In an effort to continue finding cost-cutting opportunities in the budgetary process, the school board examined the projected district enrollment and staffing to enrollment ratios at their March 9 meeting.

In an effort to continue finding cost-cutting opportunities in the budgetary process, the school board examined the projected district enrollment and staffing to enrollment ratios at their March 9 meeting.

Administrators have kept records of student and staff numbers since 20004 to 2005, when Gananda had 1,205 students enrolled. This year there are 1,108, with next year’s projection close to the same. With Kindergarten through eighth grade seeing student numbers decrease by 20 or more in the last six years, the district might be able to increase class sizes.

“There’ve been changes and shifts in our enrollment, and we really haven’t done a lot of changes to our staffing,” Superintendent Shawn VanScoy told the board, as he went on to explain his recommendations.

VanScoy suggested that, in order to reduce the amount of sections per grade to four, it would be possible to increase class sizes in grades K through 8 to a maximum of 23 students, a minimum 19 students.

The board discussed keeping five sections of kindergarten and first grade classes intact, each class with 16 or 17 students, to avoid what they said was the false economy of less instructional staff earlier, which could result in more remedial staff later.

The district will also be looking into the possibility of using more teacher aides and assistants, should the cost prove more economical.

In keeping with money-saving topics of discussion, VanScoy informed the board that he was in the final stages of preparing a list of ideas for cutting costs, ideas  brainstormed by the board in February. In March he will meet with the teachers union and staff to discuss options.

“We’ll try to set it up as here’s the brainstorm, here are the cost savings, and here are some notes based on what the positive or negative impact that brainstorm topic would have,” VanScoy said. “Then I’ll bring recommendations based on that.”

In other business, the board:

HEARD — that the Young Entrepreneurs Academy investors panel presentation will take place March 16. Seven community organizations and businesses that have financially supported the event, are on the panel and will adjudicate. Nine student teams will have six minutes to present their business idea to the panel for a chance to win money toward starting their own business. 

“They did a dress rehearsal the other day,” High School Principle Kelly VanLaeken said. “I’m ready to whip out my checkbook now. Some of their ideas are amazing.”

DISCUSSED — the Selective Classification policy, which allows students with exceptional athletic abilities permission to try out for teams above their grade level. The athletic department’s procedure is first to ascertain the emotional and academic status of the student in question. Then, there are state and department tests the student must complete, at which point they can to try out. The process, which is considered on an individual basis, does not guarantee placement, and in theory extends to seventh grade.

APPROVED — the surplus of 2 school buses, which will be given to Macedon in exchange for grounds and roads services. The buses will be used in Macedon’s highway and police departments.