Districts hold first merger forum
About 100 residents of the Ilion, Herkimer and
Mohawk school districts turned out Wednesday, June 6 at Mohawk's
Gregory B. Javis Junior-Senior High School auditorium for the first of
four community forums to discuss the proposed merger between the three
Superintendents Cosimo Tangorra of Ilion, Joyce
Caputo of Mohawk and Gary Tutty of Herkimer shared leading the
audience through a presentation of revised information and a
The evening begin with a brief slideshow reminding
attendees that the schools' biggest priority is the communities'
children. (see the slideshow in
low resolution or
For the next 20 minutes, the superintendents
pointed out the highlights of the revised merger study. Rather than
attempting to go over the entire study, they helped attendees identify
the ways the proposed three-school merger differs from the original
four-school plan. Each topic references pages from the study (view
as a PDF).
Following the presentation, they fielded questions
from the audience. (read
the questions and answers)
The superintendents covered:
Each district keeps one PreK-4 elementary
school (Remington closes).
Grades 5-6 attend current Jarvis HS
Grades 7-8 attend current Herkimer HS.
Grades 9-12 attend current Ilion HS.
Secondary (p. 33)
Administration (p. 35-36)
No changes in special education, business
office support, secretarial, food service, transportation, teacher
aides and assistants, or buildings and grounds. (p. 36-37)
Pre-K in each district. (p. 40)
School” program for K-4. (p. 29)
Expanded music, foreign
language, health, technology, home & careers for K-4. (p. 31)
Combined 7-12 electives adds a minimum of 51 new possible
classes. (p. 56-59)
Additional extracurriculars (p. 60), sports
(p. 61-63), and music. (p. 64-65)
Combined district-operated and contracted
buses. (p. 42)
K-4 students bused separately from 7-12. (p. 41)
Longest anticipated ride is 45 minutes. (p. 41) •Addition of a
late bus. (p. 42)
$59,935,009 in additional incentive aid. (p.
Pay down building debt. (p. 46) •Build savings.
Reduce property taxes. (p. 49)
Other community concerns
Safety – School Resource Officer at the high
school. (p. 39)
Transportation – bus rides shortened. (p. 41)
Curriculum – detailed new course, sports, the
arts & extracurricular offerings. (p. 56-65)
High school parking – new expanded parking at
How can you eliminate 14 secondary school
teachers and say you’re adding courses? What is this “economy of
scale” you talk about?
Example: Due to scheduling
and enrollment conflicts, each school has one teacher teaching
six students in the “Elective X” class. Combining districts,
one teacher could teach all 18 students freeing the other two
teachers to teach new courses.
Meetings (6 p.m., tours at 4:30 p.m.)
July 25: Herkimer HS
Aug. 9: Ilion HS
Aug. 22: HCCC
Sept. 12: Advisory Referendum
Oct. 18: Statutory Referendum
& vote to determine BOE make-up and terms of office
Dec. 19: BOE elections
May 14, 2013: Budget
July 1, 2013: New
district begins operations