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S-GI board welcomes three new members, names Duwe president

District clerk Kathy Tucker reads the Board of Education oath to new members Mike Connors, Chris Cerrone and Jennifer Sullivan at the July 8 reorganization meeting.
SPRINGVILLE— The Springville-Griffith Institute district got its first look at the new Board of Education on July 8 at the annual reorganization meeting, which preceded their regular business meeting. Of the five-member board, only Kara Kane and Alison Duwe are returning members. Mike Connors, Chris Cerrone and Jennifer Sullivan make up the remaining three members. Connors, though, has previously served on the S-GI Board of Education.

After the new members were sworn in, voting took place for vice president and president. Sullivan was voted to take the vice president position and Duwe now holds the president title.

Appointment of Kathy Tucker as district clerk as well as Deborah Owen as deputy district clerk were both approved. Approval of Hodgson, Russ LLP and Harris Beach PLLC were passed for district legal counsel, as well.

Board meetings for the 2014-15 year were set. The board opted to move to two meetings a month, on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Cerrone requested holding at least one meeting in both Collins and Colden to make it easier for those residents to attend a meeting. Dates for those meetings have not been set, but the board agreed one meeting at the Collins Center Fire Hall and one at Colden Elementary School would be beneficial to district residents.

The annual budget vote is set for May 19, 2015, the public budget hearing will be May 5 and voter registration will take place May 14.

During the regular business meeting, superintendent Dr. Paul Connelly revealed the scores for the district’s regents.

“Overall, except for chemistry, these are some pretty promising scores,” he said. Chemistry saw only 38 percent of test takers pass and only 13 percent achieve a master status, which is an 85 or above. Physics results included 94 percent passing and 52 percent mastering and English language arts had 97 percent of test takers pass and 52 percent master the test.

Business administrator Ted Welch presented the idea of collecting all taxes via a lockbox at Chase Bank, which the board was not totally happy with. Welch compromised in saying that this year envelopes will be given to taxpayers with the Chase address on it, but those who come to the school to pay their taxes will still be honored. In 2015-16, however, Welch hopes to have everyone mailing their envelopes to Chase.

The fourth and fifth grade class size was discussed, as well. With a bubble of students moving through the grades, the board discussed the pros and cons of bigger, or smaller, class sizes. Colden Elementary has two sections of smaller class sizes, whereas Springville Elementary houses one class with a larger number of students. However, combining the two Colden classes would put them at a higher student number than Springville.

“Is it OK to put 25 students in one class at Colden?” asked Cerrone.

The board initially requested Connelly present statistics on performance rate of students in smaller class sizes versus larger classes. After much discussion regarding the impact on personnel, which is time sensitive, and the role of the board, the decision was made to allow Connelly to make whichever call he felt would benefit the district the most.

The next S-GI board meeting will be Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. in the high school library and media center.
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