Skip Navigation
Regional News
The 28-member joint advisory committee in the Potsdam high school library Wednesday night. Photo: David Sommerstein.
The 28-member joint advisory committee in the Potsdam high school library Wednesday night. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Day 1 of Canton & Potsdam's school merger study

Listen to this story
Two of the North Country's most prominent villages have begun studying the possibility of merging their school districts.

14 people from Canton and 14 from Potsdam met for their first joint advisory committee meeting last night. After a six month study led by a consulting group from Buffalo, they'll decide whether to recommend merging the two school districts.

Hear this

Download audio

Share this


Explore this

Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

Emily Brouwer teaches middle school French and Spanish in Potsdam and is representing the middle school teachers on the committee. She says she’s trying to keep an open mind. "When you talk to community members out there, there are people with very strong opinions who do not want to lose the Canton or Potsdam identities," Brouwer says. "It’s going to be interesting the process of what we learn and how it factors in and whether people are willing to keep an open mind and listen to what the panel finds."

Canton and Potsdam have suffered more than 100 staff and teacher layoffs and substantial program cuts in the last five years. If the districts do merge, they stand to win $35 million in state consolidation funds.

Paul Doty is representing arts programs for Canton and has a daughter who graduated from Canton and another in seventh grade. He wonders how much a merger will actually help. "I do really want to ask some questions like, a phrase that’s been used tonight is ‘stop the bleeding’," says Doty. "Well, is it possible that a merger does a little more than simply 'stop the bleeding', and if not, what conclusions do you draw from that?"

The 28 member committee will meet once a month through May before recommending whether a merger should go before voters in a referendum.

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.