Clymer Central School Revisiting Tuition Policy

The Clymer Central School Board discussed establishing a tuition policy at their recent meeting. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

CLYMER — Clymer Central School is discussing revisiting its tuition policy after receiving multiple questions about it from the community.

“I’ve received a couple of phone calls inquiring about that,” Superintendent Beth Olson said at the latest school board meeting. “Do we have one? Would we consider one? Would there be interest in partaking in one if we did?”

Olson said if the district decided to have a tuition policy, it could not be discriminatory. She added that making it close to their non-residential tuition rate helps to make it so people might just hop from school to school. A tuition policy may also help with someone who is looking for a place for their high needs special education student.

“It’s something that I think we need to just decide whether or not we want to consider again and whether we need to go through all of the pros and cons,” Olson said.

Olson has also put out feelers to other schools in the area with policies, and found that many have a contract with it that says if the student in the tuition policy is not doing their work or their attendance is low, or they are in general not being a part of the school, the policy would end for them. She added that other policies that she has seen have the ability to go sideways quickly as sometimes they say a student may be denied entry if it would require adding another teacher or a new section in a grade level.

“That in itself, you might have a little bit of wiggle room, but then if that student is in one of the protected classes it falls under discrimination,” she said. “So, you can’t really go there.”

Olson said that a policy could help bring in kids in smaller classes, but if they were not coming into those classes and instead coming into bigger ones it could cause a shift in personnel. She gave an example of the current seventh grade class which is a large class that they’ve had to move around and find room for already in multiple ways. A question was brought up as to if there would be a way to have a survey or tell what grades students under the tuition policy would be coming into. The school does have a policy allowing for students whose parents teach at the school to come to the school.

“Again, it’s finding a balance between putting in whatever clause you want and not being discriminatory,” Olson said.

The board decided to continue discussion at a later meeting.

In other news, English Language Learner students are being brought to the school. Potential problems include having very limited resources in the region, but it was reported that for the grades at the school where ELL students have already been brought in, that the kids were being great about it and already trying to help.

Chautauqua Lake has entered into an agreement with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office where an officer comes in once a day for an hour to establish a presence at the school. More than one officer fulfills that role, and the board discussed doing something similar at Clymer because of concerns surrounding hiring an SRO that were discussed at a previous meeting. Olson said she reached out to Sheriff James Quattrone and is waiting on a response.

The new playground had a big reveal for the students, which included different types of courses and challenges they had to try and complete.

There have been problems getting consistent seniors to come to practice for the Senior Play because of multiple conflicts and it being a smaller class, with not many who wanted to participate. Dates have now been pushed back to the beginning of December.


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