We’re exploring our options and will listen carefully

To the Editor:

On Monday, June 16, Guilderland Central School District held a community meeting with Dr. Paul Seversky, a consultant with the Planning Service at the Madison-Oneida BOCES, to discuss the results of the recent district-wide building capacity study. More than 100 residents — mostly parents — attended the meeting to learn more about the findings and options for consideration presented in Dr. Seversky’s report.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this important meeting. Your interest and participation was very much appreciated. However, there is still much more work to be done.

Guilderland is at the very beginning of what will certainly be a long and thorough analysis of data and research to determine whether or not there may be more cost-effective ways to deliver our K-12 programming.

While Dr. Seversky presented school leaders and the community with several options for possible consideration, they are all still just that — options. No decisions have been made at this point in time and the district is not recommending one option over another.

On Sept. 20, 2014, we will host a community focus group activity, facilitated by Dr. Seversky, to get direct feedback from residents about each of the six scenarios outlined in the building capacity study report. The focus group activity will be limited to 30 to 36 participants, representing a cross-section of individuals and organizations within the school district, and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Any district resident interested in participating as a focus-group member is invited to apply online at our website, www.guilderlandschools.org, no later than Aug. 8. The Board of Education will review all applications received and appoint selected volunteers to an ad-hoc Community Focus Group committee at the Aug. 19 board meeting.

For those individuals not selected or able to participate in the focus-group activity on Sept. 20, please know that there will be additional opportunities for you to weigh in on the building capacity study report throughout the fall/winter. The district is planning to hold additional community conversations on the topic (dates to be determined) and your feedback is always welcome through e-mails, phone calls, or in person.

Exploring our options about how best to deliver our K-12 program is a huge undertaking; we will not take this work lightly.   We will listen carefully to the perspectives of our entire community and hope that you will join us in this critical conversation.

Marie Wiles, superintendent
Guilderland Central School District 

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