Answers to Your Questions
Answers to Ed 2020 Questions - March 10, 2020
Question: How much notice will be given if sixth grade is moved to the middle school? Will schools (and parents) receive ample notice to plan for end of the year events, especially for fifth and sixth-graders?
Answer: Yes, the community will receive ample notice regarding any changes so that everyone (parents, teachers, etc.) can plan accordingly. The district also will need this time to finalize plans such as student placement, teacher placement and transportation. We don’t anticipate any changes taking place prior to September 2021, however that timeline could change. We will continue to update families throughout the process.
Question: How will goals be re-evaluated to ensure they are met? Will there be a team in place to look at this? I’m specifically thinking about the extra mental health support as well as reading support.
Answer: As superintendent, Dr. Potter submits annual goals to the Board of Education - some academic or facility improvements, while others may be more aligned with behavioral expectations for students. As such, the district has an obligation to find mechanisms to measure these initiatives with data. The district does not see that process changing. What would be different would possibly be the outcome expectations. The district will continue to support and monitor all of the school’s responsibilities for student success.
Question: Can there be one easy access page to view questions and answers that have all come in rather than only see them a few at a time?
Answer: All of the questions the district has received and answered have been posted on the Liverpool Central School District Web site. You can access those questions and answers by visiting http://www.liverpool.k12.ny.us/community/education-2020/answers-to-your-questions/. We will continue to update that page as we continue to receive questions from the community.
Question: Is it true that Nate Perry Elementary would most likely be the elementary school to close?
Answer: At this time, no decision has been made regarding which elementary school will be closed. This is part of the decision-making process the Board of Education is exploring and ultimately will vote on by June 2020.
Question: We know that students in grades 3-8 will go to campus schools, but where would the K-2 students be dispersed?
Answer: Right now the district has nine elementary schools with five of those buildings being stand-alone elementary schools (Donlin Drive Elementary, Elmcrest Elementary, Long Branch Elementary, Nate Perry Elementary and Willow Field Elementary). If the Board of Education approves the proposed reconfiguration, K-2 students will be dispersed into four of those buildings.
Question: How will transportation (pick up and drop off) times be impacted, especially for elementary families who may have children in both a K-2 and 3-8 building? Will one set of grades start earlier than the other? In turn, will one set of grades arrive home later than the other?
Answer: Currently the Liverpool Central School District has a three-tiered transportation system. High school students are assigned to the first tier; middle school students and four elementary schools are assigned to the middle tier; and the remaining five elementary schools are picked up during the third tier of the transportation schedule. The tiers then work in reverse after school. The Transportation Department would continue to follow that three-tier scheduling model in the future, however, at this time we do not have specific details regarding which schools would be assigned to the second or third tiers.
Question: What is the estimated difference in class size with this proposal? You mentioned during a presentation that this proposal will decrease class size. With current numbers as they are, what do you suspect class size to be?
Answer: Based on the details included in the Education 2020 presentation, both the staff and community want the district to adhere to the District Regulation to maintain class sizes. Currently, we have elementary school buildings that are capped in many grade levels (requiring students to be transported to alternative school sites), while we have elementary buildings that may be significantly below the district's class-size expectation. The proposal would allow for more consistent class sizes and allow students to attend the schools closest to their homes. The opportunity presented within the Education 2020 proposal that looks at a quadrant-style re-zoning would help maximize the sections within each of the specific building sites. We don’t have the ability to specifically identify the enrollment changes or shifts, but based on our enrollment projections it is anticipated we will continue to see subtle enrollment reductions over the next two to three years. It’s hopeful the enrollment will bottom-out over the next three to five years.
Question: What are the projected cost savings for this proposal? I realize the government funding varies year to year but can you estimate savings if two buildings close? Can you also estimate the number of FTE’s that will decrease as a result of this change?
Answer: The district estimates that closing two buildings (meaning the sites no longer have student programs) would mean a savings of $300,000. This number is obviously contingent on how the building is being used after it’s closed (based on the amount of maintenance requirements - heating, lighting, plowing, mowing, etc.). The FTE question is a bit more elusive. As you point out, state funding is a significant unknown. As many folks may be aware, there is a state funding requirement that has not been followed since its inception in 2006. The Governor has the ability to modify and change public school funding at his discretion. Given the proposal is likely two or more years away, the true data on Liverpool’s revenue would [at best] be a guesstimate. Further, the district intends to utilize the reduction in classroom staffing costs (by reducing the number of sections) with increased program and staffing needs based on student needs (i.e., mental health, reading, literacy, special areas, CTE, etc.).
Question: Will school start times change with this new proposal so that highschoolers actually start later, to support the research out there?
Answer: Modified School Start Times are not a part of the Education 2020 initiative at this time.
Question: I would like to know if the committees looked back at prior studies that were done regarding grade configuration. Several years ago the district spent $50,000 and one year researching various grade configurations and making recommendations regarding phasing out an elementary school. I understand that things change in education and demographics, but are you just trying to reinvent the wheel?
Answer: We have looked at some of the previous recommendations (specifically grade configuration recommendations) as well as reviewed some of the current data from neighboring school districts that have changed or have existing configurations for supporting evidence with models of success. Obviously, the complex sites in Liverpool provide a highly unique scenario that may not exist in other district settings.
Question: Will these changes mean my child will stay at their current elementary or middle school or will they change schools?
Answer: Where students will go to school will be determined after the Board of Education votes on the proposed changes.
Answers to Ed 2020 Q & A - February 28, 2020
Q: How would the proposed campus (3-8) schools be set up?
A: The Liverpool Central School District currently has what it considers four combined campuses: Chestnut Hill Elementary/Middle, Liverpool Elementary/Middle, Morgan Road Elementary/Liverpool High School Annex and Soule Road Elementary/Middle. Two of those campuses feature connected buildings – MRE/Annex and SRE/SRM - while the other two campuses - CHE/CHM and LE/LMS - feature two separate buildings. If the Board of Education approves the proposed reconfiguration, students in grades 3-5 will be housed on what has traditionally been the elementary side of those campuses, while students in grades 6-8 will be housed on what has traditionally been the secondary sides of those campuses. For the two buildings that currently are connected, curriculum and scheduling keep the younger students and the older students separated during the school day. That would continue to be the case if those buildings become campus schools.
Q: What about transportation? Will students in grades 3-5 have to ride the same bus as students in grades 6-8?
A: Interestingly enough, many Liverpool Central School District elementary students already ride the school bus home with middle school students. This is particularly true at Chestnut Hill Elementary/Middle, Liverpool Elementary/Middle and Soule Road Elementary/Middle. Each building follows a system at the end of the day where the elementary students are dismissed first, followed approximately five minutes later by the middle school students. This allows the younger students to get settled on their school bus before the middle school students join them. It also allows each building to create a well-ordered atmosphere at dismissal time.
Answers to Ed 2020 Q & A - August 15, 2019
Q: Is it true that LCSD will soon stop providing students with their class ranking and no longer have a Top 60 list or a valedictorian? If so, what is the reason for this change?
A: This topic has been discussed at the high school and district levels, but no decision has been made at this time. Eliminating class rankings is a growing trend nationally, however there is a misconception about this practice. Schools will still weigh courses, have GPAs, and rank internally so that students can use that information when applying for scholarships. In addition, class rank is not viewed as an important attribute for acceptance into colleges and universities. Instead they look at grades, rigor of classes, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and SAT/ACT scores to determine acceptance. Currently several districts in the area – including Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt and Skaneateles – do not rank their students and North Syracuse decided to stop ranking students this past year.
Answers to Ed 2020 Q & A - June 27, 2019
Q: Are you considering moving sixth-graders to the middle schools along with seventh- and eighth-graders?
A: Moving sixth-graders to the middle schools is just one of the grade reconfiguration options that the Education 2020 Committee has been exploring. All of the options the committee is exploring will provide students with more opportunities and allow the district to take advantage of a more efficient use of facilities.
Q: Are you considering closing the Annex and housing all ninth-graders in the main building along with grades 10-12?
A: If the district decides to reconfigure the middle schools to include students in grades six through eight, there will be a need for an additional middle school. Moving the Annex students up to the main building would open up space for that middle school, and the current set-up at the Annex would accommodate the curriculum needs for those students.
Q: What is the earliest any changes will go into effect?
A: The earliest any changes would take place would be the 2021-2022 school year.
Q: Has any decision been made on the possibility of switching the high school hours with the elementary schools?
A: No decision has been made in regards to modifying start times for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Answers to Ed 2020 Q & A - June 20, 2019
Q: Will the results of this poll taken by 760 district employees be released to the public?
A: We will publish the results of both the staff and community surveys in the fall.
Q: When will Elmcrest Elementary close?
A: No decision has been made in regards to closing ANY Liverpool Central School District building. The purpose behind the Education 2020 Committee’s Community Survey is to see if the community supports the ideas the committee has been exploring, which includes the possibility of closing school buildings. The committee will make its recommendations to the Board of Education in late fall or early winter 2019.
Q: If the district changes the current grade configuration at the elementary and middle school levels, will my child still receive the same services that he or she currently receives?
A: Any service a student receives as part of their education in the Liverpool Central School District continues with them regardless of the grade level or building they attend.
Q: Why do some buildings have summer programs while others do not? Could that change in the future?
A: Currently four Liverpool Central School District buildings (Chestnut Hill, Donlin Drive, Liverpool and Long Branch Elementary) participate in the Summer Bridge Program. This program was made possible through a federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant that enabled Contact Community Services to provide these programs in our schools. These programs began in 2017 and will extend through the 2021 school year (although that is dependent upon federal funding allocations). The four schools currently participating were selected because they met the criteria of the grant. One of the topics the Education 2020 Committee has explored is expanding the number of summer opportunities for our students, however no official decision has been made.
Q: Will curriculum be streamlined from building to building at the elementary level? I am referring to reading, writing and math curriculum across the district.
A: The Education 2020 Committee is looking to streamline a number of topics with its proposed plan, including curriculum, mental health & security, and extra-curricular opportunities. A streamlined curriculum would be a top priority for the committee.