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Small district not ‘top notch’

April 30, 2013

Some small school officials continue to not be honest with themselves or those they serve. Consider the Sherman Central Schools, a 460-student district with an $8....

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Apr-30-13 6:38 AM

The story I've heard from multiple sources is that Sherman would merge with Chautauqua Lake in a heartbeat if a Chautauqua Lake administrator were gone.

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Apr-30-13 7:01 AM

Proactive does not mean merger. It means working on a budget years before the problems begin. Everyone could see class sizes dwindling years ago. Yet no teachers were cut in Westfield and Brocton waited until it was cooked before they let 15 or so employees go. The reason we have large school budgets is because for years the Board of Education members gave everything to the teacher's union and superintendents including large retirement funds and health care for life. Its too late now and a merger is not going to save Westfield or Brocton. Tough decisions in budget matters and cutting teachers and expenses is what needs to be done. A merger like Chautauqua Lake has only prolongs the problem. After all look at Chaut lake now, broke again.

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Apr-30-13 8:06 AM

School Boards are selected and elected by the voters. If a majority of the voters in the school district want to keep the status quo, despite what they see before their eyes, then the school board will continue to operate status quo.

Any change will -- and probably should -- only occur if the majority is willing.

As they are not willing in Sherman for any long term change, its pointless to consider otherwise.

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Apr-30-13 8:52 AM

Amazing how all of the schools have the same problems and they can't see the forest for the trees. They will not make necessary changes. They would rather go broke first. As for the schools boards they should be ashamed of themselves for being part of the problem. They are a bunch of gutless wonders. They are intimidated by superintendents and teacher unions. They are all going down the same drain.

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Apr-30-13 8:54 AM

I'm flabbergasted that taxpayers aren't up in arms...

Here's a good job - be the superintendent of schools for a couple of hundred students. The salary/benefits package is around $160,000 per year.

Guess where?

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Apr-30-13 9:33 AM


You might not expect Sherman to do well in Business First’s rankings of Western New York’s school districts. Consider its location. Sherman hugs the Pennsylvania line in southwestern Chautauqua County. It’s fairly unusual for school systems in that area to finish near the top of the academic standings. Only three of the Southern Tier’s 42 districts qualified for the 2012 Honor Roll. There’s its size, for another thing. Sherman has 459 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. None of this year’s top 30 districts has fewer than 622 students. Most have more than 1,000. And then there’s the worst barrier of all. One of every three children in Sherman 31.2 percent lives below the poverty line. That’s the sixth-worst poverty rate in all of Western New York. But Sherman, despite these impediments, somehow manages to succeed. It ranks 36th in this year’s academic standings, outperforming 63

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Apr-30-13 9:34 AM


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Apr-30-13 9:39 AM

I apologize the link keeps coming up funny:


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Apr-30-13 10:49 AM

Here are a few thoughts in response to the Observer's political opinion of the Sherman Central School District: - Sherman SCD was named the #1 over-achieving school district in WNY for 2009, 2010, 2011 by Buffalo’ s Business First Magazine.

- Sherman Elementary School was a National Blue Ribbon School in 2009.

- Sherman High School was named one of “America’ s Best High Schools” by Business Week Magazine in 2007, 2008, and 2012.

- Sherman Central School District has raised their tax levy a total of 1.7% over the past 5 years

- Sherman Central School District athletic teams have won over 5 sectional championships and made multiple appearances at the state finals in multiple sports over the past 5 years.

- Sherman Central School District Music Department won the "Glee Give a Note Contest" in 2011 and is currently a finalist of the NBS "Smash" competition.

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Apr-30-13 10:52 AM

Perhaps the Observer should recognize that they are also a small entity and should be considering merger. I'm sure the paper would improve significantly if they were absorbed by the Buffalo News.

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Apr-30-13 11:03 AM

I think we may also be seeing the rantings of a frustrated editor who would like a better job in a larger market. If he can stir up some controversy by climbing on the backs of the very people and communities that pay his bills, then maybe, just maybe, some else will notice and he could get a job with a bigger paper. We all understand the challenges that small schools and small businesses face - after all, we do live in western NY! Instead of cutting down a rural community that is proudly paying to support a top-notch school, why doesn't the editor write about the hard work that has made Sherman CSD what it is today? A top-notch paper might give that a try...

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Apr-30-13 11:26 AM

So, do you hear the taxpayers in Sherman crying foul? NO. And, I am one of them. My head is not in the sand. We are very aware of the financial issues that weigh on us. This editor might do well to find something else to rant about. He is, and has been, negative about anyone and everything that relates to public education in this area. Why doesn't he let the Post Journal report/ comment about its local schools and he can stick to the northern end of the county? The PJ is negative enough, but the Observer's editor is clearly bitter and vindictive.

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Apr-30-13 11:30 AM

"No district with 460 students is providing "top-notch education." It is more likely to be a bare-bones curriculum."

Sounds like we are stating fact until it is quantified with it is more likely to be a... I wish our news paper would report NEWS to us instead of one guys conservative agenda about how he thinks things should be. Has he ever even been to that school? Does he know what they offer? Does he know if that community wants the school gone? and what do the residents of Dunkirk and Fredonia care about Sherman?? That is who this paper serves...

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Apr-30-13 2:50 PM

southerntierguy is exactly right! This post is the best one I have seen.

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Apr-30-13 6:43 PM

OK, let's look for further definition of "top notch". Don't see any discussion of mean SAT scores. How about graduation rate? How about percentage of graduates going on to 4 year colleges? How about recent grads going on to ivy league/top tier schools/service academies? Per pupil annual expenditure of $19130.00 Have another hit of acid with your cheerios before you leave the house in the morning...

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Apr-30-13 7:36 PM

The answer is. Too many small school districts are causing all the State overtime.

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Apr-30-13 8:14 PM

$19,130.00 per student for one year!

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Apr-30-13 8:55 PM

On the up side it's less than half of what Brocton spends!

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May-01-13 6:36 AM

Overtime??? WHAT??

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May-01-13 8:48 AM

What percentage of Sherman's budget is paid for by state money and what percentage is covered by local taxpayers?

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May-01-13 9:11 AM

Interesting.. at 19K/student, they are around 60% (+/-) of what Dunkirk spends per student. It must be because Dunkirk offers SO MUCH MORE to the kids than that tiny, no-good, not-top-notch district down in the boonies.

* "I'm catching your sarcasm." "Well good, because I was laying it on pretty thick."

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May-01-13 8:16 PM

Is Sherman on the state's "watch list"? NO! Is Dunkirk?????

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May-02-13 8:26 PM

May I remind the author of this editorial that you work for the Dunkirk newspaper? Get over yourself.

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May-02-13 8:27 PM

what a waste of space no point in just saying "x" w/o including any stats or facts waste of my life... please delete, dont bother sharing its worthless

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May-03-13 9:37 AM

Although this is poorly worded, the concept is accurate. Schools can not give students what they need with such small school districts. The reason the officials are like this is because they are afraid of loosing their job, which if you think you might loose your job, you would try and stop it also. Soon the government will be coming in and they will be forcing districts to merge and combine which is very beneficial for the students. Citizens, stop being selfish about "loosing your Alma Mater" and think about the students.

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