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Q&A on South Huntington Projects

Studies on closing of a school building, changes in bus operations are pending.

Vendors interested in taking on two projects in the South Huntington school district pitched their services at a South Huntington school board meeting on Aug.16.

The two topics involve possible changes in how transportation is handled and whether the district needs all the buildings it now operates, with the future of the Silas Wood building a particular focus.

Joan E. Townley, planning services coordinator at Western Suffolk BOCES, said that a study of building needs would cover such categories as demographics, current and projected enrollment, facilities, options and other topics.

Tim Ammon of Management Partnership Services said a study of how to handle future busing operations would analyze current costs and policies but also examine contracts, management of time and distance and several other topics. He said his company could produce a study in about 90 days.

Patch asked Dr. David Bennardo, the school superintendent, about those projects.

Q. What are the costs of the contracts?

A. The study to determine additional cost savings within the Transportation Department is approximately $14,000. The study to determine feasibility and cost savings with closing the Silas Wood 6th grade center is $15,000, with more than 40% of that cost aid-able, meaning the district would be able to recoup or get BOCES aid for that amount.

Q. When do you expect the board to award them?

A. Possibly at the next BOE meeting scheduled for Sept. 5.

Q. When did the board vote to solicit the contracts?

A. At the end of the last school year.

Q. What are the target dates for implementation?

A. The studies would take approximately 90 day to complete. The BOE would like to have these studies done prior to the December holiday break so that the feasibility and financial impact (if any) could be presented to the community in the 12-13 budget workshops that begin on Feb.27.

Ron August 23, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Why are we paying for a study? It's a simple supply and demand issue. If enrollment is down and students can fit comfortably in BW/MW then move them and close SW.
Jim R. August 24, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Yes because closing schools and increasing class size to 45 is a smart move. Glad you're not on the school board.
Big_E August 25, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Jim R, obviously you don't have kids in the district. If you DID, you would know that Silas Wood is the Sixth Grade Center. Nothing there but 6th graders, all by themselves. The district set up is K-2, 3-5, 6, 7-8, 9-12. Why is 6th grade all by itself? I agree with Ron, if they can be moved to Maplewood or Birchwood (making them 3-6 each) it would NOT INCREASE CLASS SIZE, because those kids are not in MW or BW.
Bill L. August 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Ron wrote "comfortably". It is a good thing you Jim are not the BOE. Class size of 30-35 is not unreasonable-especially in the 2% economic nightmare we are in now.
Janet August 25, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Class sizes would increase because instead of having, for example 5 classrooms of 3rd grade students they would have to condense them down to 3 so the 6th grade could have 2 and that would have to be done with the 4th and 5th grade. It was my understanding the Silas Woods center was implemented to give the 6th grade students a chance to transition into a middle school program. Class size of 30-35 is unreasonable unless there are teacher aides in the classrooms also so no child is lost in the crowd.
Ron August 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM
ok Teach
Big_E August 26, 2012 at 01:24 AM
If it's such a good model, why don't other districts do it? Most schools I know are K-6, 7-8, 9-12; or K-5, 6-8, 9-12; or K-6, 7-9, 10-12. I had never heard of K-2, 3-5, 6, 7-8, 9-12 until we moved to South Huntington.

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