So the Irvington school district is comprised of its four schools, Dows Lane, Main Street, Irvington Middle and Irvington High.
Who knew that the district also has some responsibility for the John Cardinal O'Connor School, a Catholic special education school for grades two through eight that's located in the former Immaculate Conception school?
Never mind that there actually aren't any Irvington students in the school.
Under New York State education law, the fact that the John Cardinal O'Connor School is located within Irvington's school boundaries makes Irvington the official "district of location," with responsibilities that go with it.
The school, which moved to Irvington for the 2009-10 academic year, had been St. Ursula's Learning Center in Mount Vernon.
Think of Irvington as being the host for a long-term house guest.
As the "district of location," Irvington provides special education services and manages the attendant administrative responsibilities that go along with those services, said Scott Palermo, director of Pupil Personnel Services for Irvington. Since the John Cardinal O'Connor School runs its own special education program with its own teachers, Irvington provides other required services. These include speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, counseling support and some basic nursing services.
What makes book-keeping somewhat easier, explained Palermo, is that "we provide the services, but we contract out for all the services, which makes it cleaner. We bill back to all the districts for services."
Under something known as "district of residence," which refers to where students actually live, if a student from Yonkers is enrolled at the John Cardinal O'Connor School, then Irvington bills Yonkers for whatever direct services are provided to that student.
While Irvington can bill for specific services to students, the district cannot bill for the administrative or secretarial time required to service the John Cardinal O'Connor School.
"It's almost like an Irvington school," said Palermo. "It's our responsibility. The whole paperwork and management is a major burden in its impact on our business office, and on our office. The number of special education students in that school equals any one of our other schools."
With 37 students currently enrolled at John Cardinal O'Connor, Palermo said, his office's secretarial staff has to manage and arrange the mandated special education meetings to determine the appropriate plan for special education students. The meetings themselves are billed back to the students' home districts.
Palermo said he couldn't tease out the cost of the administrative work done by himself and his staff.
Still, said Palermo, "We have a good working relationship with John Cardinal O'Connor School. We do it, and we do it well, and they're pleased."