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      Several schools would close under Saginaw Public Schools redesign

      Under any one of the four proposed plans to overhaul Saginaw Public Schools, Jerome Elementary School will close. But it's not all bad news for acting Principal Lynn George.

      ??With these economic times as they are, we have to do something creative, and I think, I'm kind of excited to see what's going to happen to be a result of this,?? George said.

      District leaders said they need to find a better way to use their buildings because of declining revenue and increasing expenditures.

      Board members need to eliminate $32.6 million from its budget by 2016. They??re trying to find the most efficient way to cut costs without jeopardizing the quality of education.

      Superintendent Carlton Jenkins?? task force - made up of teachers, staff and parents recommended four plans, which are outlined below.

      Each plan closes several elementary schools and puts 7th and 8th graders at either Arthur Hill or Saginaw High School.

      Some parents are wary, however, that the closures will affect student learning.

      Janet Witherell said, ??The classes would get bigger and then students would have less time with the teacher and less interaction and then people would get left behind."

      As it stands, the district??s 20 buildings on average are only at 59 percent capacity. That??s where school officials say they have some room to cut.

      Jenkins will submit a final recommendation to the board on March 20. A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday Feb. 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Greater Coleman Temple.

      Below are details on each of the four plans proposed.

      Plan 1:

      School that will close: Arthur Eddy Academy, Heavenrich Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Rouse Elementary, Jerome Elementary and Stone Elementary.

      Other elementary and middle schools will become K-3 schools.

      Thompson Middle School will house fourth and fifth grades.

      Arthur Hill High School would house seventh and eighth grade students in a separate wing.

      Saginaw High School would also house seventh and eighth graders.

      Plan 2:

      Schools that will close: Arthur Eddy Academy, Heavenrich Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Jerome Elementary and Stone Elementary schools

      Other elementary and middle schools will be combined. Rouse, Kempton, and Houghton would house pre-K-second students. Loomis Elementary will become K-6; Ruben Daniels third-through-sixth; Chester Miller third-through-fifth; Merill Park pre-K through second and Herig K-5.

      Saginaw High School would become 7-12.

      Plan 3:

      Schools that would close: Arthur Eddy Academy, Heavenrich Elementary, Longfellow Elementary and Jerome Elementary.

      Other elementary schools that feed Saginaw High will become K-6.

      Saginaw High School would house seventh and eighth grade students.

      Plan 4:

      Schools that will close: Arthur Eddy Academy, Heavenrich Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Jerome Elementary and Stone Elementary schools

      Saginaw High School would house seventh and eighth grade students.