Ft. Edward, Hudson Falls & South Glens Falls Pre-Merger Study Final Report
The Ft. Edward UFSD in the Saratoga Region of New York is facing a major final setback due to the loss of
a signifcant taxpaying entity. As a result, the district has considered if a possible merger with one of its neighboring
school districts (Hudson Falls and South Glens Falls) would possibly benefit boh districts. Castallo & Silky
LLC was invited to conduct this pre-merger study during the spring and summer 2019. The purpose is to advise
the boards if a full merger study is worth pursing and, if so, what combination of districts would make the most sense.
This is a copy of the final report presented to the three school districts' boards of education.
Arkport-Canaseraga Merger Study Final Report (June 2018)
As a follow-up to a the three district merger study completed a few years prior, Arkport Central School
District and Canaseraga Central School District decided to just study the possible merger of their two districts. Castallo
& Silky LLC associates Alan Pole, Bill Silky and Deb Ayers conducted the study for the districts.
It concluded in this final report in June 2018 to a joint session of the boards.
Oneida City School Facility Study Final Report (June 2018)
The Oneida City School District asked Castallo & Silky LLC to conduct a study
of its school facilities to see if the buildings and grades could/should be reorganized to better serve the students in the
city district. Associates Alan Pole and Jessica Cohen led this study. This is the final report presented to the
Board of Ecucation.
Elizabethtown-Lewis, Westport and Willsboro Pre-Merger Study Final Report
The Elizabethtown-Lewis, Westport and Willsboro Central School Districts in Northern New York hired Castallo
& Silky LLC to study if the districts or some combination of the districts should consider embarking on a full
state mandated merger study. This report was delivered to a joint session of the boards of education in June 2016.
Now the school boards have to decide what direction they wish to take.
Unatego Central School District Facility Utilization Study
During the 2015-16 academic year, the Unatego Central School District Board of Education commissioned
a study on the utilization of the district's schools. Castallo & Silky LLC associates Bill Silky
and Alan Pole conducted the study. In the spring of 2016 the final report was presented to the Board of Education.
This is a copy of that final report.
Cazenovia Central School District Grade Configuration Study
In 2015, associates Alan Pole and Bill Silky were asked by the Cazenovia Central School District Board
of Education to study the district's current grade and building configuration and assess whether it is the most educationally
sound and fiscally responsible arrangement as the district looks to the future. This is the final study report..
Big Picture School Evaluation Final Report
Dr. Jessica Cohen of Castallo and Silky LLC conducted an evaluation of the alternative
school (The Big Picture School) for the La Fayette Central School District (NY) Board of Education. The purpose of the
study was to determine if the school was meeting all New York State Education Department regulations that govern public high
school programs. You can access the February 2014 final report and see how the program measured up by clicking on the
NYS Association of School Business Officials Report on "Why Mergers Fail"
In April 2014, the New York State Association of School Business Officials released a report outlining why
school district mergers typically fail. The report contains a great deal of information on recent and current (as of
spring 2014) school district merger attemts in the state. If you wish to read about the difficulty of merging school
districts and why most fail, you will enjoy this report. Click on the link above to download.
Dr. Silky is quoted in the October 1, 2013 report from Stateline-The Daily News Service of the Pew Charitable Trusts entitled "Communities Cling to Local Schools Despite
State Incentives". He shares his thoughts to this national readership on some factors that make a successful school
district merger. See what he has to say and read this interesting report. (Stateline is a nonpartisan,
nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy).
The Erie 2 BOCES asked Castallo & Silky LLC associates Jessica Cohen and Alan
Pole to conduct a study of its administrative structure. The report was presented in December 2013 to the BOCES Board
of Education. A copy of this final report is posted on the BOCES website and can be accessed here. This is one of several BOCES organizational studies that Castallo & Silky LLC has conducted over
the past two years.
Candor & Spencer-Van Etten Merger Final Report
In May 2013, Castallo and Silky LLC completed
a merger study of the Candor (NY) and Spencer-Van Etten (NY) central school districts in Southern Tier New York. You
can access the final report by clicking on the report link above.
Deposit and Hancock Shared Service Study (2012)
Associate Alan Pole conducted a shared service study between the
Deposit and Hancock Central School Districts (NY) in 2012. Many school districts are now considering sharing a variety
of services regionally. See the results of this study in the final report above.
Wayne County Regional High School Study 2010
In 2010, Castallo & Silky LLC conducted a feasibility study
for the school districts of Wayne County (NY) to explore the feasibility of developing a regional high school. It was
discovered that regional high schools in New York were not a legal option as a result of the study, however this report provides
some very useful information for other regions that wish to explore the same concept, particularly since there is currently
(summer 2012) legislation proposed to make authorize the development of this organizational option. Take a look at this
New York State School Boards' Report on District Merger (9/13)
The New York State School Boards Association published a report entitled "To Merge or Not To Merge--Making
Sense of School Mergers" in September 2013. This report discusses advantages and disadvantages to districts that
might consider consolidating with a neighboring district. Bill Silky of Castallo & Silky LLC is
quoted for urging school boards to possibly consider a pre-merger study prior to embarking on a full-blown merger study as
was done in Seneca County (NY).
Arkport, Canaseraga, & Alfred-Almond Pre-Merger Study
In October 2013, Alan Pole represented Castallo & Silky LLC in conducting a pre-merger
study for three Central New York school districts: Arkport, Canaseraga and Alfred-Almond. This study was undertaken to determine which, if any, of the possible combinations of the three districts might make
sense and therefore possibly move the districts to consider undertaking a full-blown merger study. You can download
the report from above.
Seneca County Pre-Merger Study
In 2011, Castallo & Silky LLC conducted a
pre-merger feasbility study for the four school districts in Seneca County (NY). The purpose of the study was to determine
what, if any, feasible combination of the districts would make sense to go to a full merger study. This is an important
first step in the consideration process. Review this study carefully!
Castallo & Silky LLC associates Alan Pole and Bill Silky
facilitated an elementary and middle school attendance boundary redistricting study for the West Genesee Central School District
(NY) during the 2011-12 school year. The link below will take you to a copy of the Powerpoint presentation of their
West Genesee Central School District Redistricting Study Final Report
BOCES Determination Studies (Romulus & South Seneca/Oppenheim-Ephratah
& St. Johnsville)
The New York State Education Department must
determine to which BOCES Supervisory District a newly merged district should belong if the two or more previous districts
were located in different BOCES. This link to the State Education Department website contains two recent studies that
were conducted by the Department to make this determination relative to two merger studies conducted by Castallo & Silky LLC.
Dr. Phil Martin and Mr. Alan Pole, Castallo & Silky LLC associates, oversaw a
study to explore the merger of the St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School Districts (NY). In May 2011
they issued their final report to the boards of education. The school districts have since voted to consolidate their
two districts into one on July 1, 2013. The final report is available by clicking the title below.
Merger Study Final Report-Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville Central School Districts
NYS Education Commission Report
The NYS Education Reform Commission appointed by Governor Cuomo released its initial report in January
2013. The report outlines some bold ideas and is worth reading if you have not already done so. Dr. Jessica Cohen,
an associate at Castallo & Silky LLC is a member of the Commission. It can be downloaded here (below)
or from the Commission's website. Take a look!
On August 9, 2011, Castallo & Silky LLC associates Alan Pole and Bill Silky were
key presenters at a statewide conference on school organization in Syracuse (NY). A website was established to provide participants information about the conference as well as a number of related documents (research,
powerpoint presentations, etc.) for anyone considering possibly merging school districts.
out-of-state candidates are interested in knowing how one gets certified in New York. This link on the New York State
Education Department website will provide some direction: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/home.html
Dr. Silky was a co-editor of the Spring 2012 New York State ASCD
journal, Impact. Bill also wrote an article in the edition on courageous leadership. Take a look!
Spring 2012 NYS ASCD Journal