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May 11, 2013

Unatego, Sidney mull shared school services

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The boards of education of Unatego and Sidney central schools will meet at Unatego Junior Senior High School 7 p.m Monday, in the board room, to start a process that will lead to recommendations about the sharing of some services or programs, two of those involved said Friday.

The session will include a presentation by educational consultant Castallo & Silky Education Consultants of Syracuse, Sidney Superintendent Bill Christensen said.

The cost is $10,000 per school but in talks with Unatego Superintendent Charles Molloy on the issues, they were convinced that savings will be more, he said. Because the two schools are similar in size and programs, they are convinced there are opportunities to share services or programs that will provide long-term savings. Sidney has about 1,100 students and Unatego has about 1,000. Suggestions should be ready the the fall, Christensen said. Molloy was not available for comment Friday.

Unatego business manager Nicholas Rosas said this is the first time the consultants have met with the boards. It stems from a desire to see if the two districts can enhance programs while cutting costs, he said. With the state encouraging closer cooperation between districts, Unatego and Sidney have a lot in common, he said.

“It seemed like a logical place to go,” he said.

Working on the study for Castallo & Silky are Alan Pole and Jessica Cohen. Pole was the district superintendent of the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES for 18 years, and has been working as a consultant with Castallo & Silky since his retirement in 2008.

Cohen was district superintendent of the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison-BOCES for ten years. Prior to that, she served as the assistant superintendent for instructional services at the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES for 10 years. She has been working with Castallo & Silky since her retirement in August 2012.