Fort Edward UFSD/
South Glens Falls CSD Merger Study
June 14: Merger Study Committee Meeting Updates
March 3: Merger Study Committee Meeting Updates
A virtual meeting of the Merger Study Committee was held on was held on Monday, March 3. The meeting included an opportunity to review questions and for the committee to have further discussion about the information that has been presented so far.
Nov. 23: Merger Study Committee Meeting Updates
Nov. 2: Merger Study Committee Meeting Updates
Sept. 30: Joint Board Meeting of Fort Edward / South Glens Falls
The Fort Edward and South Glens Falls boards of education met on Thursday, Sept. 30 with the consultant Castallo & Silky, LLC to discuss the merger study. View a presentation from the consultant here.
Merger Study Assurances 2020
As we value a 21st century education for our students, a successful merger vote will provide resources to enhance student learning opportunities. A merger will also provide an opportunity to realize efficiencies. Therefore, in an effort to accomplish each of these outcomes, the BOE will discuss and determine the most appropriate way to maximize the additional merger aid to:
assess the means to aid taxpayers;
expand and enhance the academic program and educational opportunities offered to students;
provide funds to a reserve to address unforeseen issues that may arise, as well as maintaining the initiatives stated above.
The Fort Edward School building will remain open as long as possible taking into account the fiscal constraints and the enrollment needs of the district. The building will remain open for at least five years from the time of consolidation as a K-5 elementary school.
The Village of Fort Edward would be considered an attendance maintenance zone.
Students in K-5 may be transferred to a different elementary building only if enrollment is too low to create a section at Fort Edward.
All employees are valued. As such, the BOE will discuss the means to provide employment for as many staff members as possible. Strategies, such as utilizing retirements and attrition will be used to accomplish this goal.
There can be no guarantee that all Fort Edward employees will be hired by the South Glens Falls School District. Necessary employees of the Fort Edward Union Free School District will be hired by the South Glens Falls School District upon completion of the consolidation and upon review of staffing needs based on recommendations from the consultants and recommendations from the building level administrators. All Fort Edward Union Free School District employees will be compensated based on years of service and compensation outlined in the appropriate bargaining unit contracts currently in place in the South Glens Falls School District.
Accrued sick time for Fort Edward Union Free School District employees hired by the South Glens Falls School District will be carried over by the employee.
Health insurance benefits for faculty and staff will be followed as outlined in the appropriate bargaining unit contract within the South Glens Falls School District. The current benefits carried by the contracts within the Fort Edward Union Free School District will no longer be applicable after the consolidation is completed.
Any faculty hired by the South Glens Falls School District will be placed on the salary schedule based on their years of service.
Unemployment insurance will be paid to any eligible employee according to the regulations outlined by NYS
Any eligible employee will be placed on the Preferred Eligibility List as outlined by NYS.
Board Membership- Upon successful annexation vote and official annexation, as per law, current Fort Edward School District Residents become SGF CSD Residents and are eligible to run for the school board of the SGF District. In the case that no residents from the former Fort Edward District area are successfully elected to the SGF Board, the SGF Board will appoint two advisory members from the former Fort Edward District area to participate as non-voting members of the SGF Board, as allowed by law, for a period of two years.
Aug. 17: Boards select consultant for merger study
The Fort Edward Union Free School District and the South Glens Falls Central School District boards of education have interviewed and selected educational consultant Castallo & Silky, LLC to conduct a formal merger study of the two school districts. The consultant was expected to be approved by both boards of education at their respective meetings on Monday, Aug. 17.
The purpose of the merger study is to gather information about the potential staffing and financial impacts of an annexation, in which Fort Edward Union Free School District would become part of the South Glens Falls Central School District. The study will explore options for building and classroom configurations within a merged district.
A merger study is the required first step if two or more school districts are considering consolidation. Conducted by a consultant with support from staff and community members from both districts, the study will offer recommendations on organization, staffing, finances, transportation and educational programming.
A merger study is advisory only — neither district is required to take any action based on the merger study's recommendations. The study is presented to the school communities for their review.
The merger study will gather data on topics such as:
Academic and extracurricular program
Facilities and transportation
Calculating potential savings
Financial impact of merger
In the next month, the two districts will also form a joint advisory committee, composed of South Glens Falls and Fort Edward staff and community members. The committee will meet to review the consultant’s findings. Any information received will be shared with the public.
The districts are expected to present the completed study (pending approval from the state Education Department) in the next 12-18 months. If both school boards decide to move forward with a vote by their respective community members, this would most likely take place at some time in fall 2021 or winter 2022. The merger cannot occur until both communities approve it through a public vote.