Potsdam-Canton school merger committee analyzes enrollment, finances
Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 5:53 pm

By JIMMY LAWTON

CANTON -- The second Canton-Potsdam school merger committee meeting held earlier this month analyzed enrollment and finances associated with Canton and Potsdam school districts.

The meeting included a presentation by representatives from Western New York Education Services Council, Buffalo, the consulting firm tasked with leading the study. They focused on cost comparisons of the districts’ operating expenses and analyzed birth rates in order to project enrollments.

The meeting was held at Canton Central School and included a tour of the facility.

Following the tour, the committee also discussed the school buildings and occupancy limits.

From now until May, the committee and consulting firm will meet at least once a month. Each meeting will include a specific topic.

On Jan. 8, the committee will tour Potsdam Central School where the consulting firm will give a presentation on “curriculum and instruction.”

The presentations are available https://sites.google.com/a/potsdam.k12.ny.us/cpmerger/jac-work-session-2.... Handouts with additional information can also be found on the website.

Once all the information is gathered, discussed and analyzed, Canton and Potsdam board of education members will have to approve the study.

Brady said the study will not be an exact plan for what do if the schools decide to merge, but much of the information included would be used to create such a plan should the voters in both districts decide it to merge.

The Potsdam-Canton school joint-merger committee includes 28 members with 14 from Potsdam Central and the other half from Canton Central.

The committee includes people representing a variety of interests including parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, universities, administrators, students, senior citizens, arts, businesses and athletics.

Canton Central School members include:

• Christopher Downs, parents, Banford Elementary

• Janet Warner, parent, McKenney Middle School

• Ronda Curtis, parent, Hugh C. Williams High School

• Mary McGovern, teacher,

• Thomas Van de Water, teacher

• Sarah Rivers, student

• Gary Couglar, non-teaching staff

• Patrick Hanss, higher education, SUNY Canton

• Justin Sipher, higher education, St. Lawrence University

• Joseph McDonough, administrator

• Varick Chittenden, retired community

• Paul Doty, arts

• Jessica Zuhlsdorf, business

• John Taillon, athletics

Potsdam Central School members include:

• Natalie Higley, parents, high school

• Kim Busch, parent, middle school

• Maureen Moose, parent, Lawrence Avenue Elementary

• Emily Brouwer, teacher

• Robin Hart, teacher

• Bill Sokol, student

• Allison Adams, non-teaching staff

• Brian Grant, higher education, Clarkson University

• Melissa Cummings, higher education, SUNY Potsdam

• Joann Chambers, administrator

• Elizabeth Fogarty, senior community

• Theresa Witmer, arts

• Rob Bicknell, business

• Mindi Sharlow, athletics