Monday, December 22, 2014

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Northern NY

Liverpool moves forward with redistricting

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Liverpool students could be moving around the district in 2013. Officials are moving forward with a plan to redraw district lines to better balance student populations. The Building Facility Utilization Committee met Tuesday night to start to put together a plan. Our Katie Gibas tells us what the initial thoughts are on how to move the district forward.

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. -- No two classrooms are alike, particularly when you look at the northern versus southern schools in the Liverpool School District.

"Some of the schools are just booked. They're just 100 percent. And then we have other schools that have vacant space, so, obviously, you look at that and say 'Something's got to change,'" said Dr. Richard Johns, the Liverpool Superintendent.

John Kennedy, the Liverpool Building Facility Utilization Committee Chair, added, "It's never been redistricted and the community is being bused left, right and center and we need to change it."

After the board of education voted unanimously Monday night to move forward with redistricting, the sub-committee in charge of making recommendations met Tuesday to hash out some of the details. The declining student enrollment, coupled with rapid development on the district's northside, has brought the issue of disparities in school populations to the forefront of district officials' minds.

"What we're trying to accomplish is get that kid who's being bused from the Village up to Willowfield is the closest school to his home. It's that simple. And unfortunately, it's also that complicated because there's all kinds of things that go into it," said Kennedy.

At this point, nothing is set in stone, except for the fact that district officials are discussing the best ways to move forward with redistricting Liverpool's schools and one of the options that came to table was whether or not to close an elementary school.

"We were kind of rapidly shrinking and now it's much more stable than it was. The urgency to close a building maybe diminishes a little bit if our population isn't going down very quickly," said Dr. Johns.

As part of redistricting, the sub-committee will also discuss grade reconfiguration to accommodate the district's space needs. A decision on whether or not to recommend closing an elementary school should be made at their meeting next Wednesday.

The district does not plan to hire an outside firm for redistricting. All research is being done by internal employees. At this point, they have not budgeted for the actual redistricting. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP