Penn Yan and Dundee School Boards invite public ideas at July 19 meeting in Dundee at 6:30 p.m.

With fluctuating issues like declining enrollment, unpredictable funding streams, changing state and federal requirements, and uncertainty about the supply of future educators, building a foundation to provide an education that will be meaningful in the coming decades is becoming more and more difficult, especially in small rural districts like Penn Yan and Dundee.

That’s why the boards of education of the two school districts are holding a joint meeting July 19 in Dundee to hear ideas from the public about creative ways to provide opportunities for students.

Penn Yan Superintendent Howard Dennis and Dundee Superintendent Kelly Houck announced the meeting a few weeks ago, and they are hoping this meeting will start a discussion that could lead to new opportunities for students that neither school could provide alone.

Houck says she hopes it will be “an exciting, thought-provoking and provocative conversation.” She says, “It is evident with the changes in funding for public education that we can’t continue to do things the way we have always done them. We must look for creative solutions to old problems.”

The Dundee Central School has become a local leader in personalized learning, an approach in which teachers and schools create systems, tools and methodologies that tailor instruction to the individual needs, skills and interestes of each student in an effort to accelerate and deepen learning.

The Penn Yan School District has begun planning that could lead to implementation. Houck says she hopes this will be one of many meetings between the districts. “Our two school districts have outstanding Board of Educations whose dedication and commitment to student success is unwavering,” she says, adding, “A critical component is our communities, we highly encourage our residents to attend. Their thoughts and ideas will be very instrumental.”

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 19 in the Public Meeting room of the Dundee Central School. The Public Meeting room is located at the back of the school building, near the Elementary School entrance.