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Public airs ideas for school cuts, programs

In Warrensburg

During a community forum held Nov. 28 at Warrensburg High School, local resident Linda Apple talks about how extracurricular programs like sports, drama and music are vital to keeping students inspired and achieving well in their academics. Thomas Birdsall, (right) listens to her views while Paul Weick (foreground) listens to another group member.

During a community forum held Nov. 28 at Warrensburg High School, local resident Linda Apple talks about how extracurricular programs like sports, drama and music are vital to keeping students inspired and achieving well in their academics. Thomas Birdsall, (right) listens to her views while Paul Weick (foreground) listens to another group member. Photo by Thom Randall.

— At the other end of the table, Ruth Fruda suggested that the town and school district share services, equipment and facilities whenever possible.

Tom Birdsall of Thurman suggested that the school could expand its offerings by sharing specialized programs and teachers with neighboring school districts.

Sheila Mender of Warrensburg suggested that consolidating administrative services for school districts made sense. One superintendent and business manager could serve three or more school districts, she said.

Paul Weick, a teacher at Bolton Central, said that WCS could introduce such enhancements as advanced online courses, like Bolton does, at a reasonable cost.

“It’s a way to expand educational opportunities cost-effectively,” he said.

He also suggested that some staff development sessions could be eliminated.

Fourth grade teacher Chris Brown, as well as Irv West, proposed that volunteers in the community devote time to researching and obtaining grants to fund programs or equipment at the school. Brown also said more activities ought to be developed for students beyond the classroom.

Sullivan said that those planning for the school district’s future should not expect enrollment to fall any further, considering that thousands of new well-paid employees are expected to move into the region with the Global Foundries development in Malta.

“Let’s not be short-sighted,” he said.

John Palermo said he’d like to see some out-of-the box thinking on education.

“We need more innovation and experimentation to improve educational methodology,” he said.

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