Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District administrators are studying ways to minimize the number of times some students have to switch schools under a districtwide reorganization plan.
Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro told parents in a letter that the district is analyzing several options in response to questions from parents about how the closure of three schools in 2016-17 will affect their children.
Some of the questions the district is exploring include:
• Would it be possible to allow high school students slated to move from Kenmore West to Kenmore East to remain at Kenmore West through graduation?
• Is there a way to lessen the impact on former students of Jefferson Elementary who already had to switch to a new building when the school closed in 2013?
• Could the district stop sending kindergartners to the two elementary schools scheduled to close, Roosevelt and Hamilton, in 2015-16 and instead send those kindergartners directly to the elementary schools they would attend under the reorganization plan?
Mondanaro, in the letter, also told parents the district is exploring options for sixth graders scheduled to enter Kenmore Middle School a year before it is scheduled to close, as well as ways to lessen the impact of the school district transition on “crossover” areas of the district that are most affected by the plan.
The district has also created two online applications to help parents determine which schools their children will attend under the transition plan beginning in 2016-17 compared to the schools they are currently scheduled to attend.
“There’s always going to be concerns when you’re talking about closing schools and where my child is going to go, especially when you’re redistricting as much as we are,” said Board of Education President Bob Dana. “There is a possibility a child might have to transfer more than once, and the superintendent really has been working very hard trying to minimize that.”
The school board in early April approved a redistricting plan that will close two elementary schools and one middle school to address a long-term decline in enrollment in the district. In addition to closing the three schools beginning in 2016-17, the plan will move all of the district’s eighth graders to the high schools. Benjamin Franklin and Herbert Hoover middle schools would then serve fifth through seventh grades.