Moon Area hopes to discuss a merger with Cornell School District

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Moon Area Superintendent Curt Baker has sent a letter to his counterpart in the Cornell School District asking for a discussion on the merger of the two districts.

The letter, which Mr. Baker described to his board Monday, was sent after the Moon board on May 25 approved a motion to contact Cornell to explore a merger.

Though the motion was made in the midst of a six-hour long meeting in which the board voted to close Hyde Elementary School, the Moon board clarified last night that the the merger discussions were not expected to affect the Hyde closing.

About 50 people attended the Monday board session but they were not permitted to speak about the proposed merger talks or the Hyde closing since they weren't on the agenda.

Mr. Baker gave his report after the business meeting concluded.

School director Laura Schisler, who initially made the motion to consider the merger, said she understands any possible merger would take several years to occur. Other board members concurred with that.

But the board plans to continue to pursue the merger talks if Cornell is interested.

Mr. Baker said Cornell Superintendent Aaron Thomas is out of town but responded that he would check with his board upon his return later this week.

The idea of a merger between the districts had come up multiple times in the past but never came to fruition because either one or both of the districts did not want it it happen.

The Cornell district encompasses Coraopolis and Neville, and has an enrollment of about 650 students in grades K-12, who are educated in one building.

Moon Area, which serves students from Moon and Crescent, has an enrollment of about 3,700 students and with the closing of Hyde currently has four elementary buildings housing grades K-4, a middle school for grades 5-8 and Moon Area High School, which serves grades 9-12.

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