Too often in the process of looking at the challenges and opportunities of merging school districts the focus is on only the money – be it the incentive aid offered by the State, the tax levies affected by the combining of districts or the savings offered by the consolidation of services and personnel.
Lost in the discussion can be the most important part of any merge – the students of the districts. While there are lots of issues important to our students, one that we heard a lot about during the attempt to merge Herkimer, Ilion, Mohawk and Frankfort was about specific courses that might be available if the districts joined together.
The most recent study involving only Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk actually has supplied a listing of classes presently taught in the three districts. This allows a cross comparison of the specific courses that can be offered in a merged school district. The study team reviewed courses in all three schools and determined the degree to which courses matched up between districts. It was then possible to see what courses any given district doesn’t presently offer but could be offered through a merger, since personnel and course plans would already be in place.
Based on this cross referencing, it is now possible to see what new types of courses students from the existing districts will have available to them in the new merged district. An earlier post on this blog actually has a partial listing of specific courses that students in the current districts would have available when the merger takes place.
Below are some graphics to help get a better sense of the impact of these new offerings for students just in terms of core subject areas – namely English, Math, Science and Social Studies. These are the types of courses that often are the most important in preparing students for the rigors of college.
In the end, as you can also see, students from each of the three districts stand to gain access to a considerably greater number of core courses than they have now. Students from Ilion would have access to nearly 20 new courses just among core subjects; Herkimer students would see a total of almost 30 new course offerings in English, Math, Science and Social Studies; and students from Mohawk could have access to more than 40 new core subject courses !
Click on any of the graphics below to see how access to new courses in each of the core subjects impacts students from your district !
|Number of New English Classes|
|Number of New Math Classes|
|Number of New Science Classes|
|Number of New Social Studies Classes|
|Total Increase in New Core Courses For Students|