Press-Republican

Education

June 14, 2013

BCSD on board with shared-services study

BEEKMANTOWN — Beekmantown Central School has signed on to undergo a joint shared-services study with Plattsburgh City School District.

At this week’s meeting, Beekmantown School Board members voted unanimously in favor of having both districts examined for areas of potential collaboration.

“Not only could we possibly save some dollars, but we might be able to enhance the student experience by sharing a service with another school,” Beekmantown Central School Board member April Bingel said at the meeting.

CITY VOTE PENDING

Representatives from both schools met recently to discuss the concept, and though Plattsburgh has not yet officially authorized its participation in the study, City School Board members expressed interest at their last meeting in doing so.

Plattsburgh Superintendent James “Jake” Short told the Press-Republican in a separate interview that he expects the board to take action on Wednesday, June 19, and for the study to begin shortly after.

“I think it’s a very good partnership that we’re starting to craft,” he said.

The study, conducted by Castallo and Silky, an educational consulting firm out of the Syracuse area, would look at everything from the schools’ administrative and management functions to their facilities, transportation and program offerings.

For example, consultants would examine whether offerings like exchange programs, special-education services and advanced-placement courses could be shared between the two districts.

“I believe it’s prudent to investigate,” Beekmantown Board member Cathy Buckley said at the meeting. “We have a lot to offer them, and they have a lot to offer us. I’m very interested in possible academic exchanges.”

CAN’T SHARE LEADER

State law prohibits both the City Schools and Beekmantown Central from sharing a district leader with any school, due to their enrollment figures.

In order to have a joint superintendent, the districts involved must each have had fewer than 1,000 students in the previous year. Both Beekmantown and Plattsburgh exceed that number.

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