Wednesday was the first day of school in the Elmira City School District and it brought some changes for students. The district's new reorganization plan partners elementary schools and reorganizes students to save money. Our Bill Mich spoke with district officials and parents about how they felt after day one.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- The thought of reorganizing students and partnering elementary schools was a concept that at first, some parents were not fans of.
"He started kindergarten at Hendy last year and now they're being changed to Diven and it is a big change for him and going to a brand new school again," said Allison Hostrader, an ECSD parent.
But from a district standpoint, this was a plan that had to be put into place.
"It was necessary financially and also programmatically. You know, at last calculation it saved a little over $2.6 million in efficiencies," said Superintendent Joe Hochreiter.
The first part of the reorganization plan calls for partnering elementary schools. Students will attend one school from Pre-K through second grade and then a second elementary school for third to sixth grade. One of those partnerships is Diven and Hendy Elementary. Wednesday was the first day of school in the newly reorganized district and after seeing how everything will work, parents we spoke with say some concerns have faded.
"I'm interested to see how the year goes, I think it will be ok. I mean, they've got a good staff here and the principal is amazing," said Hostrader.
"When I first heard about what was taking place I was very nervous, very scared but then when I got here today to drop off the kids, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was," said ECSD parent Theresa Allsopp.
And district officials say moving forward, the new structure will be beneficial for the students.
"In terms of staff development, in terms of resources, in terms of teachers engaging with each other, there's greater focus because you have more kids within a smaller age group so you can do things a little more efficiently and a little more effectively," said Hochreiter.
The second half of the reorganization will begin in September of 2014 as the district goes to one high school. But for now, the focus is on the elementary schools and the new beginning for the Elmira City School District.