The next step in the process of re-visioning the
district’s middle school program is a community
meeting on the topic of middle school program
configuration on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Parents, staff, and community members are
encouraged to participate in the meeting, which
will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Van
Antwerp Middle School auditorium.
The Board of Education has engaged the community
in the re-visioning process as follow-up to last
year’s report from outside educational
consultants. Consultants Jack Berckmeyer and
Annette Fante spent a year studying the
district’s middle school program at the request
of the Board.
The 2011 report provided the Board with a
comprehensive list of recommendations for the
district to consider.
One of the consultants’ recommendations was that
the district consider combining the middle
school program into one physical location.
Berckmeyer and Fante stated: “We would be remiss
if we did not mention the inherent
inefficiencies associated with small schools.
Given the smaller enrollment numbers experienced
in the middle school and given the financial
restraints facing the district, it is worth
noting that economy of scale would also create
opportunities for greater alignment of resources
The issues surrounding this recommendation from
the consultants will be the focus of the Oct. 16
community meeting. The format for the evening
will be similar to the Oct. 2 community meeting
- a brief presentation followed by an
opportunity for participants to talk in small
The document at the link below lists several
potential scenarios. It is intended to aid the
Board and community in the discussion of two
middle schools versus one. “We do not have a
single school facility that would house our
current middle school population,”
Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio said. “So, in
order to have this conversation, we have tried
to identify three options that could lead to a
single middle school location. At the heart of
this conversation, is whether a single school
would better serve our children in terms of
program and opportunities.
Salvaggio added that feedback from Tuesday’s
community meeting will help inform the Board as
they look at all aspects of re-visioned middle
school program in Niskayuna.
Oct. 16 Community Meeting: Middle School
Configuration Scenarios/Discussion Document