Marie wiles

Excess space can be a matter of definition, the school board learned on Tuesday night.

Suburban schools — for decades a beacon, attracting city dwellers — are now feeling the effects of poverty, too.

"Where there's a will, there's a way," the school board president, Barbara Fraterrigo said, instructing administrators to find someone to teach another sixth-grade Italian class.

"We’re reaching into the metaphorical couch cushions, looking for change,” said the school superintendent of proposed cuts, after years of cutting, in next year's $93 million budget.

Guilderland's super has calculated that the cost for 23 Capital Region districts to meet new state requirements would total over $5 million; 59 teachers would need to be hired and qualified ESL teachers are in short supply.

GUILDERLAND — The school district is planning what it calls a summit conference for Nov. 19 in hopes of hatching a solution to its problems of declining enrollment and stagnant funding.

Ann-Marie McManus, who describes herself as "an educator through and through," left behind the classroom she loved to become an assistant principal at Guilderland High School.

The school board has set aside, for now, school-closure recommendations from a consultant's building capacity report following months of protests from those who want to keep Altamont Elementary School open.

More than half of the 27 applicants for focus groups to discuss building capacity were from Altamont; the school district is seeking diverse representatives from across the community and so has pushed back the date.

The superintendent offered an apology and called for a spirit of trust and cooperation as Altamont villagers continue to advocate for their school in the face of a proposed closing.


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