In an effort to offer more programs, Corinth and Hadley-Luzerne school districts will share some high school courses next year.
The districts have also applied for a $50,000 state grant to fund a study of other ways the districts can combine services.
In the fall, Corinth will offer nine courses at its high school for Hadley-Luzerne students, while Hadley-Luzerne will provide seven courses for Corinth students.
Students will be transported to attend the classes and could spend up to half a day in the neighboring school. The agreement provides students with courses they would not otherwise be able to take without added cost for the districts.
“I think it’s a great example of something that districts are having to do in the face of this economic situation that we are in,” said Paul Berry, superintendent of Hadley-Luzerne.
Daniel Starr, superintendent of Corinth, said the districts have shared services in the past, but he could not recall another instance in which they shared courses to this extent.
“I didn’t have an expectation on how many courses we could share, but I think it’s terrific that we could share this many courses,” Starr said.
Counselors and principals from both high schools have met for months to review classes their schools could offer. Under the agreement, Corinth students can travel to Hadley-Luzerne to study nanotechnology, honors biology and advanced-placement biology. Hadley-Luzerne students can visit Corinth for physiology, accounting, advanced-placement psychology and anatomy courses.
Depending on the course, students from either school will earn half a credit or a full credit.
Officials said the districts have similar schedules, which allows them to share courses. In addition, Hadley-Luzerne buses already pass the Corinth school to travel to BOCES or private schools. As a result, officials expect only minor adjustments to transportation will be necessary.
The districts have applied for the $50,000 grant, which is offered by the state Department of State. If the money is awarded, each district will pay $2,500 toward the study, which is a condition for receiving the grant.
Berry said he hopes to know over the summer whether the districts will receive the state funds.
In April, both school boards met to discuss ways to share. They met again Monday to hear from principals about academic opportunities. Officials said they are trying to figure out if their boards can meet together up to four times each year.
School districts have faced financial challenges since 2009. As expenses continue to rise and revenues dwindle, districts have cut spending. In many instances, that has led to reductions in programs.
This year, more local districts are looking at sharing services with neighboring districts to add opportunities without spending more money.