To merge or not to merge, that is the question. Recently a joint meeting of the Boards of Education from South Seneca and Romulus Central Schools together with Education Consultants, Dr. William Silky and Mr. Alan Pole of Castallo & Silky, presented their final report to the public about the ten-month merger study.
The presentation was held November 19, with the best public attendance to date. The process has been lengthy, consuming about two years. With representation of taxpayers from both school districts attending, the Boards were given time to ask questions and receive clarification from the consultants. Following the slide presentation, the public was given the same opportunity. Topics that were highlighted included: student enrollment, instructional and extra curricular programs, facilities, transportation, staffing, and financial condition of the districts. The reason for the study is to sustain the district and share services.
In the upcoming months there will be a series of information sessions conducted by the advisory committees from both school districts. Information sessions are scheduled for: Wednesday, November 28 at 7pm, Interlaken Auditorium; Tuesday, December 4 at 7pm, Miller Auditorium, Ovid Campus; Wednesday, December 5 at 7pm, Lodi Fire Hall; and Wednesday, December 12 at 10am, Ovid Federated Church. All are welcome to attend, receive further clarification, and ask questions. All taxpayers are encouraged to attend one of these information sessions. The advisory committee members, comprised of community, school staff and teachers, local business owners, and parents of current students had regular meetings with the consultants that were open to the public during the past ten months.
In addition to the information sessions a voting time line was announced, the results of which could lead to a merged school district. The first vote to take place is December 10, 2012, by the South Seneca and Romulus Boards of Education to decide whether or not to proceed with the merger and give the public one of two possible chances to vote. Both votes, held separately, need to pass to proceed. The first public vote to take place on January 17, 2013, is referred to as the straw vote. This vote is not binding; however, the purpose is to send a message to the Commissioner of Education that the school boards and taxpayers are serious. If there are positive voting results in January, then the final referendum will occur in February, the Commissioner then lays out the new district. The new Board would then be elected in April. The new merged district would go into effect July 1, 2013. For more information www.southseneca.com, merger information, email Janie Nusser at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Superintendentís office at 869.9636 x4147.