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More Answers to Your Ed 2020 Questions
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Thank you to everyone who has submitted questions regarding the Education 2020 initiative.
Below are answers to just a few of your questions, with more to come soon.
As always, you can read previously submitted questions and answers by visiting the Education 2020 Web site (click here).
If you have yet to attend one of the Education 2020 community presentations, you have two more chances:
- March 12, at 5:30 p.m., at Morgan Road Elementary
- April 29, at 6 p.m. at Liverpool Public Library
Question: How much notice will be given if sixth grade is moved to the middle school? Will schools (and parents) receive ample notice to plan for end of the year events, especially for fifth and sixth-graders?
Answer: Yes, the community will receive ample notice regarding any changes so that everyone (parents, teachers, etc.) can plan accordingly. The district also will need this time to finalize plans such as student placement, teacher placement and transportation. We don’t anticipate any changes taking place prior to September 2021, however that timeline could change. We will continue to update families throughout the process.
Question: How will goals be re-evaluated to ensure they are met? Will there be a team in place to look at this? I’m specifically thinking about the extra mental health support as well as reading support.
Answer: As superintendent, Dr. Potter submits annual goals to the Board of Education - some academic or facility improvements, while others may be more aligned with behavioral expectations for students. As such, the district has an obligation to find mechanisms to measure these initiatives with data. The district does not see that process changing. What would be different would possibly be the outcome expectations. The district will continue to support and monitor all of the school’s responsibilities for student success.
Question: Can there be one easy access page to view questions and answers that have all come in rather than only see them a few at a time?
Answer: All of the questions the district has received and answered have been posted on the Liverpool Central School District Web site. You can access those questions and answers by visiting http://www.liverpool.k12.ny.us/community/education-2020/answers-to-your-questions/. We will continue to update that page as we continue to receive questions from the community.
Question: Is it true that Nate Perry Elementary would most likely be the elementary school to close?
Answer: At this time, no decision has been made regarding which elementary school will be closed. This is part of the decision-making process the Board of Education is exploring and ultimately will vote on by June 2020.
Question: We know that students in grades 3-8 will go to campus schools, but where would the K-2 students be dispersed?
Answer: Right now the district has nine elementary schools with five of those buildings being stand-alone elementary schools (Donlin Drive Elementary, Elmcrest Elementary, Long Branch Elementary, Nate Perry Elementary and Willow Field Elementary). If the Board of Education approves the proposed reconfiguration, K-2 students will be dispersed into four of those buildings.
Question: How will transportation (pick up and drop off) times be impacted, especially for elementary families who may have children in both a K-2 and 3-8 building? Will one set of grades start earlier than the other? In turn, will one set of grades arrive home later than the other?
Answer: Currently the Liverpool Central School District has a three-tiered transportation system. High school students are assigned to the first tier; middle school students and four elementary schools are assigned to the middle tier; and the remaining five elementary schools are picked up during the third tier of the transportation schedule. The tiers then work in reverse after school. The Transportation Department would continue to follow that three-tier scheduling model in the future, however, at this time we do not have specific details regarding which schools would be assigned to the second or third tiers.
Question: What is the estimated difference in class size with this proposal? You mentioned during a presentation that this proposal will decrease class size. With current numbers as they are, what do you suspect class size to be?
Answer: Based on the details included in the Education 2020 presentation, both the staff and community want the district to adhere to the District Regulation to maintain class sizes. Currently, we have elementary school buildings that are capped in many grade levels (requiring students to be transported to alternative school sites), while we have elementary buildings that may be significantly below the district's class-size expectation. The proposal would allow for more consistent class sizes and allow students to attend the schools closest to their homes. The opportunity presented within the Education 2020 proposal that looks at a quadrant-style re-zoning would help maximize the sections within each of the specific building sites. We don’t have the ability to specifically identify the enrollment changes or shifts, but based on our enrollment projections it is anticipated we will continue to see subtle enrollment reductions over the next two to three years. It’s hopeful the enrollment will bottom-out over the next three to five years.
Question: What are the projected cost savings for this proposal? I realize the government funding varies year to year but can you estimate savings if two buildings close? Can you also estimate the number of FTE’s that will decrease as a result of this change?
Answer: The district estimates that closing two buildings (meaning the sites no longer have student programs) would mean a savings of $300,000. This number is obviously contingent on how the building is being used after it’s closed (based on the amount of maintenance requirements - heating, lighting, plowing, mowing, etc.). The FTE question is a bit more elusive. As you point out, state funding is a significant unknown. As many folks may be aware, there is a state funding requirement that has not been followed since its inception in 2006. The Governor has the ability to modify and change public school funding at his discretion. Given the proposal is likely two or more years away, the true data on Liverpool’s revenue would [at best] be a guesstimate. Further, the district intends to utilize the reduction in classroom staffing costs (by reducing the number of sections) with increased program and staffing needs based on student needs (i.e., mental health, reading, literacy, special areas, CTE, etc.).
Question: Will school start times change with this new proposal so that highschoolers actually start later, to support the research out there?
Answer: Modified School Start Times are not a part of the Education 2020 initiative at this time.
Question: I would like to know if the committees looked back at prior studies that were done regarding grade configuration. Several years ago the district spent $50,000 and one year researching various grade configurations and making recommendations regarding phasing out an elementary school. I understand that things change in education and demographics, but are you just trying to reinvent the wheel?
Answer: We have looked at some of the previous recommendations (specifically grade configuration recommendations) as well as reviewed some of the current data from neighboring school districts that have changed or have existing configurations for supporting evidence with models of success. Obviously, the complex sites in Liverpool provide a highly unique scenario that may not exist in other district settings.
Question: Will these changes mean my child will stay at their current elementary or middle school or will they change schools?
Answer: Where students will go to school will be determined after the Board of Education votes on the proposed changes.