There has been a vocal minority expressing questions and concerns regarding the process that is currently underway for the future of the George F. Baker High School. In an effort to dispel rumors, answer questions and attempt to continue to be transparent, I will clarify this project purpose, time line and intent.
To quote from the original Request For Proposal, “the consulting firm will be charged with being innovative and thinking “out of the box”, by considering all options that might create, sustain and develop a long standing solution to the existence and growth of the George F. Baker High School.”
This project must also take into consideration “the direction of education, the ‘look’ of education in the future, the use of technology and its immersion into our everyday life, and the future direction of our global world.”
The recommended options presented to the district must be analyzed based upon “sustainability, feasibility and fiscal impact.” The consulting group that was selected to conduct this project is the Public Consulting Group (PCG).
Since its onset, the purpose of this project has been to develop a plan for the future of the George F. Baker High School that meets the needs of our students and our community. Here are some important details about this project:
1. Although there are some groups who are in support of specific options, the goal of this project is to provide the option(s) that address the needs of our students and community as a whole. It is the goal of this Board of Education and Administration to make a final informed decision only after all options have been identified, analyzed and reviewed.
2. Any option considered must be able to be implemented within the short term. For example, an option that would take 5 years to implement would not be a consideration.
3. Although this time frame does not provide the immediate final decision that may be desired, the response to this question has been consistently communicated. The final recommendations that are developed from this project will be provided to the Board of Education and presented publicly in January 2013. A final decision by the Board of Education, taking into consideration the project recommendations and community input, will follow afterwards.
4. All options considered as included in the final recommendation must be focused on excellence in education, fiscal responsibility, feasibility and sustainability
5. The closing of the George F. Baker High School is not, and never has been, the intent of this project. The intent of this project is to determine what can be done to insure its continued success for our students and community as a nationally recognized program and a program that has always been recognized as highly successful throughout New York State.
6. Although there may be differing opinions about the future of the George F. Baker High School throughout our community, it has always been the intention of this Board of Education to consider the opinions of all of our community members before a final decision is made.
7. The Greenwood Lake students and community have always been and will continue to be welcome and included in the current and future plans for the George F. Baker High School.
Once again, if you would like to speak with me about your concerns, please feel free to contact me at 845-351–4799.
Carol A. Lomascolo is the superintendent of schools for the Tuxedo School District.