Sometimes, people need time to consider changes. That appears to be the case in the Gloversville Enlarged School District, where a proposal by officials to possibly close elementary schools and rent out space to a BOCES program caused a degree of public concern and opposition.
With that in mind, we think the district made the right decision in backing away from making any changes for next school year. Some district residents were clearly blindsided by the proposals and felt uncomfortable with the idea of enacting a proposal they did not understand that may affect their children.
The delay should give everyone in the community time to consider what was suggested – and what proposal works best for the district – before potentially moving ahead with any changes in the 2017-18 school year.
But remember: Changes are needed. The district needs to improve the education students receive without charging taxpayers more.
In 2014, the district began a study to look at how it could use its buildings differently. The district is projected to lose more than 10 percent of its enrollment within the next several years.
But the district only officially presented the four options it was considering in late January, with the intention of enacting one of them for the 2016-17 school year.
Given the nature and extent of the proposed changes, we were not surprised to see some Gloversville residents oppose them.
In addition to delaying changes until the 2017-18 school year, the district also will create a community task force to evaluate options for a school reconfiguration.
A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday in the Gloversville Middle School cafeteria to discuss the task force and timeline for its meetings, and to let community members ask questions.
We encourage district officials to allow strong community participation as they move forward, and we urge the public to participate in the process.