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September 29, 2013

BCSD, City School kick off study

PLATTSBURGH — A shared-services study is now underway in the Plattsburgh City and Beekmantown Central school districts.

“Both school districts have been talking about, for some time, taking a look at shared services and what we could do in partnership together, whether it’s for cost effectiveness, greater efficiency or advancing our students in one way or another,” City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short told attendees of a recent joint meeting of the two school boards at the Duken Building in Plattsburgh.

There, Alan Pole of the Syracuse-based education consulting firm Castallo and Silky discussed the process and scope of the project, which his firm was hired to conduct.

STAFF INTERVIEWED

The districts agreed in June to undergo the study and split the $20,000 cost plus reimbursement of consultant expenses.

They have provided the firm with data that Pole and colleague Jessica Cohen will use to determine areas of potential collaboration between the schools.

“What this study is really about is whether or not there’s a possibility to do business differently,” said Pole, who, along with Cohen, visited BCSD before the meeting and conducted interviews with district staff.

They were scheduled to do the same at the City School the following day.

This study, Pole said, will address whether there are ways to increase sharing of instructional programs, support services and administrative services between the districts, and if so, what the financial implications might be and how the districts might plan to implement such sharing.

In doing so, the firm will look at the potential for sharing administrators, including an athletic, special-education or instructional-technology director; business official; and superintendent.

SHARED LEADER

There are currently two conflicting pieces of legislation in education law, Pole noted, “one of which says you have to have fewer than 1,000 students to share a superintendent and another one that says anyone can share a superintendent.”

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