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Caz school district examines declining enrollment

For the past four years, the hallways of the Cazenovia Central School District’s three academic buildings have seen smaller numbers of students. Superintendent Bob Dubik believes the inclusion of new affordable housing will attract younger families to the area and help to boost the tax base.

For the past four years, the hallways of the Cazenovia Central School District’s three academic buildings have seen smaller numbers of students. Superintendent Bob Dubik believes the inclusion of new affordable housing will attract younger families to the area and help to boost the tax base. Photo by Pierce Smith.

Currently, there are about seven empty classrooms in Burton Street, which are occasionally used for teleconferencing and group projects. Dubik said the district has begun to consider temporarily renting out the space to area organizations with compatible schedules, such as BOCES.

At the Jan. 23 Cazenovia Board of Education meeting, the board discussed the possibility of reorganizing the district, and cutting poorly-attended electives in the high school.

Dubik said the district could reformat to accommodate Kindergarten through fifth grade in the elementary school, seventh and eighth grades in the middle school and ninth through twelfth grades in the high school. Alternatively, Kindergarten through eighth grade could be assigned to one academic building while ninth through twelfth populate the high school.

While the idea of reorganization is still being weighed, the board is examining which electives regularly have fewer than 10 students enrolled, and possible ways to continue to offer the same curriculum while merging similar classes. So far, no plans to cut any electives have been made.

“The challenge for the school board is to maintain quality programs that are appropriate for the size and needs of our student body. We try to look at least five years ahead with our facility and personnel plans to minimize the impact of changes on the students. Over the next year, we will be actively seeking community input on possible school reconfiguration plans that will give us the best use of our facilities given our expected future enrollment and program plans,” said Cazenovia Board of Education President Fritz Koennecke. “In order to reverse our enrollment trend, it is my hope that we can continue to improve our already excellent schools. At the same time we have to continue to find ways to keep our costs and taxes low. As young families look for a great place to raise their children, Cazenovia should clearly stand out at the top of their list.”

Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or editor@cazenoviarepublican.com

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