Press-Republican

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May 12, 2014

Plattsburgh, Beekmantown schools explore sharing

(Continued)

“Neither district currently has a central office person who is devoted to the leadership of the instructional program," Pole said.

With curriculum changes at an all-time high due to the state-mandated Common Core learning standards, "that's a place that both schools have a need," City School Superintendent James "Jake" Short said. 

"We both had positions of that nature in the past, but we cut them due to budgets." 

While neither district may be able to afford a full-time curriculum coordinator on its own, Pole noted, perhaps they could afford to share one. 

Beekmantown Superintendent Dan Mannix, however, questioned whether someone could be effective and address both schools' curriculum needs while splitting time between the districts. 

"Sharing is hard, and you're going to give up some things to share," Pole said. "It's a question of is it better to have two days a week than to have none."

CLASSES

As far as sharing instructional programs, one option would be for the districts to exchange students, Cohen told meeting attendees. 

For example, she said, students could be bused between the two schools and spend part of their days taking classes in the opposite district.

This, Cohen continued, could allow students access to courses not offered at their home institution.

"The second option is sharing teachers," she said. "It may not always feel this way, but it's easier to move one teacher than 15 students."

Instructors could potentially spend part of their day teaching in one district and the remainder in the other. 

The travel time between the districts, Cohen noted, is about 20 minutes. 

"There are advantages to it, and there are disadvantages," she said. "None of these solutions are perfect."

Email Ashleigh Livingston: alivingston@pressrepublican.com

READ THE STUDY

A copy of Castallo and Silky's Shared-Services Study presentation to the Beekmantown Central and Plattsburgh City school boards is available online at plattscsd.org/district/documents/sharedservicespresentation.pdf.

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