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District welcomes Maplewood to family

On Tuesday, July 1, the Maplewood School District officially became part of the North Colonie Central School District as the annexation that was adopted in October became effective.

Before the October vote, The Board of Education studied how the annexation would impact the schools, taxpayers and the community.

In November 2006 Board members presented the possibility of annexation, at which point, Consultant Roy McMaster broke down the annexation plan in terms of financial factors, saying the move could generate $30 million in operating incentive aid over the next 14 years.

In addition to the financial benefits, Superintendent of Schools Randy Ehrenberg said the annexation will allow students at Maplewood to attend the North Colonie Central School District's Shaker Junior High School and then move on to Shaker High School.

Jerry Steele, principal of the Maplewood School and former superintendent of schools for the Maplewood District, said that many students who attend school in the Maplewood district also attend Shaker High School.

I guess we're just completely part of the family now, said Steele. With the annexation, Steele is no longer superintendent of schools and does not hold a seat on the North Colonie Central School District Board of Education, but according to Ehrenberg, he has already become part of the team by attending many administrative meetings.

"He's been invited to all our administrative meetings," she said. "He's already been an active member of the group."

Ehrenberg said she hopes that people would begin to feel that Maplewood is part of North Colonie, and that it would be a smooth transition once school resumes in the fall.

She also said that the board has been talking to communities about the annexation for a long time, and that, "to have it official and fine sealed is wonderful."

According to Steele, "We've been going through [the annexation process] for two years now. I think it feels good to be part of North Colonie."

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