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Penn Yan, Dundee School boards open talks

What will the future of educational opportunities look like in Yates County, where over the last 15 years, enrollments in Penn Yan and Dundee School Districts have declined 30 percent? How can the districts provide opportunities to all students within the financial restrictions they anticipate in the coming years?

Those are the basic questions members of the school districts boards of education and administration are asking the public. The discussion opened at a meeting held in Dundee July 19.

By the end of the open forum with parents, staff members and others, Penn Yan School Superintendent Howard Dennis and Dundee Superintendent Kelly Houck had a lengthy list of ideas and comments to organize and ponder as they plan the next steps to take.

Dennis said educators are looking for creative ideas and solutions. “How do we deal with things on a long term basis to prepare students to compete in the world they will face?” he asked.

It didn’t take long for someone to bring up concerns about discussion of a merger or consolidation. While one member of the audience said there could be community push back out of fear that the Dundee school would be closed, others from both communities supported exploring all options, including a potential merger study.

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