidation, however, must consider the educational outcomes that would be anticipated, community preferences, and the implications for transportation distances and times.”
To read or download the Educational Facilities Master Plan, go to www.tcps.k12.md.us, click on the Board of Ed tab and then “Bd Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Video.” Open the July 19 Agenda and click the link for the report under “Unfinished Business.”
Policy Code 10.4, “Attendance Areas, Redistricting, and Retirement of Facilities,” can be found under the Board of Ed tab and “Policies.”