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S-G School District efficiency study in the works

Dutkowsky has a background in schools and Hanlon said he understands the situations and troubles a school district faces. He will gather information on enrollment, how classrooms are used and what are class sizes and transportation needs of students in the district. The information will be looking to develop cost saving strategies for the 2011 to 2012 budget. He will be paid a maximum of $10,000.

Enrollment in elementary schools has been flat for several years, said Hanlon, and district enrollment has been declining for several years. The past two years have held "healthy" kindergarten enrollment though, he said.

"It is the kind of thing that we don't want to be caught waking up one day with a school with 100 kids," said Hanlon. "We want to be ahead of the curve here and look at what we are going to do."

This year there are 200 students enrolled in kindergarten at the district. In third grade there are 188 students, fourth grade has 190 students and fifth grade has 178 students. There are 1,175 students enrolled at all the elementary schools in the district. Individually, Lincoln has 253 students, Glen-Worden has 256 students, Glendaal hlds 284 students and Sacandaga has the most at 382 students.

"There has been discussion in the past of closing a school, but that is easier said than done," said Hanlon. "If you have 250 kids in one building, we can't shove 250 into another one of our buildings."

One option would be going to grade level centers, but there would be a new cost of having to bus children to different schools, which for certain grades would be further away then their current school. Hanlon questioned if the savings would be enough for the increase in bus costs associated with grade level center, which would have certain buildings providing for specific grade ranges.

"Historically we have had neighborhood schools here," said Hanlon.

Swartz said the problem isn't unique to the district, which can be seen in neighboring districts trying to control cost and plan for the future.

"For every school in New York State right now, given the state aid picture, we are trying to be mindful of our community with its costs," said Swartz.

The study will merely present the district with options and will not make any decisions on the future of the district.""

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