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Ogdensburg City School looks to close Sherman early

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The Ogdensburg City School District is looking to get a head start on plans to close Sherman Elementary School in order to save an estimated $100,000 next year.

The school currently educates children in kindergarten through second grade and, along with Lincoln Elementary School, was slated to be closed within the next two years regardless.

“We are 80 percent certain we could do this,” said Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

Because construction on a 17 classroom addition at the John F. Kennedy School is not yet complete, the building would only be able to accept Sherman’s second graders. Kindergarten and first grade students would be temporarily located at Lincoln.

“You’d be able to save money by not having to move lunches over there, not having to clean the building or heat the building,” said Jeffrey R. Swanson, Ogdensburg City School District business manager.

Mr. Vernsey said that saving $100,000 equates to saving two teacher’s jobs.

Frederick P. Bean, president of the Board of Education, said speeding up the closure of Sherman would be welcome.

“We can save a lot of money by doing it and hopefully save jobs,” he said.

Mr. Vernsey said he will be sending out notices to parents within the next week to get input from the community.

“I think parents will be okay with it,” he said.

Mr. Swanson said the administration will give the Board of Education details on exactly how much money could be saved by closing Sherman early at January’s meeting.

The decision, said Mr. Vernsey, is not definitive.

Mr. Vernsey added that the move would have “no significant impact on class size” at the receiving school.

The district is also beginning to look at potential cost saving mechanisms for next year, including looking at “all areas of personnel, upcoming retirements and the need to replace them,” said Mr. Vernsey.

Over the past four years, more than 50 positions have been cut.

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