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Sherman slashing out-of-district tuitioning

June 30, 2016
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

SHERMAN - Sherman Central School District is slashing prices - that is - the price of tuition for out-of-district students.

On June 20, the district board of education announced a new tuition policy aimed at attracting families of students from outside of the district's borders. Currently, tuition for a student to attend Sherman exceeds $4,000. The new policy sets the 2016-17 school year rate at only $570 per child.

The policy covers three years, with slight increases in the tuition each year. Tuition will cost $585 per student the second year and $600 the third.

Article Photos

Photo by David Prenatt
Passsing on the position — outgoing Sherman Superintendent Kaine Kelly (left) sits beside principal Michael Ginestre, who will be succeeding him in July.

At right: Shreman Board member Gary DeLellis was awarded the level of “master” by the NYS School Boards Association.

Sherman superintendent Kaine Kelly said the district receives calls "almost daily" from families seeking housing within the district so that their children can attend Sherman. "This new policy gives these families a feasible and affordable option when their housing situation is less than ideal," he said.

Sherman principal Michael Ginestre, who will be succeeding Kelly as superintendent in July, said the policy expresses the mission of the Sherman district to serve the wider community in the face of economic challenges.

"Our district works with families that face harsh economic conditions," Ginestre said. "This policy allows us to help other families trying to break out of these conditions through the power of a high-quality education."

Sherman Central School District has become recognized for preparing its alumni for success, Ginestre said. "Our students are graduating with high honors, college credit, academic scholarships, and every opportunity to be successful in college and career as in any district across the state," he said. "Now we get to offer those opportunities to more students."

Ginestre and Kelly noted that Sherman district has the highest graduation ratio in Chautauqua County and has been ranked as the "Biggest Overachiever" out of 96 school districts in Western New York by Buffalo Business First for the ninth straight year.

This ranking is based on a comparison of a district's academic rank and socioeconomic climate rank. According to Business First's website: "Sherman is saddled with one of the highest poverty rates in Western New York, 26.4 percent, which contributed to its 74th place finish in socioeconomic climate. Yet it's a strong 24th in academics, yielding a difference of 50 places."

Board president Brian Bates said that Sherman's educational success comes from the tireless work of teachers, staff and administration to provide the best education possible. "This level of work and our outstanding record of achievement have been noticed by many in the surrounding communities," he said. "This policy gives families with a lack of housing options a feasible way to send their children to Sherman School."

Ginestre said the quality of education Sherman will allow the district to take on more students without having to add resources. "That puts us in a position to lower the rate," he said. "I think the response will be very positive based on the inquiries we have had in the past. This opens up the door to students who have not been able to come here," he said.

In other business, two members of the board received recognition from the New York State School Boards Association.

Gary Delellis was designated as having reached the level of "master" accumulating 250 points of leadership development. Delellis has served on the board of education for more than 20 years. Brian Bates received a certificate of achievement, having accumulated 75 points of leadership training.

Certificates and pins were also awarded by the Chautauqua County School Boards Association to outgoing superintendent Kaine Kelly for his acheivements and to Delellis for his service at committee member and president.

Ginestre related a conversation with buildings and grounds custodian Jared Oehlbeck concerning the line of pine trees separating the athletic fields. Ginestre said Oehlbeck felt that the fields could be expanded if the trees were removed.



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