Parents, teachers worry about potential closure of elementary school


Scranton school board members said George Bancroft Elementary has fallen into disrepair and it would take about $2 million to fix.

SCRANTON, Pa. — The Scranton School Board is considering closing George Bancroft Elementary because it needs costly repairs while the district is already more than $200 million dollars in debt.

Jennifer Schwartz and her son Gabriel play hopscotch outside the elementary school.  

Most students here still walk to school. 

The Scranton School Board said the building has fallen into disrepair, and board members are considering its closure.

“We’re just so upset that anybody would try to be closing the school. They just put a new roof on this school in the last few years, and so we think that, you know, this is our place to be,” Schwartz said.

“We have kids all walks of life around here, and with the smaller classes, the teachers are able to accommodate every single student in that class,” parent Lisa Suda said.

The school had its share of problems in the past.

Lead turned up in the water here.

Four years ago, the building was closed because of an air quality problem.

In a Zoom meeting, the Scranton School Board heard from parents and teachers who want to keep it open.

“Please consider other options and vote no to closing George Bancroft School and help save our student’s academic futures,” first-grade teacher April Butler said.

Bancroft Elementary is about 100 years old. 

The Scranton School Board said it would take about $1.9 million to renovate.

“There are needs. There are heating needs. There are HVAC needs. There are roofing needs,” School Board President Katie Gilmartin said.

The school board said if Bancroft Elementary were to close, students would be sent to Isaac Tripp Elementary. 

Tripp was built in 2011, and it is a mile and a half from Bancroft. 

Students would be provided with transportation. 

The school board said its likely teachers would also be able to keep their jobs.

“Bigger and newer truly does not mean better. Bancroft is getting the job done in educating all of their students,” Suda said.

The Scranton School Board said it will vote whether to close Bancroft Elementary in another meeting in April. 

Quarter 1-Tuesday, October 13, 2020Quarter 2-Friday, December 18, 2020Quarter 3-Monday, March 8, 2021Quarter 4-Wednesday, May 19, 2021 2020-21 Scranton School District Quarterly Dates Quarter 1-Tuesday, September 8, 2020-Thursday, November 12, 2020Quarter 2-Friday, November 13, 2019-Friday, January 29, 2021Quarter 3-Monday, February 1, 2021-Monday, April 12, 2021Quarter 4-Tuesday, April 13, 2021-Thursday, June 17, 2021High School Graduations-Thursday, June 17, 2021SHS-5 PMWSHS-7 PM Parents, please use the link to request district technology for your child.

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