Tonawanda News

September 23, 2013

Ken-Ton board to hold special meeting

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton school board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Phillip Sheridan building to discuss the district's pending consolidation options and a state-mandated improvement plan. 

Board President Bob Dana said the district improvement plan must be sent to the state by Oct. 1. Dana said the board will also be discussing potential consolidation plans.

"We've really only discussed it in public once, and we want to make sure we are on the same page," he said. 

Dana also said they are considering sending out a survey for residents to allow them to provide feedback about the consolidation options.

"We had the focus group, and as we continue to develop things, we want to continue getting feedback," he said. 

At the last official meeting about the consolidation project, which is aimed at reducing costs and right-sizing, the board charged the superintendent to more closely examine three consolidation scenarios. 

The first option would include the closing of Kenmore Middle School and Holmes Elementary. High school students would report to Kenmore East and Kenmore West, while middle school students would go to Franklin and Hoover middle schools. Pre-K through grade five would be served at Franklin, Hamilton, Hoover, Lindbergh and Roosevelt elementary schools.

Superintendent Mark Mondanaro said he was asked to look at the plan with a broad perspective and stay open to closing different schools than the ones initially proposed.

The second option would use both Kenmore West and Kenmore East as a junior high school for grades 7 through 12. Students up to grade six would report to the Hoover and Franklin complexes.

Mondanaro said he was also asked to look at having two other themed elementary schools as well under that option.

The third option includes grouping schools by grade level, with 8 through 12 reporting to the two high schools, Kindergarten through grade 4 at a handful of elementary schools and grades 5 through 7 at the Hoover and Franklin complexes.

Under the district's schedule for the consolidation plan, the fall will be used for the continuation of an analysis phase — and the public will be updated at regular board meetings.

A preliminary analysis report will be shared in late 2013, and the final report on the options will be shared in January 2014. The board is then set to consider voting on one of the options in February 2014.

If a plan is approved, the option will take effect in the 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 academic year.