3 School Districts Hear Merger Options

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Whether to merge Heuvelton, Morristown, and Hermon-Dekalb schools is a big decisions

At a time when money is tight and schools are struggling, the districts -- and residents -- are considering their options.

Consultant Philip Martin presented some of those options Thursday night at the St. Lawrence and Lewis BOCES in Canton.

"The entire study is oriented toward consolidating the student populations for grades seven through 12 in the three districts," he said.

One option would combine all three districts at Heuvelton Central School. Martin says that would increase the number of classes -- especially electives -- as many as 12 teachers could lose their jobs.

"This is an accurate estimation of the number of teachers that could be reduced in terms of total staff," Martin said.

One drawback: combined sports would mean more athletes competing for limited slots on the teams.

"If the populations are consolidated," Martin said, "there's only going to be one varsity soccer team -- one for boys and one for girls -- so that is a drawback."

Before the districts could merge, each board of education would have to approve it, then it would go to the residents of each district for a vote.

"Each board would have to decide do we want to pursue one of the six options or any of the options," BOCES Superintendent Thomas Burns said, "and then it would go back to each community."

A merger would undoubtedly have a big impact, which is why the school boards -- and many folks in those communities -- are weighing all their options.
 
Thursday, October 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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