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Springville-Griffith Institute looks to improve district standings

OWNING UP: Tracy Smith-Dengler, manger of the central business office for BOCES, explains how $308.95 was not shown on the treasurer’s report to the S-GI board. Both Smith-Dengler and Ted Welch admitted a mistake was made but they’re working to correct them in the future. Photo by Colleen Mahoney
SPRINGVILLE—Mistakes were admitted during the May 27 Springville-Griffith Institute school board meeting. Business Administrator Ted Welch took full responsibility for a mistake in the end of February beginning of March treasurer’s report.

When the treasurer’s report was presented on May 13, board member Kara Kane noticed there was $308.95 missing from the transition into the new month. She raised concerns about where the money went and how three people could have signed off on it without seeing the mistake.

In the most recent meeting, Welch said he holds himself responsible for all the work that comes out of the business office, but had Tracy Smith-Dengler, manager of the central business office at BOCES, explain the reports process in the CBO.

Smith-Dengler explained that the report format in the software was the issue. She said that the money was missed because the current software does not have a code for a general ledger fund which makes it easier to miss funds.

Welch explained the mistake was identified at the end of the February report but never corrected on the March report.

“I didn’t do a good enough job, I didn’t make sure,” Smith-Dengler said. “We [now] have a correct action plan that involves peer review and double checking.”

Both Welch and Smith-Dengler explained that the next step is to move forward with the May report utilizing the peer review and extra eyes before presenting it.

The board also discussed concerns brought up by Julie Francisco at the May 13 meeting which included better communication between the board and the public. Francisco asked if the meeting recordings could be available online, considering they were already being recorded. She also wanted to get more positive information about the district out to the public.

“Our kids do so many good things,” she said in the May 13 meeting. “Why can’t we let everyone know about that.”

In the May 27 meeting, the board agreed to start putting the recordings on the district’s website for the public to hear.

They discussed the difference between public relations and media relations and how they can go about getting positive information out to the public.

“We probably can’t get information about everything out,” board member Allison Duwe said. “But we probably should do more.”

The board agreed that getting student achievements out to the public was a good idea and decided they would discuss it further.

Superintendent Dr. Paul Connelly presented the district’s report card for the 2012-13 school year. He stated that student enrollment has decreased four percent, which results in smaller class sizes and could ultimately cause problems for the district down the line. Connelly also said that the graduation had gone up from 84 percent four years ago to 94 percent last year.

The report also showed that of 191 students who took the English Regents, 28 percent scored 85 and of 165 who took the Math Regents, 25 percent scored 85 or above.

Connelly said that the middle school did not make the Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2012-13 year based mainly on the participation of testing students.

“We didn’t make AYP, and I knew we wouldn’t, and we won’t next year based on test participation,” he said. ‘I’m not positive what will happen [with state aid] but the scary thing is when the other shoe drops.”

The full report card for the S-GI school district can be found at Data.NYSed.gov.

The next S-GI board meeting is scheduled for June 10 at 7 p.m. in the high school library and media center.


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