Sidway Kinderkids Steal the Show
By Lee Cohen Monday, December 10, 2001...The highlight of Monday's school board meeting at
Sidway was a presentation by Mrs. Pat Hitcho's kindergarten class, who led the
large audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and then sang "Oh Christmas Tree" in
English as well as in German, in honor of one of their classmates, newly arrived
from Bavaria. Jillian Sheehan sang the solo and the group was accompanied on the
piano by senior citizen volunteer Frances Volpe.
Principal Frank Cannata, who was voted tenure Monday night to a round of
applause, presented an overview of his R.S.V.P. program. Sponsored by the Erie
County Dept. of Senior Services, the program brings senior citizens into the
school to volunteer approximately two hours a week in the classroom.
Senior volunteers Nell Roberts, Elaine Gorman and Volpe discussed the program
and how much they enjoy working at Sidway. They praised the staff and the
friendly atmosphere in the building. Cannata read a letter from 91-year-old
Helene Kerr, who said she would have liked to volunteer and who reminisced that
she has twin sons, now 62, who attended Sidway the first year there were two 1st
grade classes. A letter also was received from Jen Dobmeier in praise of the
In regular board business trustees were told that interest rates were down but
that sales tax revenues were comparable to last year at this time. Old kitchen
equipment that had been in storage was declared obsolete and trustees approved a
bid of chemical supplies from Dobmeier Janitorial and okayed participation in
BOCES cooperative bids for software and duplicating and paper supplies.
Dr. James Dempsey presented the high school planning guide for 2002-2003, which
was approved by the board with the following changes from this year:
- Astronomy has been added as a course, since three years of science will be
required by all students, with a passing grade of 65. The course will run only
if it does not require additional staff.
- Math B has been added as a state mandate, with Course I and Course II phased
- Pre-algebra will be offered to 9th graders who need more time to complete a
three-year sequence. A score of 65 on the math Regents will be required;
- Course names have been changed in line with state mandates: Sociology replaces
Man and Society and Criminal Law replaces Practical Law. Biology in now Biology/
The Living Environment and earth science is now Earth Science/The Physical
Trustees approved the policy on extra-curricular activities and athletics after
a second reading and heard the first reading of three additional policies:
Internet Control Filtering; Home Instruction (permanent) and Incidental
The district already provides internet filtering and the policy spells out
further activities and safeguards. The home instruction policy delineates the
district's role toward students who are home schooled. Such students are not
eligible for a high school diploma nor do they receive health services, remedial
instruction or school materials. They do not participate in school sponsored
Incidental teaching refers to assigning a teacher to a subject not covered by
his/her certification. The assignment may not be for more than five classroom
hours per week and must be approved by the Commissioner of Education. Currently
there are no such teachers in the district.
In personnel action child-care leaves of absence were granted Joan VanderMey,
Tricia McDonald and Laura Murray. Resignations accepted: Paula McDonnell, RN;
Julie Bidell, teacher aide, Marcia Little, food service helper. Appointments:
Mike Parzymeiso, Alternative Education program; Frances Redlinski, extension as
short-term substitute; Linda Sobieski, probationary food service helper; Bonnie
Jo Ruppert, permanent food service helper. In the absence of vice president Sue
Gill, due to illness, Myrna Blair made the personnel motions.
In Voice of the People following the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Larry
Schaller reported that following his trip to Albany to discuss Capital Project
plans, the State Education Department is close to approving the project,
following some minor architectural changes.
The board will hold its first meeting of the new year on Monday, January 14 at 7 p.m.
at Huth Road School.
G.I. Again No. 1 in KidsVoting
By Lee Cohen
Every year that Grand Island has participated in KidVoting it has ranked first
in Western New York, and this year was no exception.
At Monday night's school board meeting school coordinator Lynn Makowski
presented a Buffalo News plaque to Superintendent Paul Fields in recognition of
the district's first-place rank.
Also receiving recognition were school captains Kathy Fik, Kaegebein, with the
greatest number of voters; and Nancy Peterson, Sidway; Jim Randles, Connor
Middle, and Judy Wynne, Huth. Overall captains for KidsVoting were Lee Tetkowski
and Joan Droit.
School Board Agenda - December 10, 2001 6:45 P.M. - Sidway Dining Room 6:45 P.M. - Tour of Library - Sidway
1. 7 P.M. - Call to Order in Sidway Dining Room
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Sidway Program
4. Voice of the People
6. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 11/26/01
A. For Your Information - Joint School/Town Board Meeting Minutes - 10/20/01
7. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes - 11/20 and 11/28/01
B. Approval of Committee on Preschool Special Education Meeting Minutes - 12/4/01
8. Business and Finance
B. For Your Information
1) Treasurer's Report - October, 2001
2) Payroll - November 30, 2001
3) Budget Transfer
A. Personnel Status Report
10. Board of Education
A. High School Planning Guide
B. Approval of Compublend II Cleaning Chemical Bid
C. Approval of BOCES Co-operative Bids
1) Paper and Duplicating Supplies
1)2nd reading - Extra-curricular Activities and Athletics
2) 1st reading
a)Internet Control Filtering
b) Home Instruction (permanent instruction)
c) Incidental Teaching
11. Next Meetings
A. Monday, January 14, 2002 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Huth Road Elementary School
B. Monday, January 28, 2002 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
Capital Project Approval Slated for January
By Lee Cohen Monday, November 26, 2001...In the “good news” portion of the meeting Superintendent Paul Fields announced that the district is in line for approval of its capital project, possibly in January. District representatives are to meet in Albany with State Education Department officials for a final review. Also, Grand Island was once again No. 1 in Kids Voting in Western New York, with special recognition to be given at the board’s next meeting.
Recognition was given 9th graders Gretchen Kiehl, Kari Tondara and Sarah Tanbakuchi for their successful participation in Kidsvention, sponsored by WNED-TV. The program, now in its 5th year, features student-led debates on current issues. This year’s topic was “Should the U.S. and its world allies take military action in response to acts of terrorism?” The students, from Julie Johnson’s Humanities class, placed at the top of the 9th/10th grade category in the preliminary round and were featured on TV on Friday, Nov. 2 for the final round.
In board action trustees approved a three-day junior class trip to Boston, conducted by Junior Tours. Cost will be approximately $345/student, with fundraising activities to include a raffle ticket sale and possibly a candy sale. There will be one adult chaperone for every 10 students, with faculty supervision by class advisors Tom Gorman and Kathy Scarafia. Approximately 100 students currently are interested in participating, according to Scarafia.
Trustees approved a new high school textbook (Exploring Careers) for the Human Relations/Dynamics of Work course; approved the policy titled Solicitation of Charitable Donations from School Children after a second reading and heard the first reading of a policy dealing with extra-curricular activities and athletics. The policy states that children attending a charter school may participate in district athletic programs as long as that does not interfere with the successful participation of locally enrolled students. Home school or private institution students, however, are not permitted to participate in district extra-curricular and/or athletic programs. The district currently has one child enrolled in a charter school.
In personnel action Barbara Russo was appointed to the Alternative Education program, and Amanda Becker and Ardeth Kasahara named co-advisors for the S.A.D.D. program (following the resignation of Mollie Bowers), both at the high school. Patrick Krawczyk was appointed a probationary teaching assistant; Jodi Swain, a short-term substitute; Bill Gugino, a probationary auto mechanic, and Sylvia Connors received an extension of her temporary teacher aide position.
Trustees will meet for the last time this year on December at 7 p.m. in the Sidway dining room.
School Board Agenda - November 26, 2001 7 P.M. - Middle School Little Theater 1. 7 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Voice of the People
5. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 10/22/01
6. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Preschool Special Education Meeting Minutes - 10/23 and 11/7/01
B. Approval of Committee on Preschool Special Education Meeting Minutes - 10/17, 10/18, 10/19, 10/23, 10/31, 11/7, 11/8, 11/13 and 11/15/01
C. Additional appointments to the Committee on Preschool and Special Education -2001-02 Alternate Parent Members:
1) Nevins, Barb
2) Mulvey, Cheryl
3) Clark, Pamela
4) Toellner, Bernadine
7. Business and Finance
A. Payroll - 10/19, 11/2, 11/9 and 11/16/01
B. Treasurer's Report - September 2001
1) Treasurer's Report - August, 2001
A. Personnel Status Report
9. Board Of Education
A. Approval of new textbooks
1) Exploring Careers - High School
B. Policy - 2nd reading
1) Solicitation of Charitable Donations from School Children
C. Policy - 1st reading
1) Extra-curricular Activities and Athletics
D. Next Meetings
1) Monday, December 10, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting
a)7 p.m. -Sidway Dining Room
2) Monday January 14, 2002 - Regular Business Meeting
a)7:00 p.m - Huth Road
3) Monday, January 28, 2002 - Regular Business Meeting
a) 7:00 p.m. - MIddle School Little Theater
Town/School Board Collaboration Unique
By Lee Cohen Monday, Oct. 29...The joint Town
Board/School Board meeting at Sidway continued the
collaborative process begun several years ago to share
services for the betterment of the Grand Island
community. Supervisor Peter McMahon commented, "We've
been involved in regionalism long before it became the
'in' thing to do."
Reports on cooperative projects were given by Sue
Novits, representing GIFTS (Grand Island Family Town
Schools); by Superintendent Paul Fields, with an
update on Youth Court; by Aimee Neri, director of the
Advantage After School Program; and by Councilman
Kevin Rustowicz, with an update on the town's Youth
Suggestions were made for future sharing activities.
Joint investing of funds for a better rate of return
was discussed, and although Assistant Superintendent
Larry Schaller noted that school districts have
restrictive rules concerning investing, he added that
he was more than willing to look into the matter.
Fields warned that any investments would have to be
safe, easily converted and provide a good return.
Both boards were in agreement that cooperation in
developing plans for safety concerns and in possibly
staging tabletop/disaster drill situations was vital.
Jack Weisenborn, school special services director,
will work with town officials to design a joint safety
team. McMahon said that the town, the Grand Island Fire Company
and the schools did have their own plans in place to
deal with an emergency.
Noting that in almost all cases, someone knew when a
student had planned a school shooting, McMahon
suggested providing an email-alert address where
anonymous tips could be received. G.I.T.A. President
Gail Lazenby warned that the address would have to be
monitored 24 hours a day so that any tips could be
followed through as soon as possible and a plan would
have to be worked out to keep the tip anonymous.
Jeff Mendola, marketing manager for Rural Metro, urged
the school district to consider providing a CPR
program for students in their junior year. He noted
that teachers trained in CPR were available, as were
community members. "The Grand Island Fire Department
is one of the few in Western New York to have trained
paramedics," he stated.
Board President Richard McCowan commented that the
school board would have to approve the program.
Parking along Ransom Road during events at the school
drew considerable discussion. Councilman Michael
Heftka said that moving parking to the other side was
not a solution since the street would have to be
crossed and homeowners also would object. Councilman
Mary Cooke said that the town needed to have school
board input for a long-term solution. Putting up
no-parking signs would only move the parking to side
streets, causing more objections. Councilman Dick
Crawford said the town's safety committee could make
no recommendations because it did not have enough
information from the schools. The matter was tabled
until a joint committee could make
Following the formal agenda board members commented on
various issues. Supervisor McMahon had high praise for
Superintendent Fields. "He deserves recognition for
providing open communication with the town. We talk
Trustee Jeri Schopp and McMahon suggested that the
boards take advantage of the 5th Monday in a month to
talk more frequently than once a year. He suggested
that school and town department heads be brought
together "to move cooperative relations down to the
next level" to see what other initiatives could be
started, while continuing current inter-organizational
efforts. Trustees Sue Gill and Frank Del Signore spoke
in favor of CPR in the schools, while new trustee
David Goris called the session productive and
Councilman Cooke had high praise for the school
district's handling of information about the September
11th tragedy. "I was grateful and impressed that
elementary students were not told, but that a letter
was sent home to parents."
Sidway Principal Frank Cannata had high praise for the
Fire Company. "We bring 500 kids and their parents
over to the building and it's a wonderful experience.
The firemen are helpful and patient." He also thanked
McMahon for providing town police for traffic control
on high traffic days. Councilman Heftka, in turn, had
high praise for Jack Burns, director of transportation
for the district, who is also liaison to the Traffic
Safety Advisory Board. He particularly noted his cooperation on
Project Alert dealing with bus safety.
Finally, Dr. Fields saluted the "ongoing spirit of
cooperation and working together between the town and
Audit Report Shows School District Funds Well
By Lee Cohen Monday, Oct. 22. . ....The school district's
annual outside audit report shows that finances are
being well managed and that the district's debt
load, at 4.3 percent, is well below that of other
districts. The report,presented to trustees by CPAs
Eugene Mahaney and Joseph Klimek, noted that there
were no weaknesses and no questions regarding
administrative control of finances, that distribution
of all Federal and state funds was in compliance
with regulations, and that there were no significant
audit adjustments necessary. The report noted also
that there was a decrease of $475,000 in the general
fund and that there had been $3,050,000 in the
end-of-year fund balance,the majority of which was
used to reduce taxes.
In its management letter to the board, required by the
State Education Department, the accountants called
attention to the following: there had been a
few errors in payroll check preparation, later
corrected; the high school extra-classroom activity
fund had not been properly reconciled at the end of
the year (due to the retirement of the high school
treasurer); there needed to be more detailed record
keeping for a portion of the employee benefit fund;
and the district needed to develop a policy outlining
how funds from the soft-drink company pouring-rights
contract would be distributed.
Trustees heard the first reading of a policy dealing
with solicitation of charitable donations from school
children. While direct solicitation of funds may not
be made during regular school hours, fundraising can
take place off school premises or at before or after
school extra-curricular activities; by the
placement of collection boxes in common areas, but not
in classrooms; or by sale of goods or tickets for
charitable events. The policy also states that
the board of education should decide which groups may
solicit, but trustee David Goris questioned whether
that would be possible for all occasions. It was
suggested that board members delegate that role to the
superintendent; trustees agreed and that will be added
to the regulations. The board heard a second reading
of the policy on impartial hearing officers (discussed
in the last board report) and then approved it.
Two student music trips were approved after trustees
heard explanations from the music faculty. The high
school band and orchestra, with band director Marty
Allen and orchestra director Debbie Remson and
chaperones, will travel to Virginia Beach, Va. from
April 17-21 to attend the National Invitational Dixie
Classic Festival. On March 8 the high school wind
ensemble and the Huth Rd. band have been invitedto
Syracuse to play for the NYS Band Directors
Association Annual Symposium. According to Alan
Ripley, Huth band director, it is an unprecedented
honor to have two bands from the same district be
invited to the symposium. The day trip will cost the
80 students involved about $25 each, to be obtained
fundraising. Also approved, with Michael Dlugosz
abstaining, was a list of members of the district's
Safety Committee Team.
Curriculum director Karen Karmazin reviewed her
New-Teacher Orientation program. The in-depth report,
prepared with the help of teacher mentors Marie
Kronenwetter and Bev Molak, discussed how the program
was developed, its goals,and its evaluation. The
four-day orientation in August for the district's 33
new teachers and teacher assistants included an
overview of the history of Grand Island presented by
Sue Fleming-Brusino; a report on mentoring from
Julie Johnson and Andy Bowen (previous mentees); a
technology orientation by Jim Szafran; participation
in Project Adventure, led by Hank Carney, Daneen
Gallagher and Jeff Johnston; and discussion of
Also conducted were meetings with Teacher Association
representatives Gail Lazenby and Charlotte Sabo,
Teacher Center director Mary Vacanti, Director of
Pupil Personnel Services Carol Jones, Assistant
Superintendent Larry Schaller and Jude Keuhne
(discussing personnel services), training in the
SAVE/Right to Know curriculum by Director of Special
Services Jack Weisenborm, and meetings with principals
and program coordinators. Trustees commended her and
the mentors for a job well done.
In personnel action the following coaches were
approved for winter sports: basketball: Jen
Banker, girls varsity; Mike Stauffer, girls JV; Art
Meaney, girls modified; Chris Simpson, boys varsity;
Pat Krawczk, JV; Dan Sweeney, freshmen; Mike Manzo,
modified; wrestling: Jeff Johnston, head; Hank
Carney, assistant; Craig David, modified;
swimming: Lee Herbst, head; Joe Menter,
assistant; bowling: Gary Jackson;
cheerleading: Debbie Billica, head; Karen
Surdyke, assistant. Approved as volunteer coaches:
Hank Cushing, wrestling; Mark Abate, boys swimming;
Mike Zuch and Julie Roth, girls basketball; Kevin
Kulikowski, boys basketball.
Other appointments: Don Pray, Lynn Makowski, Julie
Johnson, for the high school Alternative Education
program; Robin Crowden, Huth Rd. boys chorus
advisor; Debbie Cich, extension of temporary
teacher-aide contract; Frances Fanara,
probationary food service helper; Campbell McCabe,
permanent bus driver; Ann Ash, permanent food service
helper. The resignation of teaching assistant
Theresa Wild was accepted.
A visit to the district's weather station, where
senior Adam Mazenauer demonstrated the program's
computer capabilities to trustees, preceded the well
attended meeting, held in the high school library.
Board President Richard McCowan opened the meeting
with a request for a minute of silence in memory of
former football coach Gene Masters. A highlight of the
evening was a multi-media presentation by Jim Szafran,
director of technology services, filmed with the
aid of Paul Szafran and other technology department
members, presenting an overview of the district's
technology equipment and its hopes and plans for the
future. The 15-minute presentation drew appreciative
applause from the attentive audience.
In the Good News portion of the meeting the audience
heard reports on fund-raising and other activities in
response to the September 11 attack. At the high
school Dr. James Dempsey, principal, reported that
students had raised more than $3000 to be donated to
the Red Cross, with students Ingrid Dahlburg and
Kaylee Mordaunt spearheadingn the effort. Principal
John Wiertel noted that at Kaegebein, led by teacher
Lynn Ackendorf, $630 had been raised for the Sept. 11
Fund and students were participating in red, white and
blue projects, aided by parents. At Huth Road Robin
Crowden reported that almost $300 had been raised
for the Firefighters Fund with the help of library
aide Marie Connell, and that a card and letter-writing
campaign is underway. Through a Dress-Down Day $750
had been raised at Sidway, with matching funds
provided by HSBC Bank.
Also in the Good News portion of the meeting students
Sally Head and Christopher Duff were recognized for
their outstanding performance on the National Merit
Scholarship Qualifying Test.
In Voice of the People Larry Schaller reported that
approval of Capital Project plans had been delayed by
the retirement of State Ed. employees as well as a
call-up to the National Guard of another employee. The
district has consulted with a specialist in code
review, making architectural and engineering
modifications to its original plans in order to
maximize the amount of aid it can receive, and the
revised plan has been sent back to the state for still
The board will meet Monday with members of the town
board at Sidway at 7 p.m. The next regularly scheduled
business meeting is not until Monday, November 26,
in the Middle School Little Theater, at 7 p.m.
School Board Agenda - October 22, 2001 7 P.M. - High School Library 1. 7 P.M. - Call to Order - High School Library
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Voice of the People
5. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 9/24/01
6. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes - 8/28, 10/2, 10/9 and 10/11/01
B. Grand Island School District Plan for Special Education Services for Children with Disabilities 2001-02
7. Business and Finance
B. For Your Information
1) Treasurer's Report - August, 2001
2) Payroll - 9/21 and 10/5/01
3) Investments - July, 2001
4) Revenues - July, August and September, 2001
5) Extra Classroom Activity Fund - Middle School - 9/30/2001
6 Budget Transfers
A. Creation of Position
9. Board Of Education
A. Audit Report - 6/30/2001
B. Instrumental Tour to Virginia Beach, Va.- April 17-21, 2002
C. H. S. Wind Ensemble/Huth Band - Invitation to NYS Band Directors Association's Annual Symposium - March 8, 2002 - Syracuse, NY
D. Policy - 1st reading
1) Solicitation of Charitable Donations from School Children
E. Policy - 2nd reading
1) Impartial Hearing Officers
F. Approval of Safety Committee Team Members - 2001-02
G. New Teacher Orientation Report - Dr. Karmazin
H. Technology Presentation - Mr. Szafran
10. Next meetings
A. Monday, October 29, 2001 - Joint School/Town Board Meeting - 7 p.m. -Sidway Dining Room
B. Monday, November 26, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m - Middle School Little Theater
District Set To Receive Grant For State Trooper Resource Officer
By Lee Cohen Monday, Sept. 24. . .Trustees were informed that Grand Island is one of the districts in line to have a New York State trooper assigned here as the result of a multi-year grant approved by the governor authorizing the program statewide.
“This will not be someone who patrols the halls,” stated Superintendent Paul Fields, who explained that the officer will work in all five buildings overseeing safety and security, serving as a resource person to staff and community, handling traffic for special events, and working in areas of violence prevention. Fields commended Jack Weisenborn, director of special services, for his work in applying for and obtaining the grant.
The superintendent reported on the district’s response to the September 11 tragedy. Elementary students were not informed; instead a letter was sent home explaining the district’s action. Teachers informed middle and high school students and discussions were held in social studies classes. A large-screen TV was set up in the high school, enabling students and staff to watch as time allowed. Students organized a prayer vigil at the high school flag and contributions in excess of $3000 have been collected for disaster relief. “I’m proud of the way everything was handled,” Fields commented.
In board action the Grand Island Ski Club (approximately 400 strong) was approved, as was a grade 8 French field trip to Quebec from May 2-5, 2002, and a joint school/town board meeting on Oct. 29, 2001 at Sidway. Two new high school texts were adopted: The World & Its Cultures, is by Simon & Schuster with a ’97 publication date, and Glencoe-Algebra I, Integration, Applications, Connections, specifically geared to the state’s Math I curriculum. Trustees heard the first reading of a policy revision dealing with impartial hearing officers, which includes the authorization of any board member to make an Impartial Hearing Officer appointment.
In personnel action Adrienne Alterio was terminated as elementary teacher and the resignations of Nancy Heftka and Jennifer McMahon were approved. Appointed to the high school’s Alternative Education program were John Ball, David Lilleck, Maggie Kennedy, Andy Bowen, Harold Cushing, Carolyn Manzo, Tom Gorman, Kevin Murray, John Arnone, Claire Cieslewicz, Bill Stuckwisch, Ardeth Kashahara, and Carrie Earnst. Other approvals: Lori Ohrum, newspaper co-advisor at Connor Middle; Kim Rampino, probationary special ed. teacher; Teresa Corso, probationary teaching assistant; Jennifer Appenheimer, permanent senior clerk typist in the business office; Cathy Markovich, senior clerk typist; Susan Schultz, teacher on special assignment/CSE chairperson (after approval of a leave of absence as a probationary special ed. teacher.)
President Richard McCowan informed trustees that Michael Dlugosz was out of town and excused from the meeting. Led by Sue Gill, vice president, board members discussed proposed bylaws amendments and resolutions for the upcoming state School Boards Association annual meeting in Buffalo in October.
During Voice of the People Gail Lazenby, who said he was speaking for residents of the New England Village area (east of the high school), asked that trustees support the town board in placing parking restrictions (from 7 to 10 a.m.) in that area to eliminate student parking. “It’s not the school district’s problem,” commented McCowan. “We’ve already given support to the town board.” After discussion, however, trustees directed Dr. Fields to write a letter in support of the action.
The board does not meet again until Monday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the high school library, followed by the joint town/school board meeting in the Sidway dining room the following Monday, also at 7 p.m.
Trustees Receive Regents Results Report
By Lee Cohen Monday, Sept. 10, 2001. . .Dr. James Dempsey, high school principal, presented a preliminary review of Regents results for the Class of 200l. Comprehensive English continued to show improvement, with 86 percent of those taking the exam scoring 65 or above, and with 65 students at mastery (85-100 percent). All 50 students taking the French Regents passed with 65 or above, while 94 percent of the 97 students taking the Spanish exam passed at that level.
In Math I, of 103 taking the exam, 76 percent (78 students) earned 65 or above, down slightly from the previous year. For Math II, with 218 tested, 88 percent passed with 65 or above, showing improvement over three years. Math III continued the improved results of the year before, with 88 percent (133 of 152 students) passing at 65 or above.
In earth science, of 233 taking the exam, 85 percent (198 students) passed with 65 or higher. There were 145 students who took the chemistry exam and 79 percent passed with 65 or above. Biology results continue outstanding, with 99 percent passing at 65 or above, and with 100 students of the 265 tested scoring at the mastery level (85 or above). Of 71 students taking the physics exam, 90 percent passed at 65 or above, down from the previous two years. Global studies results show that 310 students took the exam and 85 percent passed at 65 or above. U.S. history had 78 percent of 217 students passing with 65 or above, down from the previous two years. Dempsey said that the complete report will be part of the district’s “Report Card” from the state, issued in the spring.
Citing the potential danger from having as many as 32 middle schoolers waiting for the school bus at Baseline and Woodstream, Linda Richter of the Woodstream subdivision presented a petition with 150 names asking the school board to consider providing three to four bus stops along Woodstream. She pointed out that the bus would not have to turn around as there is another exit from the area. Board president Richard McCowan directed the superintendent to investigate the situation and report back to trustees at a later meeting.
In board action trustees approved participation in BOCES cooperative fuel bids and voted for Warren Schlifke as NYS School Board Association Area 1 director. Superintendent Paul Fields reported that opening day had gone smoothly and that enrollment stood at 3251, up slightly from last year. Senior Scott McMichael was recognized for having been named a semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship program.
In personnel action Carol Jones received tenure as director of Pupil Personnel Services; Sandra Lamb was named Readers Club advisor at Connor Middle; and resignations were accepted from Cheryl Lazzaro-Fererici and from district personnel clerk Lynn Bennett, who is retiring. Receiving permanent appointments were Kathy Tim, senior clerk typist in the athletics office, and Teresa Voltz, baker. Nancy Heftka was named a temporary food service helper.
Kaegebein activity advisors were appointed as follows: Alexann Incao, art club; Sue Waters, 4th/5th grade chorus; Cyndi Booker, computer club; Mike Stark, safety patrol; Lesli Sandusky, student mentor program; Sherm Lyke, band director; Christine Clendening, 3rd grade chorus; Kathy Chadwick & Joanne Piccione, homework club; Kelly Robertson, string ensemble; Nanci Pieta, Destination Imagination.
Monday night’s meeting, held at Eco Island Nature Center, began with a presentation by Dianne Tiede, director of the center. Her All About Birds project, dedicated to the memory of Hazel Link, is now complete and has two sections: “Bills & Feet” and “Lifelike Birds.” The latter includes nests, models of common birds and a song simulator. Tiede explained that the project “is the last big one to be completed. We have no more room.” She now would like to concentrate on having teachers come to the center with their classes and hopes to encourage them to take the 10-hour course about Eco Island through the Teacher Center. “It’s not enough that they just come down. They have to know what to do.” She is working with Dr. Karen Karmazin, director of curriculum and instruction, to have time during a Staff Development Day to hold tours. “There are many new teachers in the district who are unaware of the center,” she explained.
During Voice of the People Dr. Fields reported that the district’s capital project is now undergoing final review in Albany. Trustees will meet again this month on the 27th, in the Connor Middle School Little Theater at 7 p.m.
School Board Agenda - September 10, 2001 7 P.M. - Eco Island 1. 7 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Voice of the People
5. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 8/27/01
6. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Preschool Special Education Meeting Minutes - 9/6/01
7. Business and Finance
A. For Your Information
1) Payroll - 8/24 and 8/31
2) Treasurer's Report - July 2001
3) Budget Transfers
A. Personnel Status Report
9. Baord Of Education
A. BOCES Cooperative Fuel Bid
B. election - NYSSBA Area 1 Director
C. High School Regents Exam Results
10. Next meetings
A. Monday, September 24, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
B. September 10, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m - Eco Island
C. Monday, October 22, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m - High School Library
Trustees Award Bids For Middle School Science Room Renovations
By Lee Cohen Monday, August 27. . .Personnel matters took up most of the brief
5:30 p.m. public meeting, but following a lengthy executive session trustees
voted to award three bids for renovations to two Connor Middle School science
The rooms' ducts currently are vented into the general air circulation, causing
odors in the building during science experiments. Renovation work will include
replacing five hoods with ones which vent directly to the outside, plus ceiling,
lighting and electrical work.
Bids were awarded to Cloverbank Construction for $23,000; to DWC Mechanical for
$13,595; and to Goodwin Electrical, for $9,450. Outside work will begin as soon
as possible in order to be completed by December, with the inside work to be
done during the winter break. Students will not use the rooms while interior
work is in progress.
In board action trustees approved three policies following a second reading.
They are Statewide Uniform Violent Incident Reporting System; Teacher Removal of
Disruptive Students from the Classroom; and Fingerprinting of Prospective School
Employees. Trustees also approved a fingerprinting resolution which allows the
district to appoint employees who need fingerprinting conditionally until
pending clearance from the state.
The fingerprinting issue drew comments from G.I.T.A. president Gail Lazenby
during Voice of the People. "It's a knee-jerk reaction from the state," he
commented. While he approved of the process, he felt that more time should have
been taken to consider all aspects of the issue. He noted that volunteers do not
need to be fingerprinted, yet they come into more contact with students than
someone such as a referee, who does need finger-printing. "There are people who
are in an out of the buildings, such as contractors, delivery men, service
people who are not fingerprinted. There's no control there," he explained.
In personnel matters the district is minus only one staff member, a teaching
assistant, due to a late resignation, but other than that, Monday's meeting saw
the last of the new hires approved. "We are in good shape because we began our
hiring process in February," commented trustee Sue Gill. More than 25 new
teaching staff, as well as new office personnel, will be on hand to greet
students when schools open on Tuesday. Appointments: Karen Cartwright, probationary teacher assistant; Sarah
Bifaro, long-term math substitute; Sue Szczublewski, long-term substitute
teaching assistant, Tracey Shores, short-term special ed. substitute; Sharon
Costantini, long-term foreign language substitute, all at Connor Middle.
Also Michael Difonzo, .4 teaching assistant and .6 computer teacher at the high
school; Jody Bates Parsons, probationary teacher assistant at Huth; Debra
ElHoussieny, senior account clerk typist, Barbara Darpino, probationary cook;
and the following teacher aide appointments (probationar): Jennifer Gill,
Kaegebein; Nancy Rizek, Connor Middle; (temporary) Robyn Higgins and
Deborah Cich, Sidway; Sylvia Connors, Connor Middle.
Resignations: Barbara Russo, .4 science; Tom Lloyd, mechanic; Carol
Berlinger, bus driver (retirement). Other resignations were for changes from
teaching assistant positions: Debra Killian, to probationary special ed. teacher
at Connor Middle; Jessica Catalano, to long-term substitute at Huth.
Volunteer coaches were okayed for the fall 2001 season as follows: Julie Roth,
girls tennis, Kris Christiansen and Jeff Johnson, football; Ray Billica, soccer;
Mark Abate, girls swimming; Cal Kern, soccer.
Connor Middle School internal appointments were approved as follows: Program
coordinators : social studies: Gail Lazenby; science: Dave Sherriff;
English: Bob King; technology: Kay Saunders; math: Bill Brodie; foreign
language/reading: Mary Fran Lovelace & Sue Fleming-Brusino; unified arts: Marie
Kronenwetter and Ray Hartmann; Team leaders: Kathy Ginty, Team A; Mary
Domanski, B; Jim Randles, C; Dave Sherriff, D; Sally Zelasko, E; Jayne Schaber,
8th grade; Club advisors: Marlaine Kaniecki and Diane Rumsey,
International Night; Clarke Elliott, jazz ensemble; Camille Starck, Mathletes;
Tom Alberella, Mathletes assistant; Debra Remson, musical; Debra Killian,
newspaper; Marlaine Kaniecki, Odyssey of the Mind; Don Sauer, peer mediation;
Mary Fran Lovelace & Diane Rumsey, foreign language; Pat Myers & Kay Saunders,
student council; Kathy Ginty, Girls Club; Annalea Masiello, show choir.
The board will meet again at its usual time, 7 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 10, at Eco
Island and return to the Middle School Little Theater on Monday, Sept. 24.
State Budget and Local Assessment Reductions
Spell School Revenue Shortfalls
By Lee Cohen
The "bare bones" state budget has slashed Education Department funding locally
and across New York. The shortfalls have combined with property-value assessment
reductions to severely reduce the revenue the Grand Island School District was
depending on for the 2001-2002 school year. These shortfalls will cause the
residents' property tax warrant to increase over the amount originally projected
by the district. In response the school district Business Office has recently
established a freeze on non-mandated spending.
"Promised revenue from the state has either been delayed or slashed," explained
assistant Superintendent Larry Schaller. "We have to find ways to maintain our
commitment to our many mandates while acting fiscally responsibly."
Along with regular aid being reduced by more than $200,000, massive cuts are
being predicted in Software, Hardware, Textbook, Rescue (emergency repair) Aid,
and Early Grade Class-Reduction Aid, amounting to approximately $360,000.
Reductions in state aid are magnified by recent assessment reduction petitions
submitted this summer by several local corporations and utilities. The last two
years' petitions total more $15 million, which may result in a revenue loss to
the district of approximately $450,000 per year. Petitions for assessment
reduction have been received from Tops Markets, Moore Business Forms, Viacom,
Edwards High Vacuum, Valmed Pharmaceuticals, Niagara Mohawk, and Viatran.
"Shortfalls of this magnitude will have the dual effect of reducing non-mandated
programs and increasing the local share of the financial burden," said Schaller.
"The state's share of our local school budget has already fallen from 48 percent
to 36 percent in the last 15 years. Unfortunately, the local community will be
forced to determine which programs are maintained and which are reduced."
Grand Island 20th On List
For Capital Project Go-ahead
By Lee Cohen Monday, Aug. 13, 2001. . .Superintendent Paul Fields told trustees at
Monday's meeting that the State Education Department's web site lists Grand
Island as 20th on its list for capital project approval. Lack of personnel in
Albany has slowed the review process, but Fields hopes to see work underway this
year, probably beginning with the music addition to the high school.
By enthusiastic, unanimous vote Myrna Blair was appointed a representative to the
Comprehensive District Education Planning committee. Its purpose is to examine
current curriculum, comparing it with state guidelines for school districts.
Fields explained that although Albany has not yet mandated such a review, it is
"in the works." The district began work last year and Fields commented, "It will
be good to be ahead of the game."
In board action trustees approved participation in BOCES cooperative bids for
athletics and AV supplies and equipment, and in Erie County bids for office
supplies and equipment; okayed the legal notice for the bus bond resolution; and
declared Kaegebein equipment obsolete. The list includes three typewriters, a
duplicating machine, FAX machine, listening stations, book stapler, and a health
office cot and card file cabinet.
The first reading of three policies was presented: Statewide Uniform Violent
Incident Reporting System, Teacher Removal of Disruptive Students from the
Classroom, and Fingerprinting of Prospective School Employees.
Personnel action took up most of the brief meeting and several new appointees
were on hand to be introduced to the five trustees present. All new hires are
being appointed conditionally pending clearance from the State Education
Department and the FBI.
Appointees include Julie Pease, math; Josephine Lockett Hegarty, science; Laurie
Cordero, guidance; Sue Astridge, clerk-typist; Mary Jane Fonte, long-term sub in
home & careers; all at Connor Middle; Robin Crowden, music (Huth); Bev Molak,
district mentor (with a leave of absence as a 2nd grade teacher); Adrienne
Alterio, long-term 2nd grade sub (Kaegebein); Jill Ungaro Ross, English as a
Second Language districtwide. Bonnie DiSanto, RN, was appointed districtwide to
service all schools, including St. Stephen and the Christian School.
Probationary teaching assistants okayed include Nancy Pioli, H.S. (who resigned
as teacher aide); Jessica Catalano & Melissa Tweedy, Huth; Stephanie Little-
Radomski and Stacey Zahradnik, Kaegebein; Tracy Setteducato, Sidway; and Theresa
Wild, Connor Middle. Other appointments: Caroline Lavango, permanent cook
manager; Jeanne Johnson, probationary clerk typist; Hilda DeLong, probationary
cook manager. Resignations accepted: Dave Holmes, special ed. teacher; Earl
Clements, bus driver.
The board's next meeting is on Monday, August 27, again at 5:30 p.m., in the
district conference room.
School Board Agenda - August 13, 2001 5:30 P.M. - District Office Conference Room 1. 5:30 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Voice of the People
5. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 7/23/01
6. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes - 6/1, 6/4, 6/5, 6/6, 6/7 and 6/11/01
B. Approval of Committee on Preschool Special Education Meeting Minutes - 7/24/01
7. Business and Finance
B. For Your Information
1) Treasurer'sReport - June, 2001
2) Payroll - 7/13 and 7/27/01
3) Budget Transfers
A. Personnel Status Report
C. Leave of Absence
9. Baord Of Education
A. Comprehensive District Educational Plan (CDEP) - representative
B. Policies - 1st reading
1) Statewide Uniform Violent Incident Reporting System
2) Teacher Removal of Disruptive Students from the Classroom
3) Fingerprinting of Prospective School Employees
C. BOCES Cooperative Bids
2) Audio Visual Supplies and Equipment
D. Erie County Bid
1) Office Supplies and Equipment
E. Legal Notice - Bus Bond Resolution
F. Obsolete Equipment - Kaegebein
G. YWCA Program Letters of Agreement
10. Next meetings
A. Monday, August 23, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 5:30 p.m. - District Office Conference Room
B. September 10, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m - Eco Island
C. Monday, September 24, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m - Middle School Little Theater
School Lunch Prices To Rise
By Lee Cohen Monday, July 23. . .School trustees, at their Monday night meeting, approved raising lunch prices for 2001-2 based on results of a survey of area school district fees. Elementary lunches will rise by 10 cents to $1.35, and middle and high school lunches will increase by 15 cents to $1.65. The latter will be higher than what has been charged at similar schools as of 2000. Adult lunches will be $2.95, up by 20 cents, including tax. Dennis Donovan, food services director, reported that pupil participation had increased by 16,000 lunches last year.
Personnel approvals continue to take up most of each board meeting. Appointed as Huth co-curricular advisors are Alan Ripley, band; Carol Horrigan, 3rd grade, girls and select choruses; Peter Sloan, art club; Cynthia Beery, sign language club; Cyndi Kaiser, safety patrol; Michelle Graziano, homework club; Kelly Robertson, string ensemble.
Marie Kronenwetter was given a leave of absence as home & careers teacher and appointed district mentor. At the high school Don Pray was named graduation coordinator and Mary Walter, co-advisor to the student council. Sidway coordinators approved: Nancy Petersen, gr. 1; Elaine Freedman, kindergarten. Fall coaches approved: Don Sauer, girls & boys cross country; Nancy Keller, girls & boys modified volleyball.
Probationary appointments include Heather Maras, former GIFTS coordinator, as Connor Middle social worker; and at the high school Joanne Koehler, math teaching assistant in the Learning Center; Ardeth Kasahara, English; Kevin Murray and David Lillek, social studies; Amanda Becker, Spanish. At the elementary level Julie Roth, long-term substitute; Frances Redlinski, short-term substitute; Kelly Robertson, .4 strings teacher. Summer appointments include Faith Mantione, detail work; Joanne MacClellan, substitute hall monitor; Stephanie Gill, laborer. (Trustee Sue Gill abstained from the vote on the latter.) Approval of all new staff after June 30 is contingent on fingerprinting, mandated by the state.
Bill Miller, high school assistant principal, reported to the board on graduation. Of 217 seniors, 204 received diplomas, including six IEP (Individual Education Program). There were 125 Regents diplomas granted, representing 52.8 percent of the class, the highest rate in several years. Scholarships were awarded to 38 students and 44 Certificates of Employability were issued.
He also updated trustees on the summer school education program. There are approximately 350 students enrolled, all Islanders, similar to other years. Of those 77 are middle schoolers, and 54 are attending driver education. Miller said that attendance is no longer a criterion for dismissal from summer school according to state regulations, which has caused some absences. Trustees approved two new textbooks: for science, gr. 8, and French, grades 7 & 8. The books were on hand for board members to inspect.
Board members decided to change the time of their August meetings to 5: 30 p.m. on Monday the 13th and 27th in the district conference room. At board president Richard McCowan’s suggestion, trustees will meet with the town board on the 5th Monday in October. Some were concerned that the date was before the town election and they did not want to make the meeting a political forum. Michael Dlugosz’s comment, “Perhaps we can win some concessions,” drew a laugh from the group.
School Board Agenda - July 23, 2001 7:00 P.M. - District Office Conference Room 1. 7:00 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Voice of the People
5. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 6/25, 7/9/01 (Reorganizational and Regular Business Meeting)
6. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes - 5/29 and 5/31/01
A. Personnel Status Report
B. Leave of Absence
8. Board of Education
A. Textbook Approval
1) Science (Grade 8, Regular)
2) French (Grades 7 & 8)
B. School Lunch Prices for 2001 school year
C. High School Summer School Report
D. High School Graduation Report
9. Next Meetings
A. Monday, August 13, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - District Office Conference Room
B. Monday, August 27, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - District Office Conference Room
McCowan, Gill Reelected School Board President, Vice-President
By Lee Cohen Monday, July 9. . .At its annual reorganization meeting, school trustees elected Dr. Richard McCowan to a fifth year as Board President and Sue Gill to her second year as Vice-President. The oath of office was administered to reelected Trustees Jeri Schopp, for a sixth term, and Myrna Blair, for a second full term.
Appointments to Erie County School Board committees were as follows: Blair, Representative to the Delegate Assembly and Legislative Committee; Gill, Alternate to Delegate Assembly; and David Goris, Representative to the Budget & Finance team. In addition, Blair was named Delegate to the NYS School Board's annual meeting (to be held in Buffalo), with Schopp as Alternate.
A brief regular meeting, dealing mainly with personnel matters, followed the reorganization meeting. The resignation of Teaching Assistant Maria Kohne was accepted. Mike Stauffer was reappointed .5 Phys. Ed. Teacher and .5 long-term Phys. Ed. Substitute. Renee Jagiello was granted a Sidway probationary Special Ed. Teacher appointment, and Kimberly Rampino was named a Connor Middle long-term Substitute Special Ed. Teacher.
Grade level and program coordinators were appointed as follows: Kaegebein: Cyndi Booker, Gr. 2; Maria Seibert, Gr. 3; Kathy Fik, Gr. 4; Sue Salinas & Mike Stark, Gr. 5. Huth: Ann Agnello, Gr. 2; Celeste Angelo, Gr. 3; Elaine Kasprzyk, Gr. 4; Michelle Graziano, Gr. 5. High School: Mary Therrien, Social Studies; Claire Cieslewicz, Science; Mary Smith, Technology; Bobbi Frisoni, School-to-Work Coordinator; Tim Oldenburg, Business/Technology/Home & Careers; Debbie Billica, Math; Mark Lamparelli, Foreign Language; Marlowe Beis, English. Districtwide: Jon Roth, Phys. Ed.; Sherm Lyke, Music, Dianne Tiede, Eco Island.
High School club advisor appointments: Cindy Wynne, Art Club; Tim Oldenburg, DECA; Dorea Holmes, Humanities Club; Maggie Kennedy, International Club; Carrie Earnst, Masterminds; Daneen Gallagher, NFL Student Advisory; Mark Lamparelli, National Honor Society; Marty Allen, Pep Band; Mollie Bowers, SADD; Megan Hoy & Kathy Scarafia, Spotlighters; Sherm Lyke, Stage Band (Jazz Ensemble); Gary Jackson, Stage Crew Director; Kathy Scarafia, Student Council; Mary Smith, Website; Bobbi Frisoni & Mary Smith, Yearbook.
Serving as volunteer Advisors are Sandy Burns, Entrepreneurship; Lynn Makowski, Kids Vote; Julie Johnson, Rotary Interact; Kathy Scarafia, Recycle Club. Serving as Class Advisors are Julie Johnson & John Ball, Freshmen; Carrie Earnst & Andy Bowen, Sophomores; Kathy Scarafia & Tom Gorman, Juniors; Mark Lamparelli & Brian Winger, Seniors. Appointed for the musical: Marty Allen, Orchestra Director; Nancy Lang, Choreographer; Carolyn Lokken & Nancy Lang, Co-directors; Carolyn Lokken, Publicity and Vocal Director.
Teacher appointments for summer school are Monica Harrington, Winanne Messing, Herb Westfall, Cheryl Chamberlain, Carrie Earnst, Kevin Murray, Carolyn Manzo, Karen Surdyke, Jim Wysocki and Marlene Winkler. Ryan McDonough was given a 2001 summer Laborer appointment.
In other action, trustees nominated Wayne Schlifke as NYS School Board's Area 1 Director and approved participation in BOCES cooperative bidding for office, art, paper, software, furniture, computer, bread product and calculator supplies.
At the reorganization meeting, the following designations were made: Nancy Sandford, Blaise Nicola and Jeanne McMahon (Senior Account Clerk) were reappointed, respectively, District Clerk, District Treasurer and Alternate Treasurer. Continuing as School Attorneys were the law offices of Bouvier O'Connor, with Chris G. Trapp as designated School Attorney; and John Del Monte, Attorney at Law. Eugene D. Mahaney, CPA, District Auditor of Lumsden & McCormick, will continue for the coming year.
The Buffalo News and the Island Dispatch were named official newspapers; and this e-paper, www.IsledeGrande.com, was recognized, although it could not be named an official paper because it is not a subscription service. All board policies were approved, and a mileage reimbursement rate of 32 & 1/2 cents/mile was established. Petty cash funds of $100 each were approved for each school, the District Office, and the Transportation, Continuing Education and Buildings and Grounds Departments, with $200 allocated for interscholastic athletics and the school lunch office. Principals James Dempsey, High School, and Bruce Benson, Connor Middle, were designated Central Treasurers for extra-classroom activity funds in their buildings.
Trustees approved the Superintendent to borrow maximum amounts allowed on revenue notes and tax anticipation notes in expectation of revenue from real estate taxes and state aid. The following authorizations were made: Chief School Officer to certify payroll; approve attendance at conferences, conventions, and workshops within the scope of program budgets; approve budget transfers; be Title IX Coordinator; be Sexual Harassment Complaint Officer; authorize signatures for vehicle registrations; be Civil Service Appointing Officer; and be Alternate Purchasing Agent.
Also, Larry Schaller was approved as Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance, as Purchasing Agent, Investor of District Funds, Signatory on transfers from savings to checking accounts (with Jeanne McMahon as Alternate) and for vehicle registrations. Schaller also is Designee for monitoring federal fund expenditures, carryover of Title I funds, reviewing fiscal expenditures and assuring Title I funds are used to supplement and not supplant state and local funds. Other designations: Nancy Sandford, Records Retention and Disposition Officer; Dr. Karen Karmazin, Curriculum Director, as Title I Coordinator; Carol Jones, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, as Chapter 504 Coordinator; and Jack Weisenborn, Safety Risk Management Officer.
Bank designations are as follows: Chase, CitiBank New York State, Key Bank of N.Y., First Niagara, M&T Trust, HSBC, and Fleet. Official depositories are M&T: checking accounts for General Fund, School Lunch Fund, Trust & Agency Fund, Capital Fund, and Payroll; and savings account for General Fund; HSBC: Federal Aid, Capital Fund, and Extra-Classroom Activity Funds for High and Middle School. Facsimile signatures of the Treasurer and Alternate Treasurer were approved for use for all bank accounts. The District, Alternate and Central Treasurers are all bonded through the district's general liability policy.
Trustees will reconvene on Monday, July 23, for a brief meeting in the District Board Room at 7 p.m.
School Board Agenda - Reorganizational Meeting July 9, 2001 7:00 P.M. - Middle School Little Theater 1. 7:00 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Roll Call
4. Appointment of Temporary Chairman
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes - 5/11, 5/17, 5/22 and 5/25/01
5. Administration of Oaths to Newly Elected Board Members
A. Jeri Schopp
B. Myrna Blair
6. Election of Officers
1) Oath of Office of President
B. Vice President
1) Oath of Office of Vice President
7. Appointment of Officers:
A. Superintendent of Schools
B. District Treasurer
C. Alternate Treasurer
D. District Clerk
E. Oaths of Office
8. Other Appointments:
A. School Attorneys:
1. Law offices of Bouvier, O'Connor
2. John DelMonte, Attorney at Law, Designated School Attorney
B. School District Auditor:
1. Lumsden & McCormick:
Eugene D. Mahaney
C. Central Treasurers of Extra Classroom Activity Funds:
1. High School- James Dempsey
2. Middle School - Bruce Benson
D. Civil Service Appointing Officer: Paul D. Fields
A. Official Bank Depositories (per Section 2129 of Education Law)
1. J P Morgan Chase
2. CitiBank New York State, N.A.
3. Key Bank of New York, A.A.
4. First Niagara Bank
5. Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company
7. Fleet Bank, N.A.
B. Official Bank Depository Accounts (for information):
1. Manufacturers & Traders Trust Company
a. checking Accounts
School Lunch Fund
Trust and Agency Fund
b. Savings Accounts
Exraclassroom Activity Fund - High School
Exraclassroom Activity Fund - Middle School
C. Designation of Official Newspapers:
1. Buffalo News
2. Island Dispatch
D. Facsimile signatures of Treasurer and Alternate Treasurer Approved for Use for All Bank Accounts
A. Chief School Officer to Certify Payroll
B. Assistant Superintendent for Business as Purchasing Agent, including advertising and opening bids, according to law.
1. Alternate Purchasing Agent: Superintendent of Schools
C. Assistant Superintendent for Business:
Authorization to invest school district funds in accordance with Sections 1604-A and 1723-A of the NYS Education Law, school policy and procedures, and any other pertinent regulation.
D. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance be the designee for:
1. Monitoring expenditures of Federal Funds
2. Monitoring the carryover of Title I funds from one year to the next
3. Assuring that grants of Federal Funds for Title I programs are used to supplement and not supplant state and local funds
4. Reviewing of Fiscal Expenditures
E. Chief School Officer to approve attendance at conferences, conventions, workshops, etc., within the scope of individual program budgets.
F. RESOLUTION that the Chief School Officer of the Board of Education is hereby authorized to borrow maximum allowable amounts by law on Tax Anticipation Notes and Revenue Notes, as per attached documents
G. Authorization to Establish Petty Cash Funds:
1. District Office - Nancy Sandford - $100
2. High School - James Dempsey - $100
3. Middle School - Bruce Benson - $100
4. Huth Road Elementary - Marian Koppmann - $100
5. Kaegebein Elementary - John Wiertel - $100
6. Sidway Elementary - Frank Cannata - $100
7. Interscholastic Athletics - Kathy Tim - $200
8. Transportation - Jack Burns - $100
9. School Lunch Office - Dennis Donovan - $200
10. Continuing Education - James Mazza - $100
11. Buildings & Grounds - Donn Perry - $100
H. Designation of Authorized Signature on Checks:
1. Treasurer or Alternate Treasurer
I. Designation of Authorized Signature on Transfers from savings accounts to checking accounts:
1. Lawrence Schaller, Assistant Superintendent for Business
2. Debbie ElHoussieny, Senior Account Clerk
J. Authorize Chief School Officer to Approve Budget Transfers between function codes.
K. Authorize Nancy Sandford to be the Records Retention and Disposition Officer for the Grand Island Central School District for the 2001-02 school year.
L. Authorized Signatures for Vehicle Registrations:
1. Paul D. Fields
2. Lawrence Schaller
M. Authorize Superintendent as Title IX Coordinator for the District for the 2001-02 school year.
N. Authorize Carol Jones as Chapter 504 Coordinator for the District for the 2001-02 school year.
O. Authorize Karen Karmazin as Title I Coordinator for the District for the 2001-02 school year.
P. Authorize Jack Weisenborn as Safety Risk Management Officer for the District for the 2001-02 school year.
Q. Authorize Superintendent as Sexual Harassment Complaint Officer
11. Bonding Personnel (for information only):
A. The following are bonded through the General Liability Policy of the school district:
1. District Treasurer
2. Alternate Treasurer
3. Central Treasurer
12. Other Items:
A. Establish mileage reimbursement rate @ 32.5 cents per mile
B. Erie County Association of School Boards Committee Appointments:
1. Board Member Delegate to Delegate Assembly
2. Alternate Board Member Delegate to Delegate Assembly
3. Representataive(s) on Legislative Committee
4. Representative(s) to the Budget & Finance Team
C. New York State School Board Association Appointments:
1. Delegate to NYSSBA Annual Business Meeting
2. Alternate Delegate to NYSSBA Annual Business Meeting
D. Renewal of Board Policies
School Board Agenda - July 9, 2001 7:00 P.M. - Middle School Little Theater 1. 7:00 P.M. - Call to Order after Reorganizational Meeting
2. Voice of the People
4. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes - 5/11, 5/17, 5/22 and 5/25/01
5. Business and Finance
B. For Your Information
1) Treasurer's Report -May 2001
2) Payroll- June 29, 2001
3) Budget Transfers
A. Status Report
7. Board of Education
A. Nominations of NYSSBA Area 1 Director
B. Participation in the following BOCES Co-operative Bids
1) Paper and Dupicating Supplies
2) Office and Art Supplies
3) Bread and Bread Products
5) Classroom Furniture
7) Microcomputer Supplies
8. Next Meetings:
A. Monday, July 23, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
B. Monday, August 13, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
C. Monday, August 27, 2001 - Regular Business Meeting - 7 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
Eighth graders do well on new state tests
By Lee Cohen Monday, June 25. . .
Connor Middle Principal Bruce Benson and social studies coordinator Gail Lazenby reported that 8th graders had done well on two state tests: the intermediate science and social studies assessments. Of 243 students tested, 232 (95.4 percent) met or exceeded the state's new standards in science. Only 11 8th graders scored at Performance Level 2 (not fully meeting the standards), and none scored at Level 1. In social studies of 262 tested, 251 (95.8 percent) met or exceeded state standards. Of the 11 who scored at Level 2, nine are in special education and already receiving academic intervention services. Only two, then, of regular education students, are not meeting the standards and will be eligible for intervention services. The tests have nothing to do with promotion or grades; they merely help the school district pinpoint students who need academic intervention.
High school teacher Bobbi Frisoni reviewed the district's School-to-Work program together with Class of 2001 graduates Shawn Goss, who provided an AV presentation, and Stephanie McGinn, Erin McCanna, Kelly Hayes and Liz Webb, who discussed how the program had benefitted them. School-to-Work was begun about seven years ago, and Frisoni thanked Dr. Fields and the school board for making it possible for the program to expand and to be successful. She also acknowledged the work of teacher Sandy Burns in carrying out the program, which includes Job Search, Shadow Day, career internships, Social Edge seminar, portfolio preparation, enrichment activities, community involvement, assistance at kindergarten orientation, fundraising for Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Superintendent Paul Fields reported on how the district had met its goals for the year. The Capital Project goal awaits the go-ahead from Albany, and the Performance Contract of the plan is nearing completion on schedule. The goal of implementing the SAVE program is fully implemented. The goal of providing mandated curriculum changes is on track with the district's mapping program, instituted by curriculum director Karen Karmazin. The goal of teacher recruitment was a success, with more than 300 interviews conducted and new teachers being hired. Finally, the goal of developing a five-year fiscal plan will be the No. 1 priority for next year, postponed due to the focus on the Capital Project preparation.
All district nurses were on hand to announce the appointment of Cindy Kaiser (Huth) as president of the NYS Association of School Nurses and of Mary Beth Bush (Sidway), who was named School Nurse of Distinction by the WNY Association of School Nurses.
In personnel action the board appointed 12 new teachers, several of whom were in the audience and introduced by their respective principals. They include (at the high school) Karen Surdyke, Jim Wysocki and Marlene Winkler, math; Sean Reddien, Laura Briganti, Robert Collard, Jonathan Head, Barbara Russo, science; Dana Allen, art; Mary Schultz Smith, computers. Also Sue Campbell, Connor Middle English; Deanna Serio, Kaegebein; Marnie Jasinski, Sidway long-term sub. Other appointments: Russ Certo, boys JV soccer; Ray Billica, volunteer soccer team coach.School-related personnel appointments include Debbie Moriarty and Sue Carter, probationary senior clerk typists, Deborah Mucci, Connor Middle cafeteria monitor.
Summer appointments: Tom Feeney, Sabrina London, Bob Wakefield, Sandy Beach, Jim LaBarbera, Karen Beacher, Debra Killian (teachers); Cyndi Kasier and Paula McDonnell, RNs; Pat Conta, hall monitor; Donnie Astridge, Mick Walworth, Yianna Shafer, Tom Rachow, temporary laborers; Patricia Ruckinger, temporary cleaner. Temporary transportation workers: Kathy Jackson, Nancy West, Sharlene Raepple (detail); Janie Campbell, Roxanne Russell, Marcella Buell (bus drivers); Nancy Hollinger, Kathy Menter, Arlene Graff (monitors).
Resignations accepted with regret for retirement: Sandy Marcussen, MS guidance; Carolyn Grobe and Sharon Thompson, teaching assistants; Sandy Wolgast, Kaegebein; Jeanne McMahon, senior account clerk typist; John Miller, bus driver. Other retirements: Andy Curtis, cross-country coach; Linda Piechowiak and Arthur DiMartile, bus drivers. Leave of absence: Michelle Thiele, child care; Nancy Sandford, as senior clerk typist to be appointed secretary to the superintendent.
Tenure was granted to Andrea LaVere, Nanci Peita, Julia Fuchs, Jennifer Kropidlowski, Deanna Cannavo (elementary); Henry Carney (phys. ed.); Tanya Weidner (foreign language); Sara Russo, Annalea Masiello (music); Lisa Amsdill, Dan Sweeney (math); Kathy Scarafia, Tom Gorman (English); Carrie Earnst (social studies); Theresa Barnack (art); Beth Borenzweig (social work); Valeria Swain, Jody Slipko (teaching assistants). Also approved were lists of substitute appointments in all areas for the coming year.
In board action trustees approved renewing its association with Promedicus for health care services with an annual retainer of $5000, heard the second reading of the policy on school safety, and then approved it as well as the final plans for implementing the district's code of conduct and school safety plans. Also okayed was the board's meeting schedule for the coming year, to continue on Monday nights at 7 p.m., generally in Connor Middle School Little Theater, with visitations to other locations beginning in September. The board will hold its reorganization meeting Monday, July 9, followed by a regular business meeting.
District Receives State Sportsmanship Award
By Lee Cohen Monday, June 11. . .The Little Theater was "standing room only" as
the school board recognized a number of students for outstanding achievement.
Art Teacher Nora Klein introduced 8th grader Devon Toth, whose ceramic plate
will be exhibited at the Impact Gallery in the Tri-Main Building this month as
part of an exhibit of young women artists. Devon explained her inspiration for
the plate, which won in an adjudicated show. Two 10th grade language students,
Ann Marie Goss and Tierney Smith, were introduced by French Teacher Tracy
Beatty. A letter they wrote in French about Grand Island was featured in Bonjour, the international French scholastic
magazine. Ann Marie and Tierney read the letter in English. Replies have been received, in French, from students in Greece,
Austria, and Germany.
Jon Roth, Athletic Director, reported that the Grand Island Vikings sports teams
finished second (behind Lockport's much larger high school) in the Niagara
Frontier League for the President's Trophy final standings. In addition, the
high school's athletic program was one of only three honored by New York State
for outstanding efforts in sportsmanship. Superintendent Paul Fields and the
school board commended Roth for his leadership, and Roth, in turn, complimented
his coaches for their commitment to improve sportsmanship.
He noted that five track and field athletes had qualified for the state meet:
Jenny Rogan, Erica Burns, Alison Hudson, Becky Goelz and Mark Hajnos.
Roth introduced the Outstanding Athlete choices for each grade level, determined
by all coaches, for 2000-2001. They are Corinne Razem, Mike Blocho, grade 9;
Jennifer Rogan, Jamie Dougherty, Jeremy Roberts, gr. 10; Sally Head, Bryan
Brown, gr. 11; Bea Bruno, Mark Hajnos, gr. 12. Hajnos set the Grand Island
record at 6'4" for the high jump. Roth told the board that Jen Banker has been
honored by being nominated to coach in this year's WNY Empire Games.br>
Four scholar-athlete teams were presented. The Girls' Basketball team, coached by
Jen Banker, with an average of 92.93, included Jen Breier, Bea Bruno, Erin
Frieday, Sally Head, Katie Remus, Savannah Stolzenburg and Katie Yaksich. The
Girls' Track team (91.83), coached by Andy Curtis, included Kelly Beatty, Mandy
Benko, Colleen Clark, Tina Coates, Rachelle Colosi, Stacey Edwards, Christy
Gibney, Becky Goelz, Elly Henderson, Alison Hudson, Margaret Kiehl, Danielle
Podlucky, Jen Rogen, Allison Siehnel, Melissa Sipos, Jamie Stickl, Lori Vaylen,
Mary Beth Lacki, Cory Stolzenburg and Meghan White. The Boys' Track team (91.29),
coached by Don Sauer, included Gary Asbach, Bryan Brown, Kyle Bullock, Kevin
Buzelli, Doug Ingraham, Jacob LaLiberty, Derrek O'Brien, Joe Pasqualichio, Phil
Razem, Mark Rotella, Chris Sica, Jeff Sipos and Jordan Funk. The Boys' Tennis
team (90.12), coached by Walt Cline, included Drew Armusewicz, Steve Asbach,
Jon Crossley, Steve Beatty, Matt Fields, Adam Kaiser, Jacob Lange, Chris Smith,
Sat Virk and Steve Pfetsch.
New teachers were approved for September. Several of the appointees were in the
audience and introduced by their respective principals. They include Jill
Koelmeyer (who resigned as a Teaching assistant) and Tanya Gallagher (Huth);
Andrea Solecki and Amy Hopkins (Kaegebein); Jeanne Percival and Diane Lipp
(Sidway). Koelmeyer, Percival and Lipp are Grand Island High School graduates.
Trustees approved creation of the following positions for fall: a full-time
teacher in English, Science, Art, and Foreign Language; a school social worker;
a .4 Science teacher, and a .6 teaching assistant.
Long-time high school teachers continue to retire. Accepted with regret were the
resignations of Jean Wang, Social Studies; Tom Hoolihan, Science; Maryanne
Petrosino, Math; Norm Wessel, Chemistry; Ken Orlowski, Computers. Teaching
Assistant Nancy Hayes, who taught in the district's GED program, is also
retiring. The resignations for retirement purposes of four key
Secretaries were also approved: Sharon Kane, Curriculum Office; Nancy Hausler,
High School Office; Betty Furgele, Business Office; Mary Ellen Kippley, Athletic
Named to the Kindergarten Screening Team were Mary Beth Bush, RN; Karen Tracy,
Speech; Joyce Cowan, Melissa Fiorella, Marie Hartz and Cheryl Stott, Teachers.
Other appointees: fall JV Volleyball Coaches Mike Cole (girls') and Bill Schultz
(boys'); Bonnie Jo Rupert, probationary Food Service Helper. Cheryl Federici was
named Teacher on Special Assignment/CSE Chairperson for the coming year.
Teaching summer school will be Tony Miller, Lori Ohrum, Loretta Condino-Grupp,
Mike Murray, Lynn Makowski, Andy Bowen, Mary Walter, Laura Murray, Craig Davis,
Mike Manzo, Julie Johnson and Mike Parzymieso. Leaves of absence were granted to
Karen Grade (Foreign Language), Lisa Dane (Instructional Technology Specialist),
and Linda Piechowiak (Bus Driver) for child care.
Dr. Karen Karmazin, Curriculum Director, presented several addenda to the
District's 2001-2002 Professional Development Plan. Two hours of professional
development entitled "Safe Schools Prevention Planning" will be conducted during
opening day for faculty and staff, with additional training at each building
during the year. Faculty and administrative staff will be offered courses
through Erie 1 BOCES to enable them to become district turnkeys:
Differentiated Instruction, Developing Integrated/Interdisciplinary
Units and Understanding by Design. Karmazin hopes to have two faculty
from each building attend the sessions. Two SUNY Buffalo graduate courses,
Introduction to Educational Technology and Cultures and Schools by
Improving Intercultural Interactions in Multicultural Classrooms, will be
taught at the Teacher Center.
The six trustees present voted to approve a resolution, prepared by School
Attorney John Del Monte, allowing the district to discuss the possibility of
entering into a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the area's Building Trades
Council to employ union labor for the Capital Project. It allows district
personnel to negotiate and return to the board with a proposed PLA. The outcome
will depend upon a cost analysis, balancing and weighing whether the expense
will be within the Capital Project budget and will be justified. The board
approved the new mandated Code of Conduct after a second reading, heard the
first reading of the district's School Safety Plans, declared worn weight room
equipment obsolete (three exercise steppers and two exercise bikes), and
accepted the donation of an electric typewriter from Islander Brenda Fike.
Voice of the People
Prior to the meeting, Trustee Frank DelSignore told the audience that he had
received a letter of complaint which had been unsigned. "I read it and threw it
away. We do not consider unsigned letters," he explained. "People have to own up
to what they do." Other trustees concurred.
During Voice of the People, Gail Lazenby, Grand Island Teachers Association
President, commended trustees for approving personnel by individual votes, rather
than in one sweeping motion. "That makes tenure clear-cut," he explained. Staff
now will be tenured in the order each is approved, avoiding problems with
seniority should there need to be layoffs. He also commended the board for
agreeing to adopt a resolution agreeing to look into the possibility of a PLA
agreement. "It provides work for our own people, not imported laborers. If you
buy cheap, you pay in the long run," he said.
In an update on the Capital Project during Voice of the People, Assistant
Superintendent Larry Schaller said the district was still waiting to hear from
Albany on the Ransom Road phase of the project; hopefully it would be within the next two to
three weeks. "We've answered all their questions and complied with all their
requests," he said. "Now we just have to get the go-ahead."
The board will hold a reception for retirees at 6:15 p.m. in the Connor Middle
School Commons area prior to its Monday, June 25, regular business meeting.
School Board Agenda - Special Meeting June 11, 2001 7:00 P.M. - Middle School Little Theater 1. 7:00 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Voice of the People
A. Good News
1) Devon Toth - WNY Exhibition of Young Women Artists
2) High School French class - Bonjour
3) NYS Scholar Athlete Awards
5. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 5/21/01
6. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes- 3/21, 4/4, 4/5, 5/9, 5/10 and 5/23/01
B. Approval of Committee on Preschool Special Education - 4/25, 5/16 and 5/23/01
7. Business and Finance
A. For Your Information
1) Treasurer's Report - April 2001
2) Payroll - May 18 and June 1, 2001
3) Investments - April 2001
4) Revenues - April 2001
A. Personnel Status Report
9. Board of Education:
A. Policy - Code of Conduct - 2nd reading
B. Policy - School Safety Plans - 1st reading
C. Addendum to Professional Development Plan - 2001-02
D. Project Labor Agreement
10. Next Meetings
A. Monday, June 25, 2001 - Regular business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
1) 6:15 p.m. - Retiree Reception - Connor Middle School Commons Area
By Lee Cohen
May 21, 2001. . .With only four trustees in attendance at Monday night's special
meeting, the 2001-2002 school calendar was approved, with teachers scheduled to
return on Wednesday, August 29, and the first day of classes to be on the day after
Labor Day. School will end on Monday, June 24, 2002, because Regents exams have been
scheduled from June 18-24. Graduation will be June 30 due to the late Regents
Winter recess will begin on Monday, Dec. 24, with students returning on
Wednesday, Jan. 2. Spring break will run from Monday, March 25, through Friday,
April 5. There will be a February break of three days for students from Friday,
the 15th, through the 19th, dependent on snow days. May also will have a three-day break for students from Thursday, the 23rd, through the 27th, again
dependent on snow days. Four staff development days (without students) have been
scheduled: Tuesday, Nov. 6; Friday, Feb. 15; Thursday, May 23; and Tuesday, June
Although two public hearings had been announced beforehand, a sparse audience was in attendance as School Attorney Chris Trapp conducted the hearings,
mandated by the new Schools Against Violence in Education Act (SAVE). The first
hearing dealt with the District's Code of Conduct, which outlines students'
rights and responsibilities along with consequences for certain disciplinary
actions. The second hearing dealt with the District's Building -Emergency plans.
Although such plans have been in place for more than 10 years here, the State
Education Department guidelines required that they be rewritten in a different
The School Board is required to adopt the plans by the end of the school year.
Trustees thanked Trapp, School Safety Officer Jack Weisenborn and the District
Safety Committee for their work in preparing the documents.
The Board's business meeting also was preceded by recognition of junior Anna
Quider, who had earned a gold medal at the Western New York Science Congress
Competition. Her award-winning project traced the effect of certain organic
fertilizers on plant growth.
High School Principal James Dempsey reported on the state of the Math A Program.
Trustees had referred the matter to the Shared Decision Making (SDM) Committee
following complaints about low Regents test scores in the course. He said that
ten suggestions had been made by the SDM Committee, with input from parents and
teachers, and that most of the ten have been carried out. There have been changes
in procedures, and Math staff has been added for the fall. Student scores have
improved as a result of the changes, Dempsey said.
In personnel action the following resignations for retirement were approved:
Toby Jewett, High School Biology; R. Wayne Tahara, Connor Middle English;
Gr. 2 Huth; Jackie Kazmierczak, Gr. 2 Huth; Gail Click, Connor
Middle Secretary. Resignations and terminations approved: Tracey Shickluna,
Connor Middle; Bryan Flynn, High School; Virginia Smiraglia, Food Service;
Carlene Courtney, Connor Cafeteria Monitor. Appointments: Walter Cline,
Assistant Boys' Track Team Coach; Pat Muffoletto, Dan Weselak, Don Sauer, Driver
Ed. Program; Campbell McCabe, Probationary Bus Driver; Ann Ash, Probationary
Food Service Helper.
In other business, trustees heard the first reading of a policy on a Code of
Conduct, declared ancient nurses' room cots obsolete, awarded a bid for used
buses and a truck, awarded bids for Middle and High School Science and
Technology supplies, and approved participation in the Erie County Office
The following coaches have been appointed for fall sports: Football: Dean
Santoria, Head Varsity; Bill Riffel, Steve Steck, Assistants; Mike Stauffer,
Head JV; Mike Zuch, Assistant JV; Henry Carney, Jim Randles, Modified; Soccer:
Pete Prozik, Girls' Varsity; Dave Bowman, Girls' JV; Peter Kuehne, Boys' Varsity;
Cross-Country: Andy Curtis; Golf: Craig Warthling; Girls' Swimming: Mike Murray,
Head; Lee Herbst, Assistant; Girls' Tennis: Jon Roth; Varsity Volleyball: Daneen
Gallagher, Girls; Dave Kelly, Boys; Gymnastics: Tammy Lewis, Head; Lindsay
Andreini, Assistant; Cheerleading: Debbie Billica.
Trustees first met at 6:30 p.m. with High School Principal Dempsey and Science Teacher Tom Hoolihan to
view the new weather station, to see a demonstration of the instruments and how
the weather data is used, and to hear about the District's partnership with
In Voice of the People following the meeting, senior Kristina Tetkowski expressed
concern that AP Spanish might not have enough students signed up, which would
mean the course would not be offered. To be offered, courses generally require an enrollment of
Budget, buses approved;
Blair, Schopp elected
By Lee Cohen
In one of the lowest turnouts in recent years, 637
voters, Islanders approved the 2001-2002 school budget
by a more than two-to-one margin: 461-172. Also
approved was the purchase of buses: 430-197.
Running unopposed, incumbents Myrna Blair and Jeri
Schopp were elected to an additional three-year term
on the board of education, Blair with 490 votes;
School Board Agenda - Special Meeting May 21, 2001 7:00 P.M. - Middle School Little Theater 1. 7:00 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Public Hearing
A. Code of Conduct
B. School Safety Plan
4. Adjourn Public Hearings
5. Call to Order for Special Education Meeting
6. Voice of the People
8. Approval of Board of Education Meeting Minutes - 4/24/01
9. Pupil Services
A. Approval of Committee on Special Education Meeting Minutes - 3/16, 3/23, 3/27, 3/28, 3/29, 4/3, 4/26 and 4/30/01
10. Business and Finance
A. Approval of General Fund and Cafeteria Fund Business Office and Data Center Checks - 3/6, 3/20, 4/3 and 4/24/01
B. For Your Information
1) Treasurer's Report - March 2001
2) Revenues - March 2001
3) Investments - March 2001
4) Budget Transfers
5) Payroll - May 5 and 11, 2001
A. Personnel Status Report
12. Board of Education:
A. Obsolete Nurses Cots
B. Used Vehicles
C. High School Science Bid
D. Middle School Technology Bid
E. Erie County Office Products Bid
F. Middle School Science Bid
G. School Calendar - 2001-01
H. Policy - 1st reading - Code of Conduct
I. High School - Math A Report
J. Budget/Trustee Voting Results
13. Next Meetings
A. Monday, June 11, 2001 - Regular business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
B. Monday, June 25, 2001 - Regular business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
School district to hold public hearings on codes of conduct, building safety
By Lee Cohen Monday,
April 24, 2001. . . The School Board has approved holding a public hearing on
Monday, May 21, to seek community input on its proposed code of conduct and
district and building safety plans. The plans are required as part of the
state's campaign against violence in the schools and are supposed to reflect
community standards. The hearing will be held in the Connor Middle School Little
Theater beginning at 7 p.m.
Highlighting Tuesday's board meeting was a presentation to the district by Kids
Voting Director Lee Tetkowski in honor of Grand Island's ranking first all three
years the program has been in place.
Also receiving special recognition was the High School Band, directed by Marty
Allen, which won top honors at the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational,
held in Chattanooga, Tenn., in April. Allen reported about the event at the
meeting and introduced Band Booster Presidents John and Elaine Gibney. Trustee
Sue Gill, who has long been a staunch advocate for the district's music program,
complimented both the music staff and the community. "I've never known a
district to have such excellent support," she said.
In regular board action trustees approved their administrative share of the Erie
1 BOCES budget in the amount of $89,597 and elected three members (all-non
Islanders) to the BOCES Board of Education.
They okayed two resolutions authorizing the district to purchase material
and supplies through cooperative bidding with the county and with BOCES. Also passed was a special resolution for purchasing furniture through BOCES in preparation for
Capital project expenditures.
The following were named Election Iinspectors for the May 15 budget vote: Ruth
Baker, Chairman; Fayne Certo, Chief Election Inspector; and Karen Bumbernick,
Sandy Caffery, Maureen Cardin, Lynn Henschell, Jeanne Johnson, Jeri Karb, Alphia
Prosser, Clarice Samland, Sherry Schimley, Election Inspectors. Rates are $6.75
for the chief inspector; $6.50 for election inspectors. The chairman's position
is honorary and has been held by Mrs. Baker, a former School Board President,
for many years.
In personnel action, trustees accepted the resignation of Music Teacher Janice
Chisholm and granted leaves of absence to Maureen Gambino for child care (for two
years) and to Laura Sexton, Teacher Aide. Appointments: Arlene Rosman, permanent
Bus Monitor; Teresa Voltz, probationary Baker; Sue Szczublewski, short-term
Teaching-Assistant Substitute; Jodie Swain, long-term Special Ed. Substitute
instead of short-term.
The board will hold a budget hearing on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in the Middle
School Little Theater. On Monday, May 21, trustees will convene at 6:30 p.m. in
the same location for a high school presentation, followed by a public hearing
and a special meeting.
School Board Incumbents To Run Unchallenged
By Lee Cohen Grand Islanders will be voting on a $34,964,063 school budget, a $308,659 bus
proposition, and for the two incumbents, trustees Myrna Blair and Jeri Schopp,
on Tuesday, May 15.
The board approved the 2001-2002 budget unanimously on April 9 after adding
additional staff at the high school to augment the district's Academic
Intervention Services (AIS) program, mandated by the state. Trustees also okayed
adding a .2 art and a .2 science teacher if enrollment justifies it. The AIS
additions are teacher assistants for English, math and science who will be
working in the high school's Learning Center. Added earlier in the budget
process were two new high school teachers, in math and English.
The bus proposition, which will not affect this year's tax rate, is for the
purchase of three 60-passenger replacement buses and a wheelchair bus.
Only two petitions were filed for school board seats, those of incumbents Blair
and Schopp. Schopp first won election to the school board in 1986 and will be
serving her 6th term. Blair, who is seeking her 2nd full term, also served for
two years to fill unexpired terms.
The $34 million budget, reduced from the original $37 million spending request,
represents a 2.28 increase from this year's spending plan. Copies of the budget
will be available in the schools on Monday, April 30. A budget hearing will be
held Tuesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Little Theater.
Trustees will convene on Tuesday, April 24 also in the Little Theater at 7 p.m.
for a regular meeting and to vote on the BOCES budget.
Current budget proposal well below Consumer Price Index
By Lee Cohen Monday,
April 2, 2001. . . Superintendent Paul Fields presented trustees with a
proposed 2001-2002 budget that reflects a 2.19 percent increase over last year's
spending plan, well below the Consumer Price Index (CPI) contingency budget
allowance of 4 percent for increases.
The proposed $34,183,836 spending plan presented at a special session Monday
night had been reduced from an initial proposal of 37 million. The district can
only estimate that tax rate increases will be within the 4 percent range,
inasmuch as property assessment updates have not been completed. A recent
article in the Buffalo News pointed out that although building permits will
increase construction by about $11 million, including commercial properties,
last year there were 34 home permits issued, compared with 44 in 1999.
Assistant Superintendent Larry Schaller explained that the district has less
information than usual when projecting state aid, and that Lottery Aid has been
dramatically reduced. Dr. Fields noted that school districts are the only
governmental agencies that have to prepare their budgets without knowing what
their state aid will be. To complicate the picture three proposed state spending
plans differ widely from each other. The governor's proposal increases school
aid by $400 million; the senate's plan, by $900 million; and the assembly's, by
$1.7 billion. The district is basing its state aid estimate on a conservative
estimate between the governor's and senate's plans.
To increase revenues for the upcoming budget, trustees, at the superintendent's
recommendation, voted to return funds from a tax certiorari reserve fund to the
general fund, and to apply excess dollars from the workers compensation reserve
fund to help increase the fund balance. Also to increase the fund balance,
purchasing for this year has been halted, with only emergency and state/aided
items to be approved. The reserve for encumbrances fund, a carryover item, was
applied to increase revenues, a one-time adjustment which will not be available
after next year.
Dr. Fields commented, "When we use one-time sources of revenue, we dig a hole
for the future in order to keep the current budget as level as possible."
Trustees were concerned about reductions in the high school's budget requests.
Principal James Dempsey had asked for additional staff in several academic
areas, but the only ones retained were added math staff, an additional English
teacher and a social studies teacher.
Frank DelSignore commented, "It wouldn't cost that much more to increase staff.
We need to put more back to keep kids involved. We don't want to give them
excuses not be involved. We don't want more study halls. We need to think about
what's been happening at other high schools."
Dr. Fields was directed to meet with Dr. Dempsey to develop a proposal to
reinstate some of the new staffing.
In regular board action trustees approved the resignation of high school math
teacher Anthony Smith, who is returning south.
The board will meet to approve the 2001-2002 budget at a special session Monday,
April 9 at 7 p.m. in the district office conference room. Trustees voted to move
April's regular meeting to Tuesday, the 24th, in conjunction with approval of
the BOCES budget. The May meeting will also be moved, to Monday, May 21, from
the day before the annual budget and trustee vote (Tuesday, May 15).
1. 7:00 P.M. - Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Board of Education
A. Budget discussion
4. Next Meetings:
A. Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - Special Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
B. Tuesday, May 1, 2001 -Budget Hearing - 7:00 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
C. Wednesday, May 15, 2001 - Budget Vote - 10:00 a.m. - 9 p.m. - High School gym
D. Monday, May 21, 2001 - Special Business Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Middle School Little Theater
Absentee Ballots Now Available for May 15 School Budget/trustee Vote
By Lee Cohen
Grand Island residents, on Tuesday, May 15, will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for the school district budget and trustees. For those who qualify, absentee ballots are available. There are specific reasons for the use of absentee ballots. To be considered a resident must fit one of the following categories:
1. Duties, occupation or business outside the county
2. Vacation outside the county
3. Patient in hospital
4. Unable to appear at the polling place because of illness or physical disability
A. Will be detained in jail for an offense other than a felony or awaiting trial or grand jury action
B. Will be confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony
6. Absence from the school district on election day by reason of accompanying or being with a spouse, child or parent who is an eligible district voter and is eligible for an absentee ballot due to one of the above or below listed reasons.
7. Confinement due to permanent illness or disability.
Follow the steps listed below to receive an absentee ballot.
1. REQUEST AN APPLICATION. Call 773-8801 or write the District Clerk, Mrs. Nancy A. Sanford, Grand Island Central School District, 1100 Ransom Road, Grand Island, NY 14072 for an application.
2. RETURN THE APPLICATION. Once you have completely filled out the application for an absentee ballot, you must return it to the district clerk's office, located in the district offices adjacent to the high school. It may be mailed or hand delivered, but must be received at least seven days before the election in order for the ballot to be mailed to the voter.
3. FILL OUT THE BALLOT AND TURN IT IN. Assuming the above instructions have been properly completed and you have qualified for an absentee ballot, you will receive the ballot in the mail and it will take the same basic form as that inside the voting machine. Follow the instructions on the ballot and either mail it or hand deliver it to the district clerk's office. However, it must be received by the district clerk's office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the vote (May 15, 2001).
School District Report Card Shows Good Results
By Lee Cohen
Elementary students are doing well on state-sponsored tests, according to a presentation given by curriculum director Dr. Karen Karmazin to the school board Monday night. The results are part of a report card issued yearly by the State Education Department for all school districts, and which contains an overview of academic performance plus a comprehensive information report (CIR) about the district.
Results given are for 4th grade ELA, math and science, 8th grade ELA and math in 2000, and Regents English and math for students in 1996 and 1997. State learning standards have been established for ELA and math tests, and results are reported via a Performance Index. For 2000-2001 the PI is set at 140 out of a possible 200, which means that each school must perform at or above 140 to satisfy state standards. Each year the PI will be raised five points. Results are separated into four levels, with schools receiving more credit for students at Levels 3 and 4 than at Level 2. No credit is given for students at Level 1. Schools improve their PI by increasing the number of students at levels 3 and 4. Special education students are now included with the general population on these tests.
The CIR reports three years of results in Regents exams, competency tests, and proficiency exams, plus information on attendance, suspension and dropout rates, demographics and student enrollment statistics.
Grand Island does well in the grade 4 English Language Arts (ELA) and math tests. District-wide ELA results show that the number of students at Level 1 decreased by a percentage point to 2 percent from 1999 to 2000, and those at level 2 declined by 15 percent. Level 3 rose to 62 percent (in comparison to 55 percent the year before, and Level 4 increased from 7 to 17 percent, all well above state averages. Grade 4 math results showed a drop from 4 to 2 percent at Level 1, a drop to 15 percent at Level 2 and an increase of 11 points to 66 percent at Level 3. Level 4, however, declined to 17 percent from 25 percent the year before, slightly below the state average of 19 percent. Level 3 however, compared very favorably with the rest of the state, which is at 46 percent. On the science test students performed well above the state average, with 87 percent above the state designated level, compared with 66 percent statewide.
Grade 8 ELA results surpass state averages for Level 3, with 54 percent at that benchmark vs. 35 percent statewide. At Level 4 Grand Island's percentage is the same as the state's: 10 percent, while Level 1, at 3 percent, is well below the state, at 13 percent. Level 2 scores are also well below the state's average, 33 percent vs. 42 percent. Math results show that only 11 percent are operating at Level 1, compared with 25 percent statewide. Students at Level 2 comprise 27 percent, down from 34 percent the year before. Level 3 is well above the state's total, 55 percent vs. 33 percent, but Level 4 declined from 10 to 6 percent, slightly below the state average of 7 percent.
Breaking elementary results down by school, Huth's ELA score was 179, up from the previous year and well above the state standard of 140. Kaegbein was at 176, up 21 points from the year before. Huth's math score was 185, up five points from the previous year, while Kaegebein was at 175, both well above the 140 standard. Most elementary special education students are housed at Kaegebein. Connor Middle's ELA score was 161, the same as the previous year, but still above the state's 140 benchmark. Math was the same for both years at 151.
Regents results in math and English for 1996 and 1997 are well above state averages. The number of students passing Regents English has risen over three years to 84 percent in 2000 from 61 percent in 1998. In math Course I the percentage passing was 101, but that includes 8th graders who take the exam. Course III math had 60 percent passing, up from 44 percent in 1998. Biology results were unusually poor, with only 64 percent passing as compared with 80 percent the year before. Karmazin commented that she did not have state results for 2000, so did not know whether that was a function of the test itself. In chemistry 50 percent passed, the same as the previous year. In Global History & Geography the passing rate dropped to 79 percent, compared with 88 percent the year before, but up from 63 percent in 1998. The U.S. History & Government result, with 77 percent passing, was the highest in three years.
(Statistics are given for the 1999-2000 school year unless otherwise indicated.) Official enrollment for the year was 3,196; there were 222 teachers, 18 other professionals and 36 paraprofessionals. Eleven teachers were teaching out of their certification area on more than an incidental basis. The largest class, with 308, was in 9th grade, the smallest, 208, in kindergarten. There were 55 elementary and 30 secondary ungraded students with disabilities. The district had four English language learners, down from 16 two years before. The free lunch eligibility count was 192, or 6 percent of the population, and the reduced lunch eligibility was 4.9 percent of the population. Ethnic/racial statistics show that 95.7 percent of students are white (non-Hispanic); 2 percent (64 students) are black, as compared with 84 the previous year; 1.5 percent, or 49 students, are Asian, American Indian or Pacific Islander; and .8 percent, or 25, are Hispanic.
Fifteen students with disabilities were graduated in 2000, three with IEP diplomas and one with a Regents diploma.
In 1999 the dropout rate increased to 2.4, up from 1.3 percent the previous two years. The state average is 4.1 percent. Also in 1998-99 total expenditure per pupil was $9,062. Average class sizes ranged from 17 (English gr. 8) to 26 (science, gr. 10). The attendance rate in 1998-99 was 95.5 percent; there were 135 suspensions, down from 176 the year before; and 11 students entered an alternative high school. Of those suspensions 16 were at Connor Middle, one at Huth Rd. and the rest at the high school. Huth Rd. had the best attendance rate, 97.1 percent; with Kaegebein at 96.5; Connor Middle at 96.3; Sidway at 95.6 and the high school at 94.4. Additional data may be obtained by accessing the state's website: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts
Superintendent Describes Budget Process as "Trying To Balance Needs With Means"
By Lee Cohen Monday, March 26, 2001. . .
Trustees at Monday night's regular meeting voted to participate in the Erie County tax exemption program for seniors over 65 who own property. Those with incomes up to $19,500 will have 50 percent of their assessment exempt. The amount decreases in 5 percent increments, depending on income, with the final exemption of 5 percent for those with an income from $27,000 but less than $27,900. In other board action approval was given for a trip by the boys track team April 27-28 to participate in the Penn Relay Carnival, led by Coach Sauer. No other information was given. Also approved was the date of Tuesday, May 1 for the 2001-2002 budget presentation, to be held at Connor Middle, and the date for the annual vote, Tuesday, May 15.
In personnel action trustees accepted the resignations of Geri Witkowski for retirement, of Elizabeth McDonnell and Deborah Keller as food service helpers, and Alma McTigue as baker. Lauren Stang, school psychologist, was granted a leave of absence.
Appointments: Jodie Swain, short-term special ed. substitute teacher; Tracey Bardak, substitute teacher; Catherine Markovitch, probationary senior clerk typist; Mike Shimmel, permanent micro-computer repair technician; Patti Frentzel and Marie Heberlein, permanent teacher aides; Kathleen Volk, permanent senior clerk steno (pending civil service approval); Marcia Little, permanent food service helper; Donna McGilveary, probationary food service helper.
Saying "We're trying to balance needs with means," Superintendent Paul Fields recommended $510,000 in reductions in the first round of adjustments for the proposed 2001-2002 budget. Most cuts were for requested supplies and equipment, with a $184,500 reduction in the area of regular school teaching. Some of the equipment and supplies in that area will be funded through the capital project, he explained. "We're holding the line trying to maintain current program."
Other reductions were in the area of utility costs. Fields commented that the district is counting on savings from the new energy efficiency program to kick in next year. A reduction of $50,000 was made in the refund of property tax budget line. It is expected that current tax reductions will mitigate requests for refunds. The district has been able to settle claims from the last two years in lump sums, Fields said.
Equipment for mainframe computer technology was reduced by $79,000 because the district will phase in purchases. Funds from a special e-rate discount program, which the district has been participating in, will help fund the first phase of the update. The cost of resurfacing the tennis courts, which was included in a reduction of $41,000 in interscholastic sports budget, was removed. "There may be an alternate way of handling the resurfacing problem," Fields said. In the co-curricular budget line a request for $10,000 was removed. "We're holding the line, and we hope to have our new Connor Middle after-school program in place next year," he explained.
Approximately $65,000 was removed from the state and teacher retirement line. The downturn in the stock market may affect this account. "Our figures in this area are based on preliminary projections from the state," Fields said.
The projected cuts have resulted in lowering the originally proposed budget of $37,063,000 to $36,554,000, a 6.93 percent increase from the 2000-2001 budget.
The board will hold special meetings for additional budget discussion on April 2 and 9 in the district office, and a regular business meeting on Monday, April 23 in the Connor Middle Little Theater, all at 7 p.m.
School district receives "Blue Ribbon" award
By Lee Cohen
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise announced that Expansion Management Magazine has named Grand Island as being in the top 33 percent of school districts in the country.
The survey evaluated 90 percent (2,334 districts) of the roughly 2,500 school districts nationwide that have a K-12 enrollment of at least 700 students and are located in a city/town with a population of at least 10,000. Sweet Home was the only other district in the area to receive a "Blue Ribbon" certificate. Expansion Management issued the "Education Quotient 2000" report in its October ratings issue. It is the 10th year the magazine has evaluated the nation's high schools.
More staff Needed to Meet State Mandates, Higher
Uncertain revenue picture makes for "tough" budget
By Lee Cohen Monday, March 19, 2001.
March 19.Trustees at a budget work session Monday
night heard principals Bruce Benson and Dr. James
Dempsey ask for additional staff at the middle and
high schools to meet unfunded state mandates and to
handle anticipated increased enrollment next year.
The state now requires that students who score at
levels 1 or 2 on new state tests receive instruction
in an academic intervention services program (AIS).
Benson is requesting AIS teachers in science and
social studies at Connor Middle, in addition to those
already on board in English and math. "We don't have
enough staff to meet those requirements." He also
would like to add a guidance counselor or a social
worker, saying that two guidance counselors are not
enough to handle "more and more students who are
coming to school with more and more baggage."
Trustee Frank DelSignore suggested that perhaps
retired teachers might be willing to work as AIS staff
before or after school. Community Education might be a
way to handle that, Superintendent Paul Fields noted,
inasmuch as that program currently is offering a
test-preparation course for eighth graders.
Dempsey requested 11 full-time faculty (including
three AIS) as well as part-time services of eight
additional staff. He acknowledged that the board
tended to add new teachers "grudgingly" because of
budget concerns, but with increased enrollment
expected, he needs additional staff in the core
subject areas. "I'd rather ask now than find we don't
have enough staff in August," he said. He seeks
part-time teachers for business, technology, home
economics, art, foreign language and English, and he
warned if there is not enough staff, he will not
be able to offer as many electives. Art, in
particular, has increased enrollment. A greater
emphasis on writing, with more papers to correct,
means that Dempsey would like to reduce the size of
English classes, so he is asking for two full-time and
one .9 English teacher, plus a reading teacher.
Director of athletics Jon Roth made an eloquent plea
for additional staff and programs. In keeping with
sports league plans for expanded offerings in modified
sports, he is asking for 10 coaches in that area. He
also is requesting regular coaches for girls varsity
and JV lacrosse, currently extramural. "That would
bring us in line with Title IX mandates for equality
between boys and girls sports," he said. For safety's
sake he wants to add a coach for cross country, and he
would like to add a winter indoor-sports boys and
girls varsity track coach, to fill a need in the
winter program. His request for an additional physical
education co-curricular staff member would make it
possible to expand programs such as Project Adventure,
At the elementary level principals Peg Koppmann and
John Wiertel would each like a 5th teacher added to
reduce large classes. Federal money would be available
to help offset salary costs as part of the
classroom-size reduction program.
technology Jim Szafran is requesting an additional
computer-support technician to help maintain the
district's more than 700 computers.
Trustee Michael Dlugosz commented that it "gets to a
point where you have to add staff."
All these requests come in the face of reduced revenue
projections for the school district next year.
Reviewing the revenue picture Monday night, Dr. Fields
characterized the budget process as "tough." The STAR
program will be fully implemented next year, providing
increased revenue for the district from that program.
At the same time, however, the district's share of
lottery aid is being reduced by almost $530,000, so
the district will not really gain from STAR.
Savings from the Performance Contract energy grant
will not kick in until the program has been in place
one year, Fields told trustees. Although the district
does expect to receive increased state aid next year,
revenue from interest and earnings is expected to be
down about $95,000 from last year. BOCES aid should
increase by $28,000 since Grand Island will be
reimbursed at 53 percent on the money it borrowed to
finance its share of the BOCES capital project.
Board President Richard McCowan commented that revenue
from assessments is static. "New houses don't generate
enough taxes," he said. "We're not a wealthy school
The board will meet again next Monday, March 26 in
Connor Middle School at 7 p.m. at a regular meeting to
continue the budget discussion. Fields told trustees
he plans to "pull everything together and make some
recommendations." At that meeting the school district
report card from the State Education Department will
Budget Presentations Continue at Regular Board Meeting By Lee Cohen Monday, March 12, 2001.Following Monday's brief board meeting at Huth Rd. School, the five trustees present reviewed budget proposals from 11 non-school areas. The majority contained little or no increase, with the exception of operation and maintenance, transportation, computer technology and physical education and athletics.
Donn Perry, supervisor of the first category, cited increased costs for plant operation, including sewer and water, telephone, garbage disposal, National Fuel and Niagara Mohawk, as well as telephone services.
"Our consumption has been reduced, but that's been more than offset by rising prices," Perry explained. He added that although there have been "massive changes" in plant operations due to new equipment, "it takes time to calibrate everything. There'll be a lag before we note a savings."
Superintendent Paul Fields complimented Perry for having the foresight to ask for additional dollars in the current budget to prepare for possible increased costs. "It was needed," he said.
Jim Szafran, director of technology services, explained that the district's support equipment needs upgrading. "We need to increase storage space." He noted that although there is state aid for student computer hardware, such things as mainframes and servers that operate the system do not come in that category. "We've been rebuilding and reusing, but within a couple of years, the system will need to be redone. Our '95 UNIX has been running since then and some of our newer equipment is not in synch with older models. We're asking the system to do more with older equipment. We have aging servers and we don't have enough electronic storage for students' work. We need to invest in infrastructure." Szafran is asking for an increase of approximately $81,000 in his budget area for new equipment.
Jon Roth, director of athletics and physical education, is asking for a new volleyball system for the high school gym, as well as money to refurbish, but not replace, the gym floor. He noted that the tennis courts at the high school, installed about three years ago, are beginning to show deterioration. At that time he had been told they would need resurfacing in about three years, which would cost from $5000 to $7000. "We don't want them to go the way of the old courts," he said. Roth also asked for a full-time, rather than part-time trainer for the sports program. He noted that league dues and league-official costs were rising, which is reflected in his proposed budget. Finally, he said that some teams need new uniforms so that they "don't look like ragamuffins" on the courts.
The major increases in the transportation budget, up $10,000, are due to increased utility and fuel costs, according to Jack Burns, director of transportation.
Jim Mazza, director of community education, is asking for a $2000 increase in his budget to cover the increased costs of paper and postage for the printing and mailing of community education bulletins.
Other budgets presented Monday included the business department, music (a $500 increase for instrument repair), curriculum (no increase because funds have already been allocated), and special education, pupil services and health (no increase). The superintendent and school board budgets showed a proposed $1500 increase reflecting increased dues and contractual expenses, but also a reduction in the superintendent's budget for conferences.
There will be another budget workshop on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in district office. The Business Meeting
During the regular business meeting trustees approved six new textbooks for music and computer areas, okayed participation in an Erie County office supplies and equipment discount bid, nominated three proposed Erie 1 BOCES board members, and received the Building Condition Survey and Safety Report, presented by Jack Weisenborn, special projects and safety director.
In personnel action Debbie Killian was granted an extension to her leave of absence as teaching assistant to be approved as short-term special ed. teacher. Sue Campbell was appointed a short-term substitute English teacher at Connor Middle; Stacey Zahradnik, a short-term substitute teaching assistant at Kaegebein; Tony Smith, boys assistant track coach.
Also approved: Jen Appenheimer, probationary senior clerk steno in district office; Kathy Tim, probationary senior clerk typist in the physical education and athletics office; Ron Bielman, permanent micro computer repair technician. Tim was in the audience and introduced to the board.
Weisenborn reported that new state regulations require that every school district carry out a building survey and safety report every five years by a licensed architect or engineer. In addition a yearly building condition survey is to be conducted by a certified codes official. The report has to be filed electronically to the State Education Department. The state will also issue a yearly Facility Report Card, which all schools must complete along with a five-year facilities plan. According to this year's report all schools have received an overall satisfactory or good rating, contingent on repairs and replacements to be made during the capital project.
The board's meeting at Huth Rd. School was preceded by choral selections by the school's Select Choir, conducted by Carol Horrigan, and a slide show, organized and presented by Principal Peg Koppmann, detailing an overview of the Grand Island school district for prospective teachers.
On Monday March 26 the board will meet in Connor Middle at 7 p.m. for a regular business meeting plus another budget workshop presentation.
School Board Seats Open
Petitions to run for the Grand Island Board of Education will be available from Nancy Sandford, District Clerk, beginning Monday, March 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There are two (2) three-year terms to be filled.
Qualifications to run for the board of Education are:
1) You must be a citizen of the United State;
2) You must be at least 18 years of age;
3) You must be a resident of the district for one year prior to the election and;
4) You must be able to read and write.
Petitions must be returned to the District Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 2001.
Instructors Sought For Summer Program
The Grand Island Central School District seeks instructors to work in the 4-week "Summer Enrichment Program" at Connor Middle School during the month of July 2001. All grade levels will be taught (K-12). Instructors need not be state certified, although certification would be helpful. Needed are instructors of foreign language, mathematics, science,art, computers, English, crafts, physical education, reading and writing and ecology.
Those with an interest in helping to make a youngster's summer fun and education should apply with a letter of interest to: Jim Mazza, Summer Enrichment Program, 1100 Ransom Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
Principals present preliminary budgets By Lee Cohen Monday, March 5, 2001.The five building principals presented their budget proposals for 2001-2, minus staffing requests, to the school board at Monday night's work session. Superintendent Paul Fields told trustees that staffing would be discussed on Monday, March 26, when the district would have a better idea of personnel needs and be able to devote sufficient time to discuss possible staff additions or terminations.
Sidway is expecting an increase in enrollment, currently at 476, Principal Frank Cannata told trustees. He said that federal and state aid for additional staffing to reduce class size to 18 or 19 pupils will help offset increases in his budget. If more rooms are needed, he added, the library, which now takes up two classrooms on the second floor, could be relocated to the first floor room facing the post office, thus giving him an additional classroom. BOCES, which has rented space for two years for a self-contained classroom, may have to seek another location in order to free up space.
Helping to reduce cost to taxpayers is additional reimbursement from the state, based on enrollment, for textbooks, computers, library and AV supplies. All five schools are taking advantage of this increased aid to update those materials.
The budgets were basically hold-the-line documents, with little or no increase from this year, despite the fact that costs have risen. Items such as equipment repair, printing costs, equipment costs, contractual expenses, supplies, conference and travel costs generally remained the same.
At the high school, however, Principal James Dempsey said that enrollment will increase next year by about 50 pupils due to a large 8th grade class this year, so his budget reflects increases to accommodate additional students.
Huth Rd. Principal Peg Koppmann asked for increased equipment funding for replacement of desks, chairs and other equipment. "Everything's falling apart," she said.
Fields announced that data from school districts' report cards, issued by the State Education Department, cannot be released to the public until mid March, although results are now available.
The budget process will continue on Monday, March 12 at the board's next regular meeting, to be held at Huth Rd. School at 7 p.m.
Teachers, Substitutes Sought
The Grand Island Central School District is seeking certified teachers in all subject areas for anticipated openings in September, 2001.
The District also has an immediate need for substitutes in all certification areas.
In anticipation of these current and proposed future needs, the District will hold a Teacher Recruitment Fair with on-site interviews on Monday, March 19 at Sidway Elementary School, 2451 Baseline Road, Grand Island. The Fair will run from 3-6:30 p.m.
Those attending are asked to bring a copy of their resume, certification or certification status and transcripts (student coies are acceptable).
Budget Process Begins with Review of BOCES Expenditures By Lee Cohen Monday, February 26, 2001.The school board's brief business meeting was followed by presentation of the proposed Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) budget for 2001-2002, the opening salvo in the 2001-2002 budget process that will keep trustees and administrators busy every Monday until spring break in April.
Superintendent Paul Fields reviewed the budget with input from Larry Schaller, assistant superintendent; Carol Jones, director of Pupil Personnel Services, Donn Perry, supervisor of buildings and grounds, and Jim Szafran, technology coordinator.
Board president Richard McCowan noted that when he had come on the board 10 years ago, BOCES aid for Grand Island stood at 72 percent. "It is now down to 53 percent." The current year's BOCES budget is $1,952,985. That includes the cost of Grand Island's required participation in the BOCES capital project to repair its three buildings. The proposed budget removes that cost, however, and is proposed at $1,435,563. The district borrowed $850,000 to pay for its share of the BOCES capital project and is paying $114,000 each year for 10 years, BOCES aidable at 53 percent. Grand Island is one of 19 districts sharing services in Erie 1 BOCES to lower costs.
There are 78 students participating in courses at Harkness and KenTon BOCES career education centers this year, down from 82 last year. The cost, $387,675, is reflected in the proposed budget. The cost of student/family support services is $573,348. That includes such areas as home/hospital instruction, special class services, hearing/speech services, handicapped tuition, alternative middle and high school instruction.
Other areas funded through BOCES include learning and technology services (such as library automation), projected at $51,700; information technology services (bookkeeping, record keeping, network services, book budget for private schools), projected at $264,052; and administrative services, totaling $157,000.
In an informal discussion of Grand Island's capital project's status during Voice of the People Schaller stated that submission requirements had changed midstream, making the approval process more complex and detailed. He told trustees that he had gone to Albany with 87 pounds of material and 100 drawings, to satisfy the State Education Department's revised regulations.
McCowan noted that originally the legislature had increased state building aid by 10-percent to encourage districts to submit renovation and construction projects, but the governor had changed the regulations. "The priorities now seem to favor districts with older buildings that need more renovation," he explained. There is concern that Grand Island may not get the funding that had been promised at the time the capital project was approved by the voters.
Fields announced that school attorney Chris Trapp had donated $500 toward expenses for the annual Superintendents Academic Recognition Dinner. The dinner honors the top three seniors in every school district in Erie County, and students are presented a crystal hand-carved buffalo in recognition of their achievements. Fields also took a moment to memorialize John Fontana, who died recently at the age of 97. Fontana had been a school trustee and served as president for many years.
In personnel action board members appointed Janis Sotherden as a .8 English as a Second Language teacher, Kim Rampino as a short term substitute special education teacher, Janice Farrell as a permanent teacher aide. Other permanent appointments: Linda McGinn and Patricia Ruckinger, cooks; Sandra Cedrone and Eddie Rafter, food service helpers; Greg Prior, delivery service chauffeur; Patricia Fike, cafeteria monitor; Denise Shanor, teacher aide. Virginia Smiraglia's probationary term was extended. Deborah El-Houssieny, who was in the audience, was introduced to the board and appointed district office probationary senior account clerk typist. Marlene Coughlin's resignation as temporary food service helper was accepted.
The board will hold a work session next Monday in district office and a business meeting on March 12 at Huth Rd., beginning at 7 p.m.
Grand Island School District Announces Goals
1. Implement Phase 2 of the capital project
1a. Develop plan/submit to SED fall/winter 2000, Plan submitted.
2a. Begin construction spring/summer
2. Implement SAVE mandates
2a. organize committees - fall/winter 2000
2b. implement plan - winter/spring
Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) legislation enacted. District has obtained a grant to assist implementation.
3. Develop new 5-year plan.
3a. select objectives - winter 2000
3b. seek consultation - spring
Unfunded mandates, revenue losses through SED, and tax assessments are straining our limits.
4. Implement mandated curriculum changes.
4a. launch curriculum mapping process - summer/fall 2000
4b. develop methods to computerize - winter/spring
Mapping is not complete, but procedure to store and update on computer system has been developed.
5. Implement teacher recruitment plan.
5a. develop recruitment timetable - fall 2000
5b. have teacher recruitment day - winter/spring
Teacher recruitment needs formalizing. Timetable already established.
Parents Protest Poor Results In 9th Grade Math By Lee Cohen Monday, February 12, 2001.During Voice of the People at the school board's latest meeting several parents expressed their concern about the high failure rate in 1st semester math 9 (Math A-1) and asked what the district intended to do to prevent further failures. Of 200 students in the course 84 failed and are repeating it this semester. Denise and Tom Dewey said that this year's freshmen were bearing the burden of the state's new math program. "What are you going to do so that students don't fail other courses? You need to prepare kids before they enter 9th grade."
Parent Katherine Burke said that her child had been in math lab. "They didn't understand how to do the math and there were so many there that there wasn't enough individual attention. The kids will get discouraged." Parent Robin Swedish wondered if the teachers themselves had taken the test and added that her child's teacher did not provide after-school help. Math coordinator Debbie Billica defended the department and the test. She said that some teachers had activities they were responsible for after school and could not be available. Help could be provided during the day during study periods, however. She added that the new math course was not the same as anyone had taken or taught before. The new 9th grade curriculum and the test for it were still being developed by the state, she explained.
The school district has divided Math A into a three- semester course (rather than one year) for students who, it was felt, would have trouble dealing with the new state standards. The elimination of different teaching levels, since all students are expected to pass Regents exams, has put a burden on high schools to deal with those who ordinarily would not be in Regents courses.
Superintendent Paul Fields assured parents that the district does have a plan in place to deal with the state's new standards. "We are modifying courses to deal with these changes." School trustees charged the superintendent to direct the high school's shared decision making (SDM) committee to look at the math program to see what can be done to address parents' concerns. Fields will report to trustees at their March meeting.
In board action H. Shea was appointed fire inspector for 2001, district goals and the budget calendar were approved (see separate articles), and the Employee Assistance Program contract was okayed. Community Education Advisory Board members were approved as follows: Pete Bellanca, Mary Ellen Kipley and Kathleen Hoppel.
Coaches were appointed for the spring season: baseball: Dean Santorio, varsity, Jeff Johnston, JV, Brian Winger, modified; softball: Dave Kelly, varsity, David Bowman, JV, Art Meaney, modified; track: Andy Curtis, girls varsity/JV, Craig Davis, girls assistant; Don Sauer, boys varsity/JV; lacrosse: Bill Riffel, varsity, Steve Steck, JV; tennis: Don Pray, boys varsity/JV.
Other appointments: Monika Harrington, short-term sub, foreign language; Jodi Swain, short-term sub, special ed.; Darcy Dadish, permanent cleaner; Bonny Jo Rupert, temporary food service helper; Tammy LaMonte, probationary cafeteria monitor; Jodi Lee food service helper sub. Leaves of absence were granted to Denise Cuneo for the 2001-2002 school year and to Karen Grande for child care. Resignations were accepted from Patricia Lane, long-term special ed. substitute teacher, and Vernal Wohlfeil, who is retiring as a food service helper.
The meeting was preceded by a Connor Middle School presentation. The Syncopations, a 6th-8th-grade 45-member girls' chorus, sang beautiful harmony under the direction of Anna Lee Masiello, accompanied by pianist Christine Clendenning (Sidway music teacher). Jane Schaber, 8th grade science teacher, discussed state-mandated changes in the science curriculum, the effect it would have on the school's program, and the purchases (microscopes and balances) that were made to meet the new requirements. She also gave examples of the type of questions on the state's new science test, to be given for the first time this year. The school district had to pay for science teachers to take required training to learn how to administer and score the test, which will include a hands-on component.
Trustees will meet again on Monday, February 26 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Little Theater, at which time they will begin the 2001-2002 budget process.
School District 2001-2002 Budget Calendar By Lee Cohen
The school district has published its calendar for the 2001-2002 budget as follows:
February 26 (board meeting) - budget review presentations
March 5 (work session) - review elementary and secondary program sections
March 12 (board meeting) review program sections (other, instruction, transportation)
March 19 (work session) review other budget sections
March 26 (board meeting) budget review; approve notice of hearing and vote; decide on propositions; review relevant sections
March 30 publish notice of hearing
April 2 (special meeting) approve budget
April 20 property tax report card
April 30 budget available to public
May 7 budget hearing (Middle School Little Theater)
May 8 six-day notice to voters
May 15 annual meeting and budget vote (high school gym)
School District Does Well In State Tests By Lee Cohen (Monday, January 22, 2001) Director of Curriculum Karen Karmazin told school board trustees at their regular meeting that results for grades 4 and 8 students taking English/language arts (ELA) and math tests last year were well above the state average. Using the state's new School Accountability Performance Index (SPI), the grade 8 math index was 149, compared to a state average of 119.
The grade 8 ELA index was 161, compared to 132 statewide. In grade 4 the math index was 181, compared to 156, and the ELA was 178, compared to 149. Karmazin explained that an SPI of 140 was the standard for the 2000-2001 school year. Schools with scores below 140 are required to develop a Local Assistance Plan (LAP) showing how they would improve performance. She said that the standard would increase to 145 for the next school year and 150 the year following. The SPI, with a range from 0 to 200, is based on the percentage of students performing at or above Level 2 plus those performing at or above Level 3. Schools can improve their index by moving students from Level 1 to Level 2 and then Level 3. An index of 200 means all students are performing at or above Level 3.
Superintendent Paul Fields expressed concern about the number of tests 8th graders will have to take, citing the increase in state testing. This year 8th graders will be required to take state tests in ELA, math, social studies, science and technology plus a language proficiency exam and local final exams. "It amounts to almost a whole month of exams," he stated. Trustee Sue Gill added that when school board members had discussed their concerns with state officials, they had been unwilling to listen.
In correspondence Board President Richard McCowan reported he had received a letter from residents of the Bishops Gate, Foxcroft area concerned about student parking during the school day. Superintendent Paul Fields said that the problem is being addressed. Approval of the 2001-2002 budget calendar was postponed until the next meeting.
Members for the school district Safety Committee Team (representing the district, the town, the community and the architectural firm) were approved as follows: Jack Weisenborn (chairman), Larry Schaller, Don Perry, Gail Lazenby, James Dempsey, Jack Burns, Jon Roth, Janet Goodsell, Ed Egan (architect), Gary Jones, Milynda Tim, Robert Blaisdell, Bill Vampotic, and Peter McMahon. In personnel action the board accepted the resignation of Margaret Mahoney, English as a Second Language teacher. Leaves were granted Lori Muller, teaching assistant; Virginia Smiraglia, food service helper; and Julie Bidell, teacher aide. Sue Campbell (formerly a short-term sub) was appointed a long-term substitute teaching assistant.
Speaking during Voice of the People, Gail Lazenby, president of the Grand Island Teachers Association (GITA), asked the board to consider changing a .8 position at Connor Middle to full time. He explained that the position has had to be filled three times because each teacher had resigned to take a full-time position.
Lazenby concurred with Dr. Fields's comments about 8th grade testing. "It's caused 8th grade teachers a tremendous amount of anxiety. It's very difficult to pump kids up to take the state tests and do well." He explained that their attitude is "Why take them? I don't need them to pass the course." He noted that 8th graders will have to take a three-hour state exam in social studies as well as the course final. "The State Education Department is just plain wrong."
The board will convene again on Monday, February 12 in the Middle School Little Theater. The 7 p.m. regular business meeting will be preceded by a Middle School presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Four outstanding athletes who were named to All-Western Academic teams were honored at Monday night's (Jan. 8, 2001) school board meeting. They are (from left) Nick Bergman, Gary Asbach, Pete Sabatowski and Katie Remus. Bergman and Sabatowski were named to the All-Western New York Academic football team. Asbach was named to the All-Western New York Boys Soccer Team and Remus, to the All-Western New York Girls Soccer team.
By Lee Cohen Monday, January 8 . . .Six fall sports teams were named Scholar-Athlete teams by the NYS Public High School Athletic Association. They are boys golf, and girls soccer, tennis, volleyball, cross country, and gymnastics teams. The student athletes and their coaches were recognized at the school board meeting.
To qualify a varsity team must average a minimum of 90 percent and meet several other requirements.
Honored were girls soccer (90.71 percent): Kaitlin Certo, Rebecca Chamberlain, Rachelle Colosi, Robin Kania, Katie Kendall, Megan Makowski, Kate Mitchell, Ashley Northrup, Corinne Razem, Katie Remus, Jennifer Rogan, Savannah Stolzenburg, Kim Walker; girls tennis (92.65 percent): Margo Anderson, Jennifer Bullock, Jill Cassert, Lindsay Chambers, Colleen Clarke, Anna Czapla, Jolie Dahlstrom, Laura Fik, Alison Hudson, Maureen McCarthy, Patrice Paolucci, Leanne Pizur, Katie Rebmann, Allison Siehnel, Nicole Walker; gymnastics (91.38 percent): Colleen Coughlin, Christy Gibney, Allie McLean, Alexis Mioducki, D'Anna Mock, Stacey Monaco, Larissa Thompson.
Also girls volleyball (92.36 percent): Jen Breier, Michelle Elmer, Erin Frieday, Sally Head, Michelle Kalisz, Melissa Rayhill, Janelle Sturtz, Nikki Zito; girls cross country (92.99 percent): Mandy Benko, Christina Breier, Elly Henderson, Nicole Kalisz, Margaret Kiehl, Jee Sun Kim, Lauren Mergel, Sara Otto, Danielle Podlucky, Melissa Sipos, Danielle Wasson; boys golf (91.87 percent): Andy Boron, Matt Fields, Chris Goeltz, Brian Kopf, Ben Kozar, Joe Martino, Tom Rajczak, Tony Rossi, Mike Stanko.
In personnel action school trustees granted Sandra Lamb tenure in English, named AP biology teacher Toby Jewett graduation coordinator, gave Caroline Lavango a leave of absence as cook and appointed her cook manager, extended Debbie Killian's leave of absence as teaching assistant to continue her short-term substitute special ed. teacher, and extended Jodi Swain's short-term substitute special ed. teacher appointment as well.
Darlene Conners was named a probationary teacher aide, and temporary appointments were granted Jerry Keleher, custodian; Marlene Coughlin and Donna McGilveary, food service helpers. The resignation of Alice Lang as food service helper was accepted.
In other business trustees approved the district's participation in BOCES cooperative bids for microcomputer supplies and equipment and calculators, okayed revisions in the school calendar (reported elsewhere).
Following an executive session trustees unanimously approved a four-year contract (including 2000-2001) with the district's School Related Personnel (SRP) bargaining unit. The contract reflects a 2.9 percent increase in salaries, with raises of 40 cents in the first two years and 45 cents thereafter. There are also changes in contract language, according to Dr. Richard McCowan, school board president. He commented that SRP staff "voted overwhelmingly" for the contract. "I believe it's fair for everyone, for the community, the staff and the district." SRP members include bus drivers, secretaries, maintenance and cleaning staff, aides and food service workers.
The board will meet again on Monday, January 22 in the Connor Middle School Little Theater at 7 p.m. with curriculum matters and the budget calendar expected to be on the agenda.
Snow closings cause changes to school calendar By Lee Cohen (Monday, January 8, 2001) With winter barely underway, three emergency school-closure days have used up the district's inclusion of three extra school days in the calendar to insure that the state-mandated yearly student attendance rate of 180 days is met.
Based on Superintendent Paul Fields' recommendations, the school board, meeting at Kaegebein, unanimously approved the following revisions to the calendar.
Friday, February 16 will change from a full day of elementary parent-teacher meetings to a half day. Students will attend in the morning, with parent/teacher meetings in the afternoon. Lost time for meetings could be made up before and after school.
Friday, March 16, originally a Superintendent's Conference Day, will change to a full day for students.
Conference time could be added to building staff meetings, or a day for staff only could be added to the calendar on June 25 to make up the time, if needed.
These changes allow for two potential snow days. If additional days were needed, spring break would be shortened.
There is an additional calendar change for Connor Middle students. During the week of June 14-21 (Regents Week) students in grades 6-8 will not report to school so that teachers may correct state tests in math, social studies, technology, science and languages other than English. The state permits Regents days to be counted for student attendance, and because the Ransom Rd. complex is a 6-12 campus, Fields explained, that would include Connor Middle.
The main-entrance canopy will be replaced by a domed
structure and expanded, closer to the sidewalk. Grassy
areas will be shortened so that sidewalks are closer
to the building. On the right is the two-story music
addition, to be built along the auditorium wall. The
high school lobby will be expanded and the office will
open off the lobby.
(Rendering courtesy of Edwin G. Egan, Architect)
Depicted is the main practice area. The music wing
will include a band room, chorus room, large and small
practice rooms, general music classrooms and a choral
practice room. The music suite will connect to the
auditorium stage. (Rendering courtesy of Edwin G.
Performance contract program on target and within
budget By Lee Cohen
Superintendent Paul Fields reported to school board
members Monday night on five aspects of the district's
performance contract program to cut energy costs,
describing it as on target and within budget. New
boilers at Huth and the Ransom Rd. complex were
installed by the October 15 deadline and new
computer-operated temperature controls at those two
buildings will be on line next week. During the winter
break a new heating and vent system will be
installed in district office. Early next year
high-efficiency motors will be installed district wide
on all air handlers and circulation pumps. Finally,
the first phase of window replacement will begin at
the Ransom Road complex over spring break with a
target finish date of August 1, 2001.
Dr. Jim Dempsey, high school principal, presented next
year's planning guide. Four courses have been added,
dependent on the budget and the availability of
teachers. They are Literature of Repression, Theater
and Acting, College Calculus and a web site course.
The math program has been revised. Debbie Billica,
math department coordinator, reported that in addition
to regular math in 9th grade, a second sequence,
beginning with 101 math, will be added, which will
present material at a slower pace in order to better
prepare some students for the state's new testing
Jim Mazza, director of continuing education, reported
on the program and was congratulated by the board and
the superintendent for its success. Activities include
summer enrichment, outreach to seniors at the Golden
Age Center, special Saturday programs, intervention
classes and after-school activities, in addition to
regular evening adult classes. Mazza thanked his
Continuing Education secretary, Karen Lefler, for her
help and support.
Trustees approved participation in BOCES cooperative
bid awards for AV supplies and equipment, ribbons and
cartridges, and software.
Calling this fall's sports program "one of the best in
many years," Dr. Fields told trustees that he would
like to salute the fall teams at an upcoming board
meeting. In personnel action winter volunteer coach
appointments were made as follows: Kevin Kulikowski,
varsity boys basketball; Brian Greenfield, freshman
basketball; Mike Zuch, girls basketball; Steve Steck,
bowling; Mike Murray, boys swimming; Linda McGinn,
bowling. The board accepted resignations from
Marlaine Kaniecki, teachers aide; John Busch, cook
manager; Josephine Garcia, cafeteria monitor; and gave
Gail Click, Connor Middle senior clerk typist, a
leave of absence without pay. Debra Killian's position
as special ed. short term substitute was extended;
Mike Dunlop was named a probationary teacher
assistant, and Barbara Briechle, permanent food
The board will meet again on Monday, January 8 at
Kaegebein, with a school program at 6:30 p.m. and the
regular meeting at 7 p.m.
School Board Okays
architect's Plan for Capital
Project By Lee Cohen
Trustees Monday night gave the go-ahead for Edwin G.
Egan, architect, to submit his plans for Grand
Island's 18.4 million capital project to the State
Education Dept. for its approval. Egan announced that
he could have his plans ready for submission before
the end of the year.
If all goes as expected, renovation could begin before
the close of school in June.
The board, at its work session, also heard from the
engineers handling the project: Tetrad Design,
Williamsville, and Jones Engineering, Buffalo, as well
as from Jim Szafran, the school district's director of
technology. On his recommendation the district will proceed with
plans to link its five schools through a
district-owned Wide Area Network (WAN) that uses
wireless tower-to-tower transmission, rather than
cable or fiber optics, thus eliminating the cost of
long-term leasing equipment, installation, maintenance
and service fees.
The bulk of capital project work will be done at the
high school, with the major alteration the addition of
a two-story music wing to the right of the front
entrance. Separate boys and girls team rooms will be
added, replacing the current music area, which also
will be used for additional office space as well as
for a weight room. Science rooms will be updated and
interior courtyards will be reduced to add space to
the library, the guidance office and main office.
Stairwells will be enclosed, using glass block. The
latter is a safety requirement in case of fire.
Parking lots and sidewalks will be replaced. According
to the engineers, the district's pavements "have not
had the life span they should have had for the amount
of money spent." Paving at the Ransom Rd. complex will be
rebuilt with sufficient drainage, and the middle and
high school each will have its own parking lot
separated by a grassy area, suitable for sports. Total
parking space will be increased. Sidewalks will be
brought closer to the buildings and there will be
curved-roof entrance canopies at each school.
Huth Rd. also will undergo extensive renovation, with
a science and math classroom added, the entrance
reworked, paving will be improved, and a crossover
corridor between the two wings will be added.
At Kaegebein the front parking area will be reworked,
floor coverings will be replaced, crumbling walls will
be repaired as will the front entrance tiles, and the
exterior doors will be removed and modern ones
At Connor Middle the office will be moved closer to
the entrance, a new gym floor will be installed, a
conference room will be built using part of a back
courtyard, and a lift will be installed in the library
to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Bathrooms will be reworked at all schools to meet ADA
regulations, as will the fire alarm systems. Roofs
will be replaced at Huth, Kaegebein, and Connor
Little needs doing at Sidway because the building was
recently renovated; however, kitchen ventilation will
be added, as will bathrooms for four classrooms.
The high school also will need reroofing, but the
money currently is not available. According to
Superintendent Paul Fields the district is hoping that
the results of the bidding process will allow for
enough savings to add that roof to the capital
Staff Development Day
Several years ago town officials had asked if it would be possible to close school on Election Day to make it
easier for the vote to be held and for the safety of children. School officials, also concerned about student safety with so many people in the school buildings, concurred.
But they had another reason, as well. The state mandates that school districts conduct a certain
number of staff development days. Election Day was perfect, because it saved the cost of hiring
So while students had the day off, teachers did not.
A Professional Development Program, organized by Dr. Karen Karmazin, director of curriculum, and program
coordinators, had elementary and secondary staff meeting in seminars and workshops by grade level and
by subject area. Professors from nearby colleges, BOCES personnel, and other professionals led seminars
and workshops dealing with curriculum planning.
Faculty from Huth and Kaegebein worked together in the areas of social science, math and science. Art, music,
physical education, speech therapy, library, and reading faculty were able to meet in separate groups
to discuss and coordinate their programs.
At the secondary level workshops included dealing with mixed-ability grouping, using computers for classroom
instruction, adapting instruction for special ed. students, and content-area reading. In addition
faculty met by area of instruction for curriculum planning.
The theme of the day was "Excellence in Education: Our Bridge to the Future."
School board refers school-uniform decision to committee
By Lee Cohen
At its Monday night regular meeting, held at the bus garage, school trustees deferred any decision about optional school uniforms at Sidway School until they receive a recommendation from the school's Shared Decision Making committee. Board President Richard McCowan reminded trustees that uniforms cannot be mandated.
The board approved a trip by 52 music students to the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational to be held in Chattanooga, Tenn., from April 18-22. Grand Island is one of only 16 groups nationwide which received an invitation to the event, based on its superior performance last year at the National Invitational.
Declared as obsolete equipment were parts from a 250 Ford, and two Suburbans, one with 182,000 miles; the other, with 177,000.
In personnel action Kathy Chadwick was granted a child-care leave and resignations were accepted for Rose Krauss, solar greenhouse advisor, and Cassie Barnes, special education teacher. Appointments approved: Sue Campbell, short-term sub; Joe Mentor, assistant boys swim coach; Walter Cline, volunteer wrestling team coach; Carrie Earnst, Mastermind team advisor (high school); Kristine Clark, volunteer HELP Club advisor as part of the GIFTS program; Marlaine Kaniecki (Connor Middle), probationary teacher assistant.
Also Patty Frentzel (Kaegebein) and Marie Heberlein (Huth), probationary teacher aides; Judy Prior, permanent cook/manager; Arlene Rosman, probationary bus attendant.
Trustees Myrna Blair, Sue Gill and Dave Goris reported on their participation at the state school board convention last month.
McCowan reported that trustees Jeri Schopp and Frank DelSignore had been excused from Monday's meeting.
At the superintendent's request trustees canceled their November 27 meeting, scheduled a December 4 workshop to discuss the capital project, and will hold their next regular meeting on December 13.
During Voice of the People Kristia Gatti, a student, asked whether the school district had made any response to the racial attack at Blackmon and Ward Pk. Superintendent Paul Fields said that many teachers had discussed the incident.
He added that the school district had condemned the action of the youths, adding that he feels strongly that it does not represent the majority of students here. He said that students had been given an opportunity to meet with a member of the press to discuss their feelings about the incident.