Elementary Restructuring FAQs
The Oneida City School District wants to provide our community members with an opportunity to voice their questions and concerns regarding the restructuring of our district's elementary schools. Below, you will see a list of questions submitted by our community members and answers provided by the District. We will update our list of FAQs regularly, so if you have any questions that have not been answered yet, please submit your questions on the form at the bottom of this page.

Q. What supports (e.g., visits to the new school, meeting the new staff, support services for students who are struggling, etc.) will be in place to help ease the transitions for students moving buildings (for this year and subsequent years)? Will the district provide any of these opportunities during the school day/year or will it be up to parents to introduce their child to their new school? 
A. Principals and school staff are planning a series of activities to introduce students to the new schools. We are looking to start these activities in the spring. Although we are still planning this, we intend to offer these opportunities during the school day. 
Q. How does the district intend to handle drop-off/pick-up for parents who may have children at the other elementary schools? 
A. The District is exploring opportunities to provide before- and after-school care at limited/no cost to families thus allowing families to pick up and drop off at different times. We will notify families once we have something in place. 
Q. What will the longest bus ride time be? Currently, our longest bus ride is in excess of 70 minutes.
A. We have scheduled our routing company, Traversa, to come to the District to plan routes with our Transportation Department leadership. We intend to reduce bus rides as much as possible. We have asked Traversa to run routes for our elementary students and account for target bus rides of no more than 45 minutes. Traversa will conduct an analysis and work with the District on developing the most efficient path we can. 
Q. Will buildings all start and end their days at different times?
A. We are currently planning on keeping start and end times the same for next school year. If there needs to be a change in start and end times, the District will communicate with school and community stakeholders as soon as possible. 
Q. What will be the maximum number of children in a class?
A. Based on our current enrollment numbers, we anticipate average class sizes of 20-22 students in grades K-5. PreK classes are capped at 18 students per class. 
Q. Are elementary students going to be going class to class in periods like MS & HS?
A. Departmentalization looks different in different districts, schools and grade levels. Currently, all four of our elementary schools are departmentalized in some fashion. Principals and teachers work together to plan for this at different grade levels. There is no specific model that will be used at each grade level across the three elementary schools. 
Q. Is the district going to budget more funds for field trips and such? I have concerns that an elementary-wide PTO will not be able to fund all three schools.
A. The District budgets for one field trip per grade level currently. We are planning to do the same for the coming year. Principals have been meeting with PTOs from each building and looking at options – including a District-Wide PTO. 
Q. Are free meals still applicable?
A. Yes, the free meal program will remain. Our District was approved for a 3-year free meal window. Our District’s eligibility is determined at the state level. 
Q. Where will the admin building be?
A. There is no plan currently to move the District Office. It will remain at 565 Sayles Street.
Q. When will new details be shared with the public?
A. New details of this transition will be posted on the website, shared in newsletters and shared at any public meetings (Board of Education or forums). We will work to get this information out as quickly as possible. 
Q. Is the entity interested in leasing the North Broad Street Elementary School building a private or public one?
A. The interested educational agency is a public entity. 
Q. Will elementary students be placed with a teacher they were familiar with from their original school, at least for their first year of this change?
A. Principals and teachers will work together to assign students to class groupings in the different schools based on student need. Student relationships - both with adults and peers - will factor into these decisions and placements. 
Q. Will any of these changes impact school taxes?
A. One of the pillars of our Facilities & Grade Study was fiscal responsibility. With the trend of declining enrollment stretching back more than 20 years, it is so important that the District plan accordingly. Reducing the number of staff across the District and providing the same level of programming across a smaller number of buildings are cost-saving measures. However, it is true that salaries, benefits, retirement costs, and the costs of the materials and supplies we purchase continue to increase year after year. Ultimately, this transition will not have a negative impact on school taxes.
Q. How will grade-level banding improve the education of our elementary students?
A. We are confident that grade-banding will help to provide equity across our District. Having grades together allows for common planning time for teachers, special education services for students within their grade-banded buildings, and the social aspect of students across a grade level having the opportunity to engage are all benefits that we anticipate for our elementary students. 

Q. What is the response time for fire/EMS and police to respond to Durhamville Elementary, and - in the event of an emergency - which fire/EMS and police departments respond first at Durhamvile Elementary?
A. As Durhamville Elementary sits in Oneida County, any 911 or emergency call would be connected to the Oneida County 911 Center. With regards to emergency situations and response times, Oneida & Madison County Sheriff’s Offices, Oneida City Police Department and New York State Police are all notified of any emergency situation and will respond accordingly and as quickly as possible.

Q. In the past, school buildings have shared an SPO/SRO. With the closure of North Broad Street Elementary, will each school building have a designated SPO?
A. Seneca Street and Oneida High School each have a School Resource Officer currently. There are no plans to change this format.

In the form below, please submit any questions that you may have regarding the restructuring of our district's elementary schools.