The results of a six-month merger study of the Schenevus and Worcester central school districts will be presented to the public at a virtual forum Tuesday, Jan. 19.

While the report does not argue for or against a merger, it does include recommendations for a merged district, if Worcester were to annex Schenevus.

Between June and November 2020, the Schenevus and Worcester merger study committee met with representatives of Syracuse-based consulting firm Castallo & Silky and compiled a 133-page report based on their reviews of two districts’ enrollment, educational programs, facilities, transportation, staffing and finances, according to a media release. 

The report, which also details the merger incentive aid available from the state, was presented to the Schenevus and Worcester boards of education at a Jan. 5 workshop meeting.

“We are very grateful to the members of the Merger Study Committee for their hard work and commitment to this process,” Worcester Central School District Superintendent Tim Gonzales said. “We look forward to hearing the community’s feedback and thoughts as they review the report.”

“We are encouraged by the findings of this report, which demonstrate how much our two districts have in common,” Schenevus Central School District Theresa Carlin said. “We look forward to the conversations that we hope this report will generate. The next 11 months is going to be an exciting time for both districts and their communities. There will be a lot of information presented, and it is so important that both communities learn as much as they can and ask questions, instead of listening to rumors.”

In June, following a period of public discussion and review, school boards from both districts will vote on whether to put the proposed merger to an advisory referendum, or “straw poll,” in both districts.

The vote will require a majority of support from each board to move it out to the communities, according to the release. In September, if a majority of voters in both communities approve the straw vote, the state Commissioner of Education will formally lay out the merged school district and call for a formal referendum, which is a final community vote in each district to be held in early December.

Should the voters from both school districts approve the merger in the formal referendum, the annexation merger of the two school districts would be approved to begin operation as a newly merged district July 1, 2022.

The report can be read at Printed copies will also be available at the district offices of both school buildings by Monday, Jan. 11. Call the Schevenus district office at 607-638-5881 or the Worcester district office at 607-397-8785 to request a copy.  

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