Jan. 12 Board of Education presentation

Schenevus Central School District Superintendent Theresa Carlin gave a presentation at the Jan. 12 meeting of the Schenevus Central School Board of Education highlighting the findings of the merger study report prepared by consultations Castallo & Silky LLC with support from the Merger Study Committee.

View the Jan. 12 presentation

Highlights from the presentation included:

Advisory Committee

The following are the members of the Schenevus-Worcester Merger Study Committee:

Community members

  • Jennifer Andrews, Schenevus
  • Harold Bristol, Worcester
  • Jim Conroe, Worcester
  • Michelle Empie, Worcester
  • Kathryn Fredette, Schenevus
  • Justin Frost, Worcester
  • Dawn Geiskopf, Worcester
  • Robert Huntington, Schenevus
  • Alyssa Oliveri, Schenevus
  • Sandra Salisbury, Schenevus

Faculty/Staff

  • Misty Blanchard, Worcester (support staff)
  • Christine Gollin, Schenevus (teacher)
  • Ashley Head, Worcester (teaching assistant)
  • Leah Johnson, Worcester (support staff)
  • Rebecca Lampron, Schenevus (teacher)
  • Melissa Leonard, Worcester (administrator)
  • Kimberly Matthews, Schenevus (administrator)
  • Theresa Mellor, Schenevus (support staff)
  • Miranda Morell, Schenevus (support staff)
  • Andy Odell, Worcester (teacher)

Types of Reorganization/Merger

Centralization

  1. New school district is created from the dissolution of 2 existing districts
  2. Board votes and 2 referenda required for passage
  3. New district assumes all property and debt of the previous two districts
  4. Teachers in the former districts become teachers in the new district with all seniority
  5. New superintendent is hired for the new district; existing contracts are honored
  6. New board of education is elected
  7. Incentive operating aid and enhanced building aids are available

Annexation

  1. District to be annexed is dissolved and becomes part of annexing district
  2. Board votes and 2 referenda required for passage
  3. Annexing district assumes all property and debt from one district being annexed
  4. Teachers in annexed district have rights to employment if a vacancy exists
  5. Superintendent in district being annexed has a property right with contract
  6. Board of education in the annexing district continues…number of board members may be increased
  7. Incentive operating aid and enhanced building aids are available

Statement of Shared Values

  1. To demonstrate the value and importance of encouraging collective school governance among all stakeholders of the enlarged school district, increase Board of Education membership from 5 to 7 members.  It is understood that this will be a means to encourage broad-based participation but cannot guarantee the same.  Upon a successful annexation vote, the Worcester Board of Education will initiate a vote to request an increase in the size of the BOE from 5 to 7 members. Should this be successful and as soon as practicable, a a special election will be held to seat the additional BOE members.
  2. As we value a 21st century education for our students, a successful merger vote will provide resources to enhance student learning opportunities.  A merger will also provide an opportunity to realize efficiencies. Therefore, in an effort to accomplish each of these outcomes, the BOE will discuss and determine the most appropriate way maximize the additional merger aid to:
    1. expand and enhance the academic program and educational opportunities   offered to students;
    2. assess the means to aid taxpayers;
    3. provide funds to a reserve to address unforeseen issues that may arise, as well as maintaining the initiatives stated above.
  3. The BOE understands the value to keep both school buildings open.  It is understood that the Schenevus school building will be needed for educational programming in the foreseeable future. Therefore, provide the means for the Schenevus school and community to name the Schenevus school building to reflect the role it will play educating students.
  4. All employees are valued. As such, the BOE will discuss the means to provide employment for as many staff members as possible. Strategies, such as utilizing retirements and attrition will be used to accomplish this goal.

Annexation Study

  • Worcester is annexing Schenevus
  • Schenevus is dissolved and becomes part of the Worcester Central School District
  • Teaching personnel from Schenevus have job rights to vacancies in the merged district but do not have bumping rights, however statement of shared values all staff will remain.
  • Worcester board of education remains in place but, statement of shared values points to adding 2 new seats making it a 7-member board. Potential for 3 open seats for the 22-23 school year where all qualified voters in both districts have voting rights in the merged district to those seats as well as the approval of the budget.

Enrollment History and Projections

The enrollment in each district has been declining and it is projected to continue to decline.

Projections for the Schenevus Central School District suggest that the K-12 student population will decrease from 316 in 2020-21 to 299 by 2026-27.

Projections for the Worcester Central School District suggest that the K-12 student population will decrease from 317 in 2020-21 to 306 by 2026-27.

Combined enrollment projections for a merged district suggest that the merged K-12 total would be 621 students in 2022-23 (the first year a merged district could operate following the current study), and the district would lose about 20 students over the following 2-3 years. However, to obtain more accurate figures, projections must be updated annually.

BEDS data (actual enrollment figures) show a three-year loss of 75 students in Schenevus, and 47 students in Worcester, during the period from 2017-2020.

Future Meetings

At the February meetings of the Schenevus and Worcester school boards, presentations will review an educational program overview of the two districts, including projections for a merged district.