District eyes Excel, building proposition

Conlon also suggested the idea of grade centers similar to those in the Mohonasen Central School District. The idea of grade centers creates schools that house entire grades in one building.

"When you have grade centers, you are able to address issues like talented students who are sitting back bored because they are not being challenged, which is a travesty," Conlon said. "Do you remember when people were upset when we moved the sixth graders to the middle school? We did, and we adjusted. It's time we start paying attention to the bottom line, which is providing a better opportunity for our youth."

Board member Gary Normington said while he is not opposed to grade centers or closing a school, he feels the board would need to review the operational cost. He said he agrees that grade centers can provide a thriving environment.

"One of my issues with closing a school is, what do you do with that building? Do you keep it open, do you rent it out? We have to make sure it is really a cost-effective option," said Normington.

Swartz said the board's greatest obstacle is separating a possible building proposition with a plan for the Excel aid.

"Part of me says let's continue to discuss and move forward with an Excel project, which again would not be exciting items. We are talking about water fountains, windows, doors and bathrooms, all things we need to be done, the details. I need to know where you sit as a board," said Swartz.

The board will continue to discuss the direction of the district, including the possibility of closing a school and simply reallocating students to allow classroom space to be used as offices.

"I am from Scotia, and Scotia people do not like big change. From a savings point of view I can see closing a school. I went to Mohawk school, which was closed, and I survived. We have to bring our options to the community. It's going to be a very emotional issue," said board member Colleen Benedetto. ""

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