On Wednesday, February 1, 2012 a public forum was held at Germantown Central School (GCS) to initiate discussion about the future of GCS.   The event was called “the World Café.” GCS Education 2015 was started to further the work that began that evening on how to best sustain the Germantown Central School District while providing a high quality education to our students.  

    To the Germantown Central School District Community:

    The purpose of the World Café was to provide community input to the Germantown Central School (GCS) Board of Education (BOE) on priority programming and the community’s expectation of our education system.  Attendance at the “World Café” exceeded 180 participants.  Participants were invited to express their opinions and share innovative ideas as well as their own experiences and memories of Germantown Central School.  Together, the community generated a list of ideas in an effort to enrich the educational services and future of the Germantown Central School District.

    The World Café was the first in a multi-step approach to seriously examine the future of Germantown Central School.  Since its completion, the second phase of this process has begun.  In an effort to continue the momentum that was generated, District Superintendent Patrick Gabriel invited 14 community members to form a work group responsible for researching the ideas generated.  This is the first update to the community since that group began meeting on March 22, 2012. 

    The work group has met twice each month since its inception and has performed a preliminary analysis of the World Cafe’ results.  The initial level of review simply developed categories for similar ideas from World Café participants.  A secondary review further defined the categories as elements that are “Must Haves; Require Further Investigation; Already In Action; or Outside of the Scope of the Workgroup”.   What has remained clear throughout these discussions is that the community requests, expects and deserves a high quality educational experience for our children and is interested in exploring a spectrum of models to attain it.  The full categorization of the World Café results is available here and the district offices.

    At the May 8th meeting, the project was named “GCS Education 2015.”  The term represents the group’s goal of being forward thinking and developing a progressive array of well researched educational opportunities/choices that best prepare our students and at the same time consider the financial sustainability of the Germantown Central School District.

    The members of GCS Education 2015 are committed to developing proposals that support high quality education, student choice and a process that is as transparent as possible. Understanding that communication and access to information are integral to a successful partnership, updates to the community, similar to this one, as well as public forums will occur throughout the year.  A list of work group members, communications, documentation of research and recommendations will also be available at the Germantown Central School website www.germantowncsd.org and the district offices.

    GCS Education 2015 is a fluid, long-term investigative project that will require patience and perseverance from the entire community. It has the capacity to take on several different yet parallel paths toward our future.  There are many factors that may influence which paths are proposed, but these factors have yet to be researched. As such, input and feedback throughout this process is welcomed and encouraged.  Community members can send correspondence and comments to GCS Education 2015 Germantown Central School 123 Main Street, Germantown, NY 12526 or email gcs.ed2015@gmail.com .



    The GCS Education 2015 Workgroup