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Could Greece CSD close schools to save money? | Families

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Could Greece CSD close schools to save money?
Families, News, Schools

As New York state hands out fewer dollars to school districts, many are looking for ways to cut costs. It's the case in Greece, and facing a declining enrollment, aging buildings and financial constraints, the school board discussed proposals tonight that they hope would solve their problems.

Four committees made up of parents, community and school leaders had the task of streamlining district spending and getting back to some basics- like elementary schools that go from kindergarten to fifth grade. Tuesday night, those committees unveiled their proposals for the first time.

Greece parent Danielle Caccavale is anxious to see some changes in the Greece school district. She has 3 elementary school students, all in different schools. She says the district has too much wasted space and too many bus runs.

"It would be nice to have all of my children under one roof. I think a lot of parent would agree with me on that ... Children living in the same neighborhoods are not getting to know each other- as well as the families- because everybody's going to different places at different times. So I do think it's a really good idea. I just hope they're going to think through the logistics of the buildings," says Caccavale.

District leaders have been hearing these concerns for some time, and now plan to make changes to address a shrinking enrollment and tight budget.

Four committess charged with finding ways to cut costs and consolidate gave their recommendations. While the proposals are slightly different, they all recommend closing West Ridge Elementary School and moving Odyssey Middle School. The recommendations also included closing Parkland Elementary or Brookside Elementary.

District Spokesperson Laurel Heiden says a lot of factors are considered in decisions like these. "I think it's about a lot of things. Obviously we do have a lessening population, but we also want to make sure our schools are reflective of the entire student population. Also we want to be mindful of what the community is asking us to do," she says.

Chris Horn, a father of 3, say on the attendance committee. He isn't happy with the results, and says he doesn't agree with any of the proposals.

Parents have another chance to take part in the discussions. Next Tuesday, the district is holding a community night, starting at 6:30 at Apollo Middle School. Parents will be able to learn more about the recommendations and share their opinions.

The board is not scheduled to vote on the recommendations until the January 27th meeting.

Families, News, Schools

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