Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Liverpool CSD Facility Improvement Planning Initiative:  EDUCATION 2020
A distinct responsibility for all school districts is maintaining safe and secure learning environments for students, staff and the evidence of long-term fiscal oversight.  Below is a perspective on the next phase of planning and thought process for school facility improvements.  Given the magnitude of facilities making up the Liverpool Central School District - it is imperative that a continuous focus and long-range plan be employed in securing the goals for future-focused flexible learning spaces.

Over the past handful of months, numerous discussions involving ideas for future school building use, program expectations and even the possibility of modifications to grade configurations have all resulted in an escalation of rumors regarding building closure and other significant decisions.  As such, I want to provide reassurance that these discussions may have been part of a larger conversation – but in reality, no decisions specifically focusing on closing any school building in the Liverpool School District has been decided.  Below is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions – with responses added.

Phase 5 Facilities Committee Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Phase 5 Facilities Committee?

In previous “Phase” Committees, different capital improvement projects were designed to renovate school buildings.  The most recent approved project was the Phase 3 Project at Liverpool High School. The current Phase 4 Project is installation of new roofs and boilers at different elementary schools.  Originally, the Phase 5 Committee was designated to look at the next building(s). As the committee began to discuss different options, the conversation shifted to examining the vision for new facility decisions in Liverpool based on student needs -- as we look forward over the next 5 to 10 years.  It was realized that with a decrease in enrollment of over 1,000 students in the last ten years, with a reduction in student opportunities and increasing expenditures, a new vision needed to be explored so that we are able to best meet the needs of all of our students – both now . . . and in the future.

What is the process?

The Phase 5 Committee consists of district administrators, teachers, staff members, community members, and the district architects.  The committee has analyzed the facility needs of the district. During discussions this past year, the committee shifted their focus and conversations from specifically “brick and mortar” discussions to an examination the facility needs of the district . . . based on future student needs and skills. Aside from examining the current state of the district’s facility needs, the committee has started to think about the innovative changes possible based on what our greater school community values. The committee is currently working on creating surveys for our staff and community members to gather feedback for the future direction of the committee’s work.

Are buildings closing?

No recommendations or decisions have been made at this time.  The Phase 5 Facilities Committee is in the process of collecting the feedback from the school community to advise the plan moving forward.  As such, the Board of Education will be keenly involved in any decisions that will directly impact school building usage, programs or other relevant issues.

Are we restructuring the grade configurations in Liverpool?

No decisions have been made at this time.  Again, the committee is seeking input from school community members to ensure all voices are heard as the planning process continues.

What will happen if we maintain our current footprint and structure as a district?

Outside of a national or state financial crisis, we will be able to maintain our current footprint of 9 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and high school complex (Annex and Main building), with the realization that with decreasing enrollment and increasing expenditures, effectively meeting the many dimensions of student needs will continue to be challenging and may decrease.

What is the timeline?

Phase 5 Facilities Committee met throughout the 2017-2018 school year.

Phase 5 Facilities Committee is in the process of creating a “talking points” document and survey to build understanding of our current reality. The committee is interested in seeking staff and community input measuring the values and vision for Liverpool Central Schools.

As part of the Phase 5 Facilities Committee Charge, the group will:

·       Kick -off the 2018-19 school year with Staff information sessions beginning in September;

·       Parent-Teacher Organizations, Sports & Fine Arts Booster Clubs and other key community groups will be contacted for both information and input;

·       A Winter survey will be shared with staff (in November) and with the community (at a later date) to seek input for what school community values;

·       The Committee will continue to have monthly meetings in an effort to collaborate, discuss and converse on information garnered from each the informational sessions.

Who do I contact with follow up questions?

Attend a School Community Forum TBA in October

E-mail Daniel Henner, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services for more specific information or questions about the Phase 5 Facilities Committee, Survey or the Informational Sessions at:  dhenner@liverpool.k12.ny.us

Thank You,

Mark F. Potter, Ed. D.