STOW — The school board and district staff are looking at ways to keep voters and students apart.

Not only is school scheduled on the primary election date of March 17, all fourth-graders in the district will be attending a concert in Akron with other school districts, making it difficult to cancel all classes.

The three schools in Stow-Munroe Falls which are used by the Summit County Board of Elections include Echo Hills and Woodland elementary schools and Kimpton Middle School. Nearby churches are willing to become voting locations but do not meet the ADA requirements without expensive upgrades.

In the past students have eaten lunch in their classrooms and had gym outside or in their classrooms on election days, said Superintendent Tom Bratten.

"We need to raise funds to get the elections out of the schools," he said. 

Council member Lisa Johnson-Bowers said it was a safety issue, and they should close the schools that day.

The school board can remove the school day from its calendar at its next meeting, and all the schools in the district could be closed, Bratten said. It could become a professional day for the teachers. But Bratten said the staff would look at other options, especially since fourth-graders have an event for that day.

Schools were closed this past November on Election Day as in past years. There was no primary election last year in Stow-Munroe Falls.

The board authorized the Summit County Board of Elections to use the three schools for a pre-election meeting on March 16 and for public voting on March 17.

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or