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Linden Elementary School saved; full-day K coming to Central Bucks in 2025


Major changes are coming to the Central Bucks School District.

In announcements that drew cheers from hundreds of residents Thursday, the district’s superintendent said Linden Elementary School will remain open, full-day kindergarten will start in 2025, as will grade level realignment.

“We are thrilled and excited by this,” said Abram Lucabaugh, the district’s superintendent. “This really signifies one of the biggest changes systemically in our district in the last 25 years.”

The news came as the superintendent reviewed findings from a 2019 demographics study before about 300 people in CB West High School’s auditorium. Many in the audience came to insist the small, Doylestown Borough school not be closed.

The much-loved school had been considered for closing due to declining enrollment. However, Lucabaugh said, while that made sense based on “sheer numbers,” what makes the fourth largest school district in the state special, he said, is “the wonderful community schools we have.”

Among the reasons to keep Linden open and utilize all the district’s 15 elementary schools, the superintendent said, is the growing number of multi-language students coming to Central Bucks. In 2015, there were 150 children in the district for whom English was not their first language. This year, there about 600, Lucabaugh said, and that number is expected to continue climbing.

Meeting those students’ needs requires additional classroom space. “It’s an obligation and privilege to teach these children and meet them where they are,” he added.

Another factor is ensuring the district accommodates the needs of its special needs students, including those on the autism spectrum, said Lucabaugh. Those families “should not have to travel outside the district. We can do this in-home.”

Next, the superintendent explained how the 2025-2026 school year will see the launch of full-day kindergarten, something parents and educators have advocated for years.

“Full-day kindergarten will bring more families to Central Bucks,” and enhance the district’s educational program, said Lucabaugh. He stressed that the longer day “will not be adding curriculum, but will be adding more depth.”

The decision to realign grade levels was also welcomed. Beginning in the 2025-2026 academic year the district will house kindergarten through fifth grade in its elementary schools, sixth through eighth grade in its middle schools and ninth through 12th grade in its three high schools.

In moving freshman into the high schools, as most districts have long done, Lucabaugh said, ninth graders will be with their peers. In the high schools, the students will have greater academic, athletic and electives opportunities.

The same will be true for sixth graders moving into middle schools, the superintendent said. “The access to arts, electives, extracurricular activities, to music, drama, band and chorus and athletics. It helps them better transition.”

Lucabaugh acknowledged the significant shifts won’t be easy.

“This is a lot. And this is a big lift,” he said. “But if there is anyone who can do it it is our staff and our faculty with the support of the district.”

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