The planned reorganization of Broadalbin-Perth’s school buildings will come a year earlier than expected, Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson announced on Friday, May 1. Starting in September 2020, the Perth campus at 1870 Co. Hwy 107 in Amsterdam will be known as Broadalbin-Perth Elementary School and will serve students in pre-K through grade 6, and the Broadalbin campus at 100 Bridge Street will be known as Broadalbin-Perth Jr./Sr. High School and will serve students in grades 7-12.
The timeline was moved up after construction crews were able to get a jump start on work planned as part of Phase 3 of the district’s $39.7 million capital project. While in-person classes have been canceled, crews have completed asbestos abatement at both campuses and broken ground on an addition at the Perth campus that will hold six new pre-K classrooms. Phase 3 construction includes all work necessary to complete the school reorganization.
Tomlinson says that the reorganization will allow the district to realize financial savings because of operational efficiencies as envisioned in the district’s long-term strategic plan, “Innovate.” For example, most teacher certifications are for either elementary or secondary grades — usually kindergarten through grade 6 and grades 7-12. Under B-P’s current configuration, the district’s teachers with elementary certifications are split between two campuses and teachers with secondary certifications are split between two campuses. Bringing all elementary teachers together and all secondary teachers together will allow district leaders more flexibility in providing academic programs for students.
“Gov. Cuomo has already told schools to plan for a reduction in state foundation aid of up to 20% for the 2020-21 school year,” Tomlinson said. “Approximately half of B-P’s revenue comes from state aid, so that’s a significant loss. However, we’ve already projected that we will save at least $500,000 by reorganizing our schools starting in September.”
B-P faculty and staff will meet with district leaders every other week to coordinate the logistics of the reorganization and finalize details before school reopens for in-person classes. Additional information about the reorganization will be shared with parents and the community through the district website, mobile app, and email notification whenever it is available.