It is a new school year for the Springville-GI Board
Monday September 17, 2012 | By:Jeff Martin | News
SPRINGVILLE — At the Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education’s first meeting of the new school year, Sept. 11, Superintendent Paul Connelly announced that district operations are going relatively smoothly.
During his report, Connelly called the first few days of the new school year “a challenge,” but added that he believed the district officials and staff members are up to the task.
“With all the changes – with 7 percent cut from the budget, 40 layoffs and a new transportation system – it’s my belief it went relatively smooth,” he said.
The superintendent added that there are still kinks to work out, specifically managing and ironing out the district’s new bus route system. With district parents’ asking for more buses with a higher number of children on them, the board agreed, earlier this year, to revamp its system.
As a result, the board purchased a routing system called Transfinder®, which assists districts in finding the fastest and most efficient means to transport students.
Board President Mel Williams said that system eliminated four Springville bus runs. While there are students’ remaining on the buses for a longer period of time (some students are now riding for up to an hour and 15 minutes), “the district benefits, overall,” Williams said.
“We’re pretty pleased with the results so far,” Williams said, but added, “There’s still some work to do.”
In other news:
– Williams announced that board members had success drafting objectives for upcoming school years. For this year, the board will discuss student services, graduation and dropout concerns, transportation and long-range financial planning. One item – student uniforms – is a concept Williams said he is at least willing to discuss.
“I’d like to look into it,” he said. “We should ask if it is effective.”
– The board authorized two budget transfers: one on Aug. 16 for $107,153 and another on Sept. 1 for $15,239.
– Connelly agreed to look into a complaint concerning a senior citizen program, Early Bird Swim. The number of days for that program were recently cut by 40 percent, to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the cost did not change. Connelly said the reduction may have been due, in part, to “the strain on cleaning services and the fact that that area of the school is heavily used.”
– Three board members, Janine Caimano, Kara Kane and Stephen Schunk, voted against a proposal to spend approximately $200,000 on renovating the district’s tennis courts, which were recently declared hazardous by the Section 6 Athletic Council. As a result, S-GI’s tennis players have been holding practices at Springville’s village courts and home games at Pioneer Central School.
Caimano voiced her concerns about the price of resurfacing these courts, following district-wide layoffs and other cost-cutting measures that were taken. Williams broke the tie to pass the measure.
– The board approved the senior class of 2013 trip to Cleveland and Sandusky, from Sept. 30 – Oct. 1.
– Fundraising activities were also approved, including the high school senior class of 2013-sponsored sale of chicken barbecues during homecoming, magazine sales, candy sales and chicken barbecue sales on the school budget vote day, which will help defray costs for the senior trip, caps and gowns, prom, T-shirts, hoodies and yearbooks. Also approved was a varsity club-sponsored chicken barbecue on Sept. 30, the proceeds of which will help defray the cost of swimsuits and team apparel for the girls and boys varsity swim teams.
Also approved were the varsity club-sponsored football and basketball game concession stand sales, the Springville Stampede 5K Race, an S-GI clothing and merchandise sale and S-GI homecoming dance, proceeds of which will benefit the district athletics and sports teams.
The board approved a support staff unit-sponsored food pantry recipe bag donation, which will benefit the Springville Food Pantry.
– A contract between the district and former S-GI public relations staff member Linda Danahy, who created the district’s student handbook and calendar, was approved. Danahy was paid $100 per hour, for 46 hours of work. Caimano, Kane and Schunk voted against the agreement and Williams broke the tie.
The next S-GI Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25.