Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will be added to the website to provide additional background and clarification as the committee moves forward. 

Q.  The Board of Education is conducting a Facilities and Grade Organization Study. Will there be a parent/community meeting to further explain the study?

A. Yes, two parent/community meetings will be held. The first parent/community meeting will be held on Monday, November 6, 2023 at 6:30 pm in the cafeteria at Durhamville Elementary School, and the second meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 6:30 pm in the cafeteria at North Broad Elementary School.

Q. What is the timeline for completion of the study?

A. The study is scheduled to be completed by February 2024. A recommendation will be given to the Board of Education prior to the completion date. September 2024 is a tentative target date for the implementation of any change in grade configuration.

Q. Why is the district undertaking a facilities and grade reorganization study?
A. Like many districts across New York State, Oneida has experienced a significant decline in student enrollment. It is projected that future enrollment for the district will continue to decline, although at a slower rate than has occurred over the past 10+ years. Since the 2012-13 school year, K-12 student enrollment has decreased by 572 students (2,211 to 1639) or 26%.

Q. What is the purpose of the study?

A. The main focus of the study is framed around the following “critical question”:
In considering a number of options, is there a better way educationally and fiscally to reconfigure the grades and facilities to provide a sound instructional program now and in the future?

The Oneida CSD community has consistently shown its support for the education of its students. However, finding a balance between the educational needs of its students and the needs of the community to provide the financial resources is an on-going challenge for any board of education and administration. The challenge is even greater, especially post-pandemic, to educate all students to higher levels. As a result, the Board of Education and administration chose to examine possible ways to organize the grades and buildings in light of these challenges.

Q. What type of information is being gathered to help make an informed decision in response to the critical question?

A. The collection of the data from the district was one of the first steps taken in the study process. This data included student enrollment, instructional program, facilities, transportation, staffing, and financial information. Once the data was received, it was summarized, analyzed and shared with the school community advisory committee at nine committee meetings (refer to the tab on School Community Advisory Meetings). At these meetings, the committee reviewed the data that had been gathered, shared their thoughts and opinions on the information and the possible grade configuration options presented.

Q. What grade configuration options have been discussed by the committee?
Four different grade configuration options have been discussed by the committee:

  • Two options with four elementary buildings
  • Option 1: Status Quo: (4) K-5 Elementary Schools
  • Option 2: Grade Center Configuration: (4) Grade Center Schools

(2)  School Buildings – Grades K-2

(2)  School Buildings – Grades 3-5

  • Two options with three elementary buildings
  • Option 3: Close an Elementary School - (3) K-5 Schools          
  • Option 4: Close an Elementary School - (3) Grade Center Schools

(1)  K-1 grade level school building;

(1)  2-3 grade level school building;

(1)  4-5 grade level school building

No decision has been made on the grade configuration options presented.

Q. What are the plans for a school building that may be closed?
Key questions presented during the study of the facilities and grade organization;

  • Is it prudent to keep four elementary school buildings?
  • If an elementary school is closed, should the district
  • Keep the building for other district use
  • Lease it to another organization
  • Sell it


Q. If a decision is made to close a school, what factors are considered in determining which school building will be closed? 

A. As part of the planning process, the following factors provide some guidance for the district to consider. Typically, not one building answers all these criteria. 

•             Which school has the smallest enrollment as this will impact the fewest students, staff and families?

•             Which building is the oldest?

•             Which building has discretionary square footage of the building to accommodate new students?

•             Which building has the geographic proximity to other schools to facilitate transportation and sharing of students and staff?

•             Which building has the most challenging site considerations for parking, playfields and a bus loop?

•             Which building will require the most renovation?

•             Which building has the least square footage?

•             Which building has multiple stories; a single story building is better

Q. What cost savings measures has the district taken prior to the study?

A. The most significant cost savings measure has been the reduction of 10 elementary classroom positions over the past six years. In the 2017 -2018 school year, in grades K-5, there were 858 students in 48 classroom sections. Currently, there are 752 students with 38 classroom sections. The decrease in classroom sections was the result of the decrease in student enrollment over this period of time. These staff reductions were realized through attrition (a staff member resigns or retires from the district and the position was not filled with a new hire).

Q. What type of savings will be realized if a school building is closed?

A. Education is a people-intensive business. School districts routinely spend 70-75% of their operating budgets on salaries and fringe benefits for the people who work in the schools. Should the district decide to close one of the elementary schools, significant cost savings in the area of staffing could be realized with a reduction of several positions.