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DPS Board Gives Thumbs Up To Lolli, School Reorganization Plan

Dayton Public Schools
Liam Niemeyer

The Dayton Public Schools Board voted Tuesday night to approve Acting DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli as permanent superintendent. Lolli has held the post since former superintendent Rhonda Corr’s departure last November.

The board also voted in favor of Lolli’s three-year school-district reorganization proposal. She announced the proposal at a recent school-board meeting.  

Officials say the so-called ‘right-sizing’ plan will help to address the district's declining student enrollment, staffing needs and the cost of facility maintenance and repair.

The plan includes closing Valerie Elementary and the Innovative Learning Center in Northwest Dayton, and consolidating middle school students into four schools.

The plan will also close and relocate DPS headquarters to a nearby building downtown. 

Most of these changes will take effect by next fall.

The plan also calls for further study of DPS high schools and underutilized district buildings to determine whether any would close over the next two years.

And, it includes efforts to increase student enrollment in the Dayton school district. 

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, Dayton Education Association President David Romick expressed concern over potential "displacement" of DPS teachers under the reorganization plan.

But, Romick praised Lolli's pledge to boost district enrollment numbers under the reorganization plan, and what he said was the board's two-way communication with the teachers union as they considered the plan.

He thanked the board for modifying the plan to allow current seventh grade students at Meadowdale, Belmont, Dayton Boys and Charity Adams Early high schools to finish the 2018-2019 school year before transitioning to high schools.

The board says no new seventh graders will be accepted to the schools.

The meeting also drew questions and comments -- many of them negative, directed toward the board -- from a number of teachers, union representatives and community activists.

These included David Esrati, who criticized the district's lack of transparency and its  handling of Lolli's reorganization plan. He also criticized the board for what he said was a rushed Friday announcement and subsequent Tuesday approval of her three-year contract, which runs through July 31, 2021.

You can read more about the school-district plan on the DPS website