STOW — The board of education has unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendation to close schools on March 17 for the primary election to guarantee the safety of all students.

The teachers will use the day as a professional development day for staff only. No students will report to school on March 17.

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.

The goal in the future is to have none of the schools used for voting sites.

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

At a previous meeting, Superintendent Tom Bratten said the school board could remove the school day from its calendar to close all schools but because fourth-graders had an event that day, he asked for time to consider other options.

The Link UP concert with the Akron Symphony that was scheduled for the fourth-grade students on March 17 was canceled with the agreement of all six elementary principals and elementary music teachers. They are planning an alternative performing experience.

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