The Ken-Ton School District is exploring possible ways it could consolidate its schools.
Eight scenarios have been presented by SES Study Team, the Canastota-based consulting firm that was hired to find out how the district, whose shrinking student population is spread among 13 schools, could run more efficiently while preserving and increasing student opportunity.
In all but one of them, Holmes Elementary School would close.
In most of the scenarios, the Franklin and Hoover elementary/middle school campuses would be used as single schools instead, with more capacity for the reconfigured student populations.
“They are just glorious buildings,” said consultant Paul Seversky, for flexibility for delivering instruction.
Districtwide, buildings in their current condition could suffice.
“There’s no need for major renovations in any of those scenarios,” said Doug Exley, another member of the study team.
But the challenges are formidable in seven of the scenarios: Which buildings would close.
The district would face “mothballing” and maintaining unused buildings – eating into the money saved from closing them, with the added challenge of trying to sell them. Also, existing transportation routes would have to be redesigned to reflect the new attendance zones.
Neither School Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro nor members of the Ken-Ton School Board are commenting on the scenarios, pending a review by a community-employee stakeholder focus group. The consultants also are keeping quiet, but for a different reason.
“It would be inappropriate for the study team to answer questions or address statements about what your district should do. We are just guest outsiders,” Seversky said last week at the first of four scheduled public meetings about the study.
It will be up to the focus group to prioritize the scenarios for possible action by the School Board. Meanwhile, here’s a synopsis of each, including estimated savings in building operation and staff expenses:
• Option A – No buildings would close. No savings.
• Option B – Edison, Hamilton, Holmes, Lindbergh and Roosevelt elementary schools would close. Pre-K through fifth- grade programs would go to the Franklin and Hoover buildings. Kenmore Middle School would house grades six and seven, and the two high schools would include eighth-graders – in separate wings. Estimated savings: $3.6 million.
• Option C – Edison and Holmes elementary schools, and Kenmore Middle School would close. Pre-K to first-grade students would go to Hamilton, Lindbergh and Roosevelt; grades two through four to the Franklin Building; five through seven to the Hoover Building; and the two high schools would include eighth-graders. Estimated savings: $2.7 million.
• Option D – Edison, Holmes and Roosevelt elementary schools would close. Hamilton and Lindbergh would host pre-K and kindergarten; grades one through three would go to the Franklin Building; and four through six to the Hoover Building. Seventh-graders would go to Kenmore Middle School and grades eight to 12 to the high schools. Estimated savings: $2.1 million.
• Option E – Holmes and Roosevelt elementary schools, along with Kenmore Middle School, would close. Edison, Hamilton and Lindbergh elementary schools would house pre-K through first grade; grades two to four at the Franklin Building; and five to seven at the Hoover Building. Grades eight through 12 would be in the high schools. Estimated savings: $2.7 million.
• Option F – Holmes, Lindbergh and Roosevelt elementary schools would close. Pre-K and kindergarten would be in Edison and Hamilton elementary schools; grades one to three in the Franklin Building; four to six in Hoover; seven in Kenmore Middle School; and eight through 12 in the high schools. Estimated savings: $2 million.
• Option G – Holmes Elementary School would close. Pre-K through fifth grade would be offered in Edison, Franklin, Hamilton, Hoover, Lindbergh and Roosevelt. Hoover and Franklin middle schools would offer grades six through eight; and the high schools grades nine through 12. Estimated savings: $1.6 million.
• Option H – Edison, Holmes and Roosevelt elementary schools, as well as Kenmore Middle School, would close. Hamilton and Lindbergh would house the pre-K and kindergarten program; grades one through three would be at the Franklin Building and four through six at the Hoover Building. Grades seven through nine would be in Kenmore East; and 10 through 12 at Kenmore West High School. Estimated savings: $3.1 million.
The consultants will present their findings at public meetings at 7 p.m. Monday in Kenmore West High School and Tuesday in Hoover Middle School. Friday is the deadline to apply to serve on the focus group; applications are available at the meetings, the district’s administration building and some municipal offices.