S-G bows out of TVHS

Tech Valley principal says enrollment steady despite some districts declining to send new students

— The Scotia-Glenville Board of Education has decided not to send a student to Tech Valley High School next year, and other districts are also weighing the cost versus the gain of sending their pupils.

The S-G BOE declined to send a new student to Tech Valley High School during its meeting on Monday, Jan. 9, but stood firm on commitments made to two students currently enrolled at the high tech, project-based academic institution.

Budget constraints for the upcoming school year spurred the board’s decision and other districts have also recently questioned the cost of sending a student to the specialized program, which each year requires around $10,000 per student after school aid.

“I wouldn’t be supportive, personally, of telling somebody who is there already that they have to come back, which means that we are running at least one person to that school for the next two years,” school board Vice President John Yagielski said.

Scotia-Glenville had its first graduate from TVHS in 2011, and the student attended school since the program started in 2007. Currently, there is a senior and a sophomore from S-G attending the school, which costs the district $24,000 before aid. Superintendent Susan Swartz said the district receives aid covering around 65 percent of the cost, which would place the cost for the two students around $8,400 annually.

“It is a tough spot,” Swartz said. “I think there are other ways to get a similar thing, but I think time will tell.”

Swartz said if districts continue to have difficult budgets in coming years, TVHS will “continue to struggle to maintain enrollment.” She added the mission of the school was to increase enrollment over four years, but it hasn’t been able to “steadily” increase enrollment.

Dan Liebert, principal of Tech Valley High School, said the school has seen “stable enrollment” during the last few years. The school has nearly 120 students enrolled and is now a full four-year school after adding a new grade every year since its 2007 opening, as the original freshman class moved forward.

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