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School meals in the focus at West Valley Central School

WEST VALLEY — The West Valley Central School Board of Education members debated about school meals, during their July 15 board meeting.

Board Vice President George Kazmierczak said that the school has received many complaints about the food, from both students and staff members. “I recommend the board see this through,” he said.

Business Official Ann O’Brien confirmed that the food portions are regulated by the government. She said, “We could use more money for a variety of foods.”

The board members did not know if adding additional food options would completely solve the issue. “The federal government is dictating what is served,” O’Brien reiterated.

The board will continue to look into this issue.

In another matter, Superintendent Eric Lawton said that teachers will continue to be brought in, to oversee student advanced placement classes.

“I am recommending someone who may have more experience, in this area,” he said. “This pay grade will be non-negotiable and, of course, we will have to allow for a higher salary adjustment to this position.”

Lawton said that he would like to see a “more competitive pay scale” for the school’s substitute teachers, “but I am a little nervous raising the daily salary for the first year, because this was not in our original budget. This pay scale will be for certified positions, only.”

In other board matters:
– Lawton spoke about the consumer price index and said that a standard calculation is done on an annual basis. Some contracts vary by month. O’Brien said, “The CPI-U ... for all urban consumers represents the people’s spending habits of the actual employed working group.”

Dennis McCauley said that the CPU “is supported by Social Security and the teacher’s retirement funds.” Lawton said that the school will further specify the language in its contracts, regarding these figures.

– An unpaid leave of absence from Sept. 1 – June 30, 2014 was granted to Craig Stiller.

– Principal Dan Amodeo said that the summer class programs are underway. “We shall use our end of the year assessments as a benchmark, for evaluating how well they do,” he said, about the participants. Twelve summer reading program seats were filled, “with only two having difficulties with transportation. This summer program targets children from kindergarten – third grades.”

– Martin Benz, a tenured teacher in math, will be recalled from the preferred eligibility list and placed in a full-time math position, effective Sept. 1.

– A long-term math substitute will be obtained, for the 2013-14 school year.

– Leanna Pfeffer will hold the position of substitute caller, for the 2013-14 year.

– An extension approval was made for Personal Touch Food for a service management contract, for the 2013-14 school year.

– The board announced that the standard working days for the district clerk, tax collector and treasurer are eight hours. The bus driver and café monitor will have six-hour days. The nurse will have 7.08 hours and teachers’ aides have 6.58-hour-long working days.

The next West Valley Central School Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m.

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