Local school districts are continuing to keep an eye on COVID-19, with positive cases rising in Ulster County and concerns of the Omicron variant and further spread during the holidays. But they also caution that protocols are working in schools, and the amount of cases among students since the start of the academic year are still relatively low, with a few noting that it’s believed most of the spread happens outside of school.
Saugerties | Schools
The Ulster BOCES whistle-stop tour of local school districts hit Saugerties recently as Superintendent Charles Khoury shared plans for a $39-million capital project for improvements at their Port Ewen and New Paltz locations. Should districts like Saugerties approve the plan, Khoury said, they would have greater flexibility over how to structure financing.
Saugerties Central School District Business Manager Jane St. Amour recently detailed a potential $12.5-million budget gap by 2026 as part of a long-range financial projection presented to the Board of Education.
School officials in the Saugerties Central School District are leaning toward closing Mount Marion Elementary School should they go ahead with plans to reconfigure their schools to address a dwindling student population and a looming $12.5 million budget gap over the next four years.
For the first time in generations, there are going to be significant renovations to the facilities under control of the Ulster County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, better known as BOCES. The open question is how the bills for the project are to be paid. BOCES administrators came to the November 3 School Board meeting in New Paltz to explain alternatives: either trustees of the eight school boards in the county decide how to finance their proportional share, or county voters can decide on a bond package by voting on a referendum.
Saugerties School officials are mulling holding the 2022 junior/senior prom outdoors in the Village of Saugerties as opposed to a more traditional banquet facility.
At 2,399, the Saugerties Central School District’s student population is fewer than half of that of the Kingston City School District, but their COVID-19 numbers since the start of the 2021-22 school year have outpaced other districts in Ulster County.
The potential closure of a Saugerties Central School District elementary school and reconfiguration of the remaining three has already garnered significant opposition, despite school officials noting that the current model is unsustainable given a dwindling student population and nearly $10 million in anticipated budget gaps over the next three years.
Ulster BOCES last week made the Kingston City School District the first stop on a tour of local school districts, sharing plans for a $39 million capital project for improvements at its Port Ewen and New Paltz locations.
Less than a month into the 2021-22 academic year local school districts are dealing with COVID cases quite differently than they might have in the past. But while cases are on the decline in Ulster County, school officials are still touting vigilance as an important measure to keep schools as safe as possible.