MAYVILLE - A proposed contract for sending some Ripley Central School students to Chautauqua Lake Central School on a tuition basis is expected to be ready for study by both respective school boards in mid-March, CLCS Superintendent Benjamin Spitzer revealed during a Board of Education meeting Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Spitzer gave no details of the contract, explaining any proposal should be placed in front of the members of both school boards before being made public.
Authority for the Ripley board to send seventh through 12th grade students to CLCS and pay tuition was narrowly approved by Ripley district voters Tuesday, Feb. 5. The measure takes effect July 1.
Spitzer said he believes an open house event for Ripley parents and students held shortly before the vote may have helped the tuitioning authority to pass. CLCS board members who attended the open house agreed, and told anecdotes of the visiting parents' and students' good impressions of the educational opportunities available at CLCS as well as of the physical facility itself.
If an agreement is reached, it might be part of a process to deal with declining student enrollment in many local schools.
At CLCS, many classes are small enough that a higher enrollment would not make them larger than what is considered optimal, according to information at recent board meetings, and thus allow teachers to be used more effectively while adding no cost.
Enrollment at Chautauqua Lake, 1,000 or more students in the 1990s, has declined to about 800 students for the current school year.