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C-A board hears from public on reconfiguration

Jan 16, 2015 7:58 am
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting in The Daily Mail nearly 50 parents, residents and teachers turned out Tue., Jan. 13, for the first of two public forums on the Coxsackie-Athens school district's proposed elementary reconfiguration plan. The forum was held at Coxsackie Middle School. The proposal under discussion would eliminate the district's neighborhood school model. The district currently maintains two, K-4 buildings, one in Athens, the other in Coxsackie. Following the potential reconfiguration, students in kindergarten through second grade would be housed at E.J. Arthur Elementary School in Athens, and third and fourth grade students would be located in the Coxsackie Elementary School. The proposal has been sharply criticized by some parents in the district. Coxsackie-Athens Superintendent Randall Squier said the reconfiguration would create the space needed for the district's new pre-K program. Other district officials cite better opportunities for grade-level teachers to work together and creating the ability to make class size consistent, as benefits to the reorganization. The district will not realize any cost savings from the change. Attendees against the plan mentioned the lengthy bus rides that will be required for some students, the addition of a transition between second and third grade that could be unnecessarily disruptive for students, and the impact on families with more than one child at the elementary level as key issues. The board has indicated no decision will be made on the proposal in the near future. Squier said since there is no imminent cost savings expected, there is no hurry. "The board has no deadline for a decision," he said. The forum was moderated and facilitated by Questar III. Assistant Superintendent Andrew DeFeo, and Director of Communications Dan Sherman. The second forum will be held Tue., Jan. 20, at the E.J. Arthur school in Athens. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.