West Genesee schools consider redistricting

Parents packed the library at Stonehedge Elementary in Camillus Thursday night. They want to know if their kids will have to switch schools in the years to come.

The district needs to be re-balanced, because enrollment has dramatically dropped in some schools. For example Onondaga Road and East Hill Elementary Schools have the same building setup but Onondaga has 150 fewer students. West Genesee Middle is smaller than Camillus Middle, but it has 160 more students.

"When the economy really started to get bad, we had a lot of, mostly elementary parents, that had to move out of the area to find work elsewhere and we had a significant decline in enrollment" said Superintendent Christopher Brown. "So about two years ago it became evident that we at least had to study this and take a look at what our alternatives and options would be."

A study paid for by a $20,000 grant will analyze enrollment at the four elementary and two middle schools, then make recommendations about redistricting to the Board of Education in May.

Right now, there are still a lot of unanswered questions for parents, like when and how it could impact their kids.

"Depending on where you live, you could have some children in one school and depending on when all this takes place, they could be changed to a different school. I just think we all need to have an open mind, because change is always difficult," said Liz Mossotti.

The study will also look at having a full day kindergarten.

If the school board votes to accept one of the plans presented in May, Superintendent Brown says changes wouldn't go into affect until at least the 2013-2014 school year.

There are a handful of meetings scheduled for the next few weeks. The next one is February 2nd at 6:30 at Camillus Middle School. You can also click here for more information on the ongoing study from the district.