Facing a budget deficit, a Hudson Valley school district will be redistricting, including the closing of one of its elementary schools.
In Ulster County, the Saugerties School District announced that the Board of Education has approved a plan to redistrict, including shuttering the doors at Mt. Marion Elementary School.
“Last spring, the Board of Education tasked me with creating a committee of stakeholders to help the District face the upcoming budget deficit as well as maintain and improve programming for all students,” Superintendent Kirk Reinhardt announced.
“I firmly believe that our redistricting plan will help us to embrace and promote these core values.”
Reinhardt said that his team met with faculty, staff, parents, and guardians and determined what was most important to maintain in the school district while cutting costs.
“A few but not all of the core values mentioned were balancing of class size, equal access, and opportunities, curriculum consistency between all buildings, Kindergarten-Grade 6 enrichment, increased Advanced Placement (AP), Collegiate, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) electives, and performing arts,” he said.
Moving forward, the Saugerties Central School District will comprise of three elementary schools that are grades K-6, maintaining the Cahill, Riccardi, and Grant elementary schools while repurposing Mt. Marion Elementary School to a Pre-Kindergarten program.
District officials said that they will be redrawing elementary school boundaries “to help balance enrollment and class size” inside the buildings.
“Although a preliminary redistricting map has been circulating, this is not the final map. Over the next few months, the Administrative Team and the Transportation Department will continue to evaluate the situation with the goal of developing a scenario that will be sustainable and will work well into the future,” Reinhardt said.
“We all know how emotional a change like this can be, but unfortunately this was a decision that needed to be made. I believe it will bring about tremendous opportunities for our students that we were unable to provide previously.”
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