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S-GI School Board discusses state testing, programs

DEEP IN DISCUSSION — The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education discussed state testing and committee reports, at its April 23 meeting. Pictured, from left: Board Member Janine Caimano, Vice President Delia Bonenberger, Superintendent Paul Connelly, Business Administrator Ted Welch and board members Joan Kelly, Stephen Schunk and Kara Kane. Photo by Byron Morgan.
SPRINGVILLE — Superintendent Dr. Paul Connelly presented updates about the Above and Beyond Program, to the Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education members, at their April 23 meeting.

Connelly informed the board about the progress made, by various committees, within the Above and Beyond Program.

Above and Beyond has a stated goal to determine, through the actions of various committees, “where they want to be, as a school district, in terms of student relations, education guidelines and public relations,” according to Connelly.

The student attendance committee’s presentation indicated an expressed desire to implement changes to the current attendance policy, within the next two years.

A board member announced that the current attendance policy has received various negative feedback from parents, especially when Child Protective Services became involved, based on multiple absences.

Concerns were raised, by Connelly, about the number of students’ refusing to take optional state tests in math and science. More than 50 students have refused to participate in state testing.

Kane suggested that the lack of enthusiasm for these tests could be a result of New York state’s not sharing the results with teachers, students or parents.

“The tests are not transparent,” Kane noted.

Connelly said that improving the school is, “a work in progress, nonstop.”

In other board news:

– The board appointed Peter Ciminelli and a committee, chosen by him, to represent it in all matters related to bidding of commodities for Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus County BOCES.

– The board agreed to accept BOCES services for the 2013-14 school year and their costs.

– An emergency transportation contract, between the district and Carrier Coach, to provide transportation for a student, through May 16, at a cost of $365, per day, was approved. That contract includes the services of a nurse.

– A middle school National Junior Honor Society-sponsored dance marathon, scheduled for May 3, was approved. Proceeds will support NJHS student activities and club materials.

– The board approved a request for Future Farmers of America students to attend the FFA State Convention at the Albion High School in Albion, N.Y., from May 2 – 4, pending the status of the Homeland Security Alert.

– A musical theatre workshop extracurricular activity, for middle school students, was approved. Kate Cummings and Carla Roetzer were approved, as volunteer advisors for that group.

– An Exxon Mobile Corporation Educational Alliance grant of $500, earmarked for use by the high school science and math departments, was accepted.

The next school board meeting was scheduled for May 7 at 7 p.m.

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