As student enrollment continues to decline in the Bedford Central School District, officials are considering consolidating their elementary schools, closing two as part of their “long-range facilities plan development.”
The district commissioned three demographic studies, which determined that enrollment is on the decline and that each of the district’s five current elementary schools has excess capacity, which is expected to continue to grow.
Bedford had 3,915 students enrolled districtwide last year, a 10 percent decrease from just five years ago, when 4,367 students were enrolled. Officials noted that each of the district’s elementary schools is at less than 70 percent capacity.
In response, officials are considering shutting down at least two of the elementary schools, though their research is expected to continue with more studies. The district didn’t announce which schools could potentially be closed.
Schools Superintendent Christopher Manno said that moving forward, the district will have five objectives in mind:
- Preserve the quality of education for our students;
- Increase the efficiency of our organization;
- Minimize disruption for our school community;
- Be responsible stewards of taxpayer resources;
- Invest in maintenance and repair.
The district said, “in partnership with BCSD, Interactive, Inc. is on track to launch ‘Stakeholder Engagement’ activities during the fall. They will be convening focus groups and community forums, supplemented with web-surveys. Interactive, Inc. will share the results of its analysis, along with earlier demographic and program analyses, and the results of the community engagement activities to the Board of Education.”
The next presentation from Interactive, Inc. is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the next Board of Education Meeting at Fox Lane Middle School.
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