Clarence, NY (WBEN) Fresh off a budget battle, an area private school is trying to convince parents of Clarence School students to transfer.
Nichols School is selling "the benefits of an independent school education," touting its class size of 14 on average, plus extracurricular activities and sports. Clubs and modified sports were dropped in the Clarence budget, while class size went up.
Clarence parent Drew Cerza says he has no animosity against Nichols for doing such a thing."I think Nichols is seeing this as an opportunity," he believes. "The perception is that the sky is falling in Clarence, but that's not the case." Cerza concedes the district went through budget cuts, but survived well. Cerza says there are larger class sizes, and modified sports were lost, but a foundation, clarenceschoolfund.org is working to raise the $180,000 needed to restore clubs and sports.
Cerza says if anyone is thinking about moving their children to Nichols or another private school, "I hope it's a different opportunity for their children. There's nothing wrong with Clarence schools. We didn't lose anything that will affect the quality of education," he says. "If you've got concerns over a few tax dollars, I think that $20,000 a year bill will affect you a lot more. I do think NIchols is a great school, like St. Joe's Canisius, and every parent owes it to their children to look into schools like that."
But Cerza contends private schools don't have something Clarence schools have. "It's a great community, and you don't get that community feeling in private schools like you do in Clarence," notes Cerza.