KENMORE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Some difficult decisions will have to be made to cut costs and improve education in the Ken-Ton School District.
Several proposals are up in the air, including plans to shut down some schools. The district is holding four informational meetings to discuss with parents the different scenarios for the future of Ken-Ton schools. One of the most dramatic plans would close five of the district's elementary schools.
A consulting firm has come up wish eight different scenarios for district to enact over the next three years.
Ken-Ton Superintendent Mark Mondanaro said, "They concentrate on just this and it would behoove us to at least get the information and make decisions based on the information."
The proposals range from changing nothing at all to shutting down elementary schools. Seven of the eight scenarios propose closing Holmes Elementary. Two of the scenarios involve shutting down Lindbergh Elementary.
"They're constantly ranked one of the top schools in New York State. The kids learn at a level that's very, very good," said Lindbergh Elementary parent John Craston. "I understand some of the schools might need to be consolidated but why would you shut down one of the best schools in the area?"
After the informational meetings, a focus group of residents and employees will be formed to discuss scenarios and then bring a report to the board. Then it is up to the district to make decisions.
"If it's anything like it's we've done in the past that would be done in an open fashion," Mondanaro said.
But some parents hope consolidations aren't in Ken-Ton's future.
Parent Jennifer Dalimonte said, "Even though it would be in the same school system, it's a stress for them to have to change schools and maybe going with new kids and everything. The kids are so comfortable where they are."
The informational meetings will not have question and answer sessions and will not discuss the scenarios. They are strictly to inform parents and residents about the conclusions made by the consulting firm.
Mondanaro said, "The best way we're going to win this game for kids is to keep some type of economic moat between us and all these things that keep happening. And sometimes keeping that moat means giving up some salaries, giving up some benefits. I can guarantee you at this point it always involves doing something you don't want to do."
The first meeting is Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in the Kenmore East auditorium. The following are the dates and times of the other meetings:
- 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25 in the Franklin Middle School auditorium
- 7 p.m. on Monday, April 29 in the Kenmore West auditorium
- 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 in the Hoover Middle School auditorium
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