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North Syracuse Central Schools talk enrollment

Also affecting the projected decrease in overall enrollment, is the "stagnant economy," Nelson said.

There appears to be a decrease in the number and size of housing developments in the area, Melvin said.

"It does not appear that it will be necessary to reconfigure the existing elementary boundary lines for the 2010-11 school year," Nelson said.

Even with the projection data, Nelson said the "high enrollment" for the kindergarten level for October of this year, at 641, the highest since 682 students were enrolled in 2006, "this fairly large number of kindergarten students was unanticipated."

According to Nelson's report, he projects that kindergarten through fourth-grade levels will only slightly decrease during the next 10 years falling to the 3,200 to 3,220 range. He said this is only 200 less students than were enrolled October 2009.

Because the "economic slowdown" that the state is battling, Nelson said the projections are done "without any certainty" because it's difficult to predict the future.

"If the economy were to improve dramatically during the next two years, a probable result would be an upsurge in new home construction, and eventually, an increase in student enrollment," Nelson said.

In other business:

Demographic re-configuration

Members of the Demographics/Facilities Utilization Committee presented the committee's report to the board of education for its review and consideration. There will be further discussion relative to the report in future meetings also. Based on the study process from January through June 2009, the committee recommended that the school district adopt grade configuration Option B, which is converting one current middle school to an elementary school.

This would include kindergarten through fifth-grade level in the current neighborhood elementary schools. Grades six through eight would utilize the two available school buildings. Grades 9 through 12 would attend the current high school campus site. The committee said the K through 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12 grade level configuration would directly address the developmental, social and emotional characteristics of students in their respective age groups.

Reallocating duties from eliminated positions

The board discussed the elimination of two positions, an accounting clerk assigned to the business office and an automotive mechanic. Melvin and the board decided it would be better to reallocate duties form these positions to current district employees.

For example, Melvin said the automotive mechanic's duties could better be resolved by issuing some overtime, if necessary.

"We're in tough shape, the whole state is," Melvin said. "We should reallocate the duties rather than hire someone else."

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