Schenevus central school district

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Superintendent's Message

I am super excited for the start of the 19-20 school year and my second year as the Schenevus Superintendent.  Year one was filled with many challenges as we tried to find a solution for the financial distress of our district.  I was amazed by the amount of community support given during this past year.  I have enjoyed meeting and learning more about our community and its members, and look forward to the support, I have already seen, continue.  We have a long road ahead of us and it is so important that our community is involved in the process, moving forward, as we investigate our options as a district.  I am very fortunate to work with an amazing staff who always puts the needs of students first.  It has been a very challenging year for our staff as well.  There are many uncertainties, as the board has to decide what direction is best for our district.  However, through it all this staff has been supportive and continues to work hard to do what is best for our kids.  This year, we are asking our staff to do their job with the same number of students and less staff members.  These staff cuts were necessary to help us remain sustainable without a huge tax increase.  This is another example of the great staff we have, as they will all be starting this school year with additional responsibilities.  
We are also lucky, as a district, to have such a dedicated Board of Education.  I have worked many hours with our board as they seek understanding regarding all of our options and ways in which we can support Schenevus.  They have worked together several days this summer to be able to set goals and a direction for our district.  
One of the options the Board of Education is investigating is a merger with Worcester Central School.  This option is very favorable for our district as it allows us to continue to operate with all of our students in one district. There is a great deal of merger aid available from the state in the form of both foundation and building aid.  The other option being investigated is a tuitioning out of 7-12 students to one or more other local districts.  This option has been put on the back burner until the merger option is fully investigated.
As you may know, the Schenevus and Worcester Central School Districts have been discussing opportunities to collaborate, share services and save costs, including the possibility of a merger. As these conversations continue, our priority is to keep you informed along each step of the way.  
On July 24, Schenevus and Worcester board members heard a presentation from consultant Alan Pole, who described how the merger process works. The first step in the process is to conduct a merger study. The estimated cost of such a study is about $50,000.
Schenevus and Worcester have conducted a merger study before, most recently in 1996. (Several years ago, the districts also applied for, but did not receive, grant funding to pay for a study.)  
Schenevus and Worcester Central Schools have applied jointly for a $25,000 grant to help fund a merger study. A decision is expected in December or January.
If the grant is not awarded, neither district has committed to taking on the full cost of the study. It is not out of the question, but no commitment has been made at this point if the grant is not given.  
While we still do not know if this is the route our two districts will pursue, we do know that the merger process typically takes 1-2 years. Both boards and a majority of voters would have to approve a merger before seeking approval from the state Education Commissioner. If approved at the state level, a second public vote would be conducted. A majority of voters in both districts would have to approve the merger for it to be finalized.  A merger study is just that, a study, it does not mean it will lead to a guaranteed merger in the end.
I continue to encourage you to learn all you can about the options that exist for Schenevus by attending board of education meetings, asking questions of those who are involved in the process and meeting with me any time you need answers to your questions.  
I wish you and your student the best of luck as we start another exciting school year 2019-2020.

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Schenevus Central School District
159 Main Street, Schenevus, NY 12155
Phone 607 638 5881 | Fax 607 638 5600
5210 Every day!
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