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Talk of cooperation is turning into action as four of the Cheektowaga school districts are working out the details for their first joint venture, a shared summer school program.

After two fruitless efforts, representatives of all four school boards met again last month, trying to find common ground for savings.

The third time seems to have been a charm.

"The response had been kind of lukewarm, but there was much more enthusiasm this time," said Edward Bednarczyk, president of the Cheektowaga-Sloan School Board, who proposed the joint board meetings.

The districts have agreed to pursue a shared summer school program for high school students from the four districts -- Cheektowaga Central, Maryvale, Cleveland Hill and Cheektowaga-Sloan.

Bednarczyk said summer school was the most "doable" and most immediately necessary project on the list of possible collaborations.

With tougher state standards, Bednarczyk said, the districts all have an urgent need to provide additional instruction for students during the summer months.

But that is expensive for districts on their own.

An independent summer school program being planned for the Cleveland Hill School District carries an estimated price tag of $82,000.

Cleveland Hill Superintendent Bruce Inglis said his district is proceeding with its own plans for this summer, since officials don't expect the shared summer school program to be in operation until 2002.

"This still needs a little more discussion," Inglis said. "But this certainly sets the groundwork for next year as well as for other future endeavors."

In April, the four school boards will meet again to go over details of a shared summer school program.

Agenda items include cost, transportation and how subjects or grade levels would be divided among the four high schools.

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