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Irvington Schools Look Into Sharing Services

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. –While the four quad villages each have their own school districts despite their proximity to one another, an application for an efficiency grant could see districts sharing more services in the future.

The Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Hastings and Irvington school districts will submit a joint application for a Local Government Efficiency Grant with the Department of State.

“If we get the grant, it would pay for a consultant to come in and determine what additional services we could share,” said Sylvia Fassler-Wallach, the Dobbs Ferry School District's director of finance and facilities.  “Presently, the quad villages share services in the areas of transportation and professional development.”

This essentially means the four districts will be seeking a grant to study the benefits of sharing services or even combining two or more districts at some point in the future.

“Human Resources is one area, transportation is another and there may be other services or other things we can do with the villages,” said Hastings Superintendent Timothy Connors.  “This study will allow us to have somebody come in and look at it and show that there are savings to be realized and maybe make it worthwhile.”

This study will be called the “Quad-Village School District Efficiency and Consolidation Study” and the four school districts will submit an application for an efficiency grant for an amount up to $90,000. Each district would pay up to $2,500 toward the cost of the grant if approved and Dobbs Ferry will submit the application, which is due by March 21.

Ardsley Superintendent Lauren Allan said that, while the districts have had success sharing services such as transportation this year, she believes the idea of potentially merging is not the answer.

“I think there are huge, huge problems instructionally and educationally with the [potential] merge,” she said.  “They are four different communities.  I think it would be a very large district to try and merge.”

Connors said there had been conversations between the districts of particular areas where money could be saved by sharing services.

“This is about deficiencies and working together so we’re more than glad to explore that,” Connors said.  “The focus of the grant is to study these issues to see why it might be advantageous to work together and actually do projects together.”

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