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Massena Board of Education approves consultant for consolidation study

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MASSENA - Massena Central School Board of Education members have approved the appointment of a consultant who will take up to 10 days to study possible consolidation or stacking of grades in the district.

Dr. Bruce Fraser, executive director of the New York State Rural Schools Association, will be paid $500 a day, plus mileage, for a maximum of 10 days.

Interim Superintendent William H. Flynn recommended the move, noting Dr. Fraser has done consolidation studies for other school districts and had agreed to do Massena’s study, which will “discuss various possibilities” in how the schools are organized.

In April, board members discussed looking at options that could potentially help the district operate more effectively and in a less costly manner. Among the suggestions was looking at consolidating the junior and senior high buildings.

They also wanted to look “stacking” the elementary schools, which wold segregate grade levels at an individual building rather than having each building continue to function as a kindergarten through grade six facility.

The district currently has three K-6 elementary schools - Jefferson on Bayley Road off Route 37, Nightengale on Nightengale Avenue off Route 37 and Madison on Owl Avenue off North Main Street.

Mr. Flynn said stacking would allow them to consolidate some services so that areas such as special education and Title 1 opportunities could focus on specific grades. He said those types of services would be more focused.

In addition, he said, principals could focus on managing particular grades rather than an entire K-6 school.

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