The Ballston Spa Central School District will be seeking input on the future role of the Malta Avenue Building from a community task force. Working with that task force as a facilitator will be Jim Collins, the Board of Education announced at a special meeting on Wednesday, June 18.
Collins is currently the director of professional development at the School Administrators Association of New York State. He has worked with a number of educational resources throughout his career, including spending 16 years as the instructional resources supervisor at the Capital Region BOCES. Collins has also served as a facilitator on many planning groups around the area.
The district has contracted Collins in order to assist the committee without becoming involved themselves.
I don't see myself as a consultant, said Collins. "A consultant tells you what to do and how you should do it. I see myself as a conversation traffic policeman."
His role as facilitator would be to ensure the task force accomplishes its charge by preparing agendas, summarizing findings and mediating discussions. It will be up to the members of the task force to come to their conclusions, which Collins would put together in a report for the board.
The board hopes the report can be finished by January and that it will help them decide what the future of the Malta Avenue Building will be.
Months ago, the board decided to close Malta Avenue Intermediate School after constructing a new elementary school at an undetermined location. A public outcry over the decision resulted in the announcement of the task force.
The final decision on Malta Avenue's fate will ultimately be made by the district.
"They're not making recommendations, they're doing a fact-finding report," said Board of Education President Kathy Jarvis of the task force. "The idea of the task force is to separate from the board, administrators and teachers to get objective opinions back to the board."