April 27, 2011
About 30 members of the Mayfield and Northville Community Advisory
Committees (CAC) learned about the merger study process and examined a
list of questions their districts will want answered during a meeting
Monday, April 25, at Northville High School.
The study, conducted by SES Study Team, will help determine if a merger between the Mayfield and Northville Central School Districts would meet three goals: expand student opportunities, improve efficiencies, and reduce costs.
At the completion of the study, which is scheduled to conclude no later than Nov. 15, the boards of education and the communities will vote to decide whether to go ahead with a merger. SES member Douglas A. Exley said it was important that members from both communities met each other.
“They saw what would take place during the meetings. They also received the first data sets so they could understand where we are headed,” he said. “There were also many good questions from the committee members and they were very open to the process and seem very willing to work hard to do what’s best for their communities.”
The study is being paid for through a $35,000 Local Government Efficiency Grant from New York State. Each district also contributed $5,000.
During the meeting, the committee members received the first collection of data, including census demographic information and specific enrollment data for each district.
SES member Paul Seversky said the public should visit each district’s website for updated information and all of the same data that the community advisory committees are reviewing. The agendas for each meeting will also be online.
The SES Team has a multi-faceted roll during the study. In addition to organizing the study process and developing the final study document, they will also: research, collect and organize various data on the two districts; listen to citizens and school personnel; document various perceptions about the data collected and analyzed by the community advisory committees; and help ensure public transparency of the entire process.
“The main role of the guest consultants is to hold up a mirror to the data of both schools to enable the communities to collaboratively discuss a consolidation option for the future of the school districts,” Seversky added.
The study team presented a list of questions that both boards of education and the school district superintendents identified at a prior joint planning session. The questions fall into three categories: the Education Program, Finance, and Community and other. The top five questions for the study included:
How could grade levels be organized and where?
How does a reorganized district manage from day one in preparation for when the incentive aid ends in 14 years?
What are the strengths that the two schools bring to a potential new school district
What is the current “condition” of each district’s budget (ex. debt, revenue, financial resources)?
What is a five-year outlook for such items as enrollment, revenue, and expenditures?
During the meeting, the CACs added some additional questions for the study and the Boards of Education also appointed each member of the CAC to serve on three subcommittees:
Educational Programs, focusing on academic core areas and special areas, advanced placement and college courses, and extracurricular offerings. Also, online and distance learning and other technologically based instruction are examined.
Finance, Personnel, Governance, and Local Assurances and Guidelines, focusing on: personnel, property tax information, state aid revenues, and costs associated with various models of how the district might reorganize.
Functional Services/Operations, which will explore issues such as student transportation, food service/cafeteria program, building operations/ maintenance functions, and school business functions.
The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 11 in the cafeteria of Mayfield Jr./Sr. High School.