A milestone is fast approaching in the potential reconfiguration of the Three Village Central School District’s building usage and start times. A survey is soon to be sent out to parents of the district with a link available to be viewed by community members designed to gauge community preferences.
Since the beginning of the school year, the district’s Strategic Planning Committee has been convening to discuss current operation functions and examine alternatives that provide increased opportunities for students and fiscal efficiencies. Concurrently, the committee has been collecting research submissions on the impact of various school start times and various school system models. The committee’s presentations, data collected, and minutes can be found at:
The outgoing survey will only include questions related to the reconfiguration. According to the district, the start time issue will be discussed further to better gauge the health impacts. The survey collection period will begin at 8 a.m. on February 2 and close at 5 p.m. on February 17.
Option A: Keep the present configuration.*
The district currently has five preschool-six grade elementary schools, two junior high schools (7-9), and one high school (10-12).
The present configuration has no parallels on Long Island. Throughout the entire state, the Three Village system falls into the 25% of schools that do not have a grade 6-8 middle school.
Keeping the current configuration keeps familiarity and certain conveniences, such as maintaining all community schools. However, it does not match NYSED standards, comes with expenses and has some programming disadvantages.
Option B: Move ninth grade to the high school and sixth grade to the middle school.
This plan follows a middle school model. It also follows the majority of school districts in the area. This would provide more course offerings for sixth graders that are currently unavailable and more course opportunities in general.
The elementary schools would see their sizes decrease. Students would also have to leave their home school for some specialized programming (this currently occurs in option 1).
Option C: Move ninth grade to the high school and maintain five preschool-sixth grade elementary schools. This option provides more course options and maintains neighborhood schools.
Sixth graders would not have enhanced opportunities as in Option B. Enrollment decline would lead to fewer sections per grade level and limits parent choice (also consequences of Option A & B). Likewise, students will still need to leave their homeschools for certain programming.
Option D: The “Princeton Plan” – two primary schools, two intermediate schools, two middle schools, and one high school.
The plan aligns with the New York State Department of Education standards, streamlines the schools and allows students to stay at their assigned school for all programing.
It would require the closure or repurposing of one elementary school and would increase the number of transitions between grade levels. It could also burden parents with an additional drop off time since there would be a break between second and third grade between primary and intermediate school. This system is the second most prevalent on Long Island.
Each plan has various fiscal considerations. Options A & B factor in that if enrollment continues to decline, an elementary school will have to close. Both options then factor in using the spare elementary school for the Academy.
Option D would see this factor in immediately in the reshuffling and have the closed elementary school repurposed for the Academy and create a school for the arts increasing revenues by approximately $3 million in non-resident tuition. The reduction in 17 elementary school teachers would also save $1.7 million.
Options B & C carry savings of $500,000 and $450,000, respectively, due to teacher and transportation cost reductions.
Option D also carries an increased transportation bill of approximately $2 million.
Prior to the survey’s release, some parents expressed their opinions on both reconfiguring and schedule adjustments at a Monday, January 23, board of education meeting – mostly pertaining to the latter.
“There are only six schools in the state that start as early as us,” said Dr. Kevin Scanlon, superintendent of schools, at the Monday meeting. “It has some budgetary implications, as Mr. Carlson said, so it is not something that we’re ignoring; we’re making some of those changes to budgets now.”
One parent raised concerns about where clubs and sports would go schedule-wise, warning that moving them to the morning to offset a later high school start date would be “counterproductive.”
“As a working parent with young elementary-age children, I don’t mind the configuration and start times,” said Anthony Figliola, a parent in the district to The Messenger. “However, I believe the high school should have a later start time – 6:10 a.m. pick-ups are terrible for teens.”
In conversations with The Messenger, some made reference to the 18-acre parcel of land owned by the district. According to the district, they “are not planning anything at the present time. The Facilities Committee will consider options for the future which may provide opportunities for revenue while fulfilling the covenant on the property.”
*The options presented are simplifications. For the complete text of the options, please visit: www.threevillagecsd.org/Assets/ Committees/011923_Options_to_Consider_ Edited_0103235.pdf?t=638097185823830000