The Brocton and Westfield school districts are conducting a feasibility study for the purpose of examining different possibilities for maintaining quality programs for students while addressing the realities of difficult economic times.
The study will determine if a new school district should be formed through school mergers to enhance or maintain educational opportunities, and at the same time increase long term efficiencies and lower costs for the overall operation of the districts to close the projected financial gap.
The school boards of both Brocton and Westfield have engaged the services of the Western New York Educational Services Council to gather and analyze pertinent information and to report its progress and findings to the state Education Department and district officials. Consultants will be accessing and analyzing information and data in the areas of finance and economics, community culture, support services - such as transportation, food services, business offices, and technology - student educational and extra-curricular programs, and human resources. Board of education members from both districts want to make sure that this process is as open and transparent as possible. Both boards encourage people to participate and have their opinions and ideas expressed openly.
One of the types of data used is perception data, which for the purposes of the study is considered qualitative, not quantitative. To gather the data, focus group meetings are being conducted in both districts to invite the community to provide responses to the interviewers' questions, following a brief overview of some aspects of the districts and their communities.
In an effort to reach all members of the school communities who wish to respond to a set of eight questions, there will be a community focus group session in the Brocton auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, and in Westfield's auditorium on Monday, Nov. 19. The meeting should last no longer than one hour.
For more information, call the Brocton Central School district office at 792-2173 or the Westfield district office at 326-2151, ext. 218.