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Local School Districts Discussing Shared Services

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – With many school districts having similar needs partnering with each other has become a hot topic to help save money.

Dobbs Ferry superintendent Lisa Brady discussed the potential partnering efforts with the other local districts at a recent board of education meeting.  Brady said one of the biggest ideas currently under discussion is a common calendar among Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, Irvington and Hastings schools.

“In order to effectively share courses, the districts really needed to think about being on a common calendar so I will say that around that table there was definitely consensus that being on a common calendar would be good,” she said.

Brady said discrepancies such as differing days off among districts and planning around various events would need to be worked out before anything could happen.  She described the conversations as “a good first step.”

Along with potentially offering similar classes, Brady said the district hopes to utilize its TV station and offer it up for other local villages.

“We did discuss partnering with the other districts to increase production or increase the programming that is currently on our station,” she said.  “There really is no reason why we couldn’t show the board meetings from the other districts on our station.  Dobbs Ferry could become the hub for television for all the other districts.”

Brady said they are currently exploring any grant opportunities or financial incentives there may be for sharing services with other districts.

Along with potentially sharing courses Brady said it would benefit professional development opportunities. “I think there’s been tremendous groundwork laid,” said board of education president Lynne Black.  “Things that looked impossible five years ago and no one would touch are being discussed.”

Although these were discussions are still in the early stages, board members were enthusiastic about the progress that’s been made. “It’s incredible when you think back to four, five years ago it was ‘alright let’s get together in this room’ and that was it,” said board member Jeffrey O’Donnell.

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