June 13, 2014

Schools consider other shared services

ELIZABETHTOWN — Several factors encourage shared services between Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School and Westport Central School.

The two schools are located just eight miles from each other, have both seen enrollment declines in recent years and are similar in size.

“We have the same challenges, we have the same enrollment, our staffing needs are similar,” ELCS School Superintendent Scott Osborne said.

“We’ve looked at it to say: Why don’t we try to be mutually exclusive partners here with one 'eight-mile hallway' between us?

“We see it more as an open partnership. We’re just trying to maintain what we have for kids,” Osborne said.

“We are not talking about merging districts. That is not on the table right now.”

The districts are discussing the possibility of sharing a transportation director and the superintendent, but likely not until the 2105-16 school year.

During a three-and-a-half-hour meeting this week where shared sports programs were discussed, the ELCS School Board also thanked two departing board members, Alan Jones and Karen Hooper, for their years of service.

The two newly elected School Board officials, Darlene Hooper and Doug Spilling, begin their terms at the Tuesday, July 15, meeting.

Osborne said it is likely that ELCS and Westport School Boards will hold a joint meeting in July.

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Twitter: @KimDedam

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