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A continuing decline in enrollment in the North Tonawanda public schools may free up needed classroom space and could change the locations of support services such as remediation, gifted and talented instruction.

These are among conclusions reached by a Priority 2000 -- Plus action team headed by Susan L. Villiers, assistant superintendent of administrative services, and John E. Essler II, program services director.

The district reorganization report notes that:

Enrollment is expected to continue its decline through 2007, with a projected decrease of about 350 students over the next five years.

The decline is occurring in an uneven manner. The most significant decrease may be expected at Ohio and Meadow elementary schools, with smaller declines at Gilmore, Spruce and Drake schools.

The overall decreases in district enrollment may free up some classroom space needed at several elementary buildings, notably Gilmore and Drake, and to a lesser extent at Spruce.

At the middle schools, especially Reszel and at a lesser degree at Lowry, and also at the high school, where current classroom use is almost at the point of building capacity, low enrollment levels may serve to alleviate current space problems.

To use classroom space throughout the district more effectively, "it may be necessary to explore some minor redistricting adjustments to balance school sizes and building usage."

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