Schools: Chautauqua Lake is a model

We do, loyal online readers, take time on occasion to check out some of the blogs posted at our Web edition. Some are insightful. Others are offensive. And a few are just downright misinformation.

In dealing with the potential merger issue between Westfield and Brocton, some anonymous commenters have recently posted that the merger in 1995 between the small Chautauqua and Mayville school districts that created Chautauqua Lake Central School has not worked out.


If Mayville and Chautauqua were separate school districts today, academic programming for both schools would be minimal, student populations would resemble those of the total Ripley district – about 320 – and extracurricular activities would likely not be offered. That option is a failure.

Thanks to the infusion of state aid, the district has a state of the art building. Those commenters, however, are correct when they say taxes have increased. But that was after nearly 10 years of stable rates.

In fact, things are working so well at Chautauqua Lake that Ripley seventh- through 12th-graders are now a part of the school through tuitioning. Many of those students now know what it’s like to have a school day with plenty of academic options without the three or four study halls each day.

So if the Chautauqua Lake merger is not working, consider that commenter to be a sour source. That same group of commenters is not saying the previously combined districts that brought about Southwestern, Pine Valley, Fredonia or Cassadaga Valley are not working. But now that we have given some ammunition, those comments may start appearing.