Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 2011 Regular Meeting

The Swanton Board of Education held its regular meeting on Tuesday evening, April 19th.  Two items from the agenda were moved from their original position to the end of the meeting and the agenda was thus approved as amended.  

We were notified of the annual Retirement Dinner to be held at the Swanton Sports Center, on May 25th.  Cocktail hour is at 4 p.m. with dinner to be served at 5 o'clock.

Treasurer Cheryl Swisher asked that we schedule a special meeting to discuss the revised 5 year forecast.  We set the date for May 10th at 7 p.m.  She gave us a one-page handout of information related to the state budget released March 15, 2011 - and the funding cuts are sobering.  Based on all of the information at her disposal to date, our district could lose over $2.2 million - not including homestead and rollback loss, transportation loss, or any offset from the funding model.  Cheryl will have more detailed information ready for us at the special meeting on May 10th, and I urge our district residents to attend to hear, first-hand, of what we will face.

A presentation was given on Power School, which would replace a couple of other data capturing systems (ESIS and Pinnacle) and thus would not cost the district additional money.  This electronic tool has already been implemented by the Evergreen district, and would make data input and retrieval easier on teachers, staff, and parents.  Student attendance and grades would be accessible by parents and students online.  It would be hosted on the NwOCA servers. 

A marketing presentation was also given that evening, which shared the results of a recent survey of staff, students, and others of the Swanton school district.  Many good points were made, as we look to incorporate ideas for bolstering our image in the community.  As an example, a community calendar that would include all scheduled events for the entire area (school district, SACC, Village of Swanton, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) could be a valuable tool for our residents.  This idea and several others deserve thoughtful attention as part of the #1 goal of our OIP plan.

The Board was asked by our Band Director to please contribute $3,800 toward replacing band raincoats.  The raincoats currently being used are around 25 years old!!  We've certainly gotten our money's worth out of them, I would say - it's time to replace those old, moldy things.  Pam Kaz had 2 of the coats with her to show everyone - yuck!!  The Board approved the expenditure of funds to replace them.

High School Principal Steve Gfell proposed an update to the grading policy in his building.  He explained its purpose and methodology.  We had a short discussion on the matter, and the Board approved the change.

During a discussion on the Swanton Recreation program, board member Michelle Tyson presented a list of physical items and estimated associated costs.  The items themselves appear to belong under the Village auspices, and not Swanton Rec.  The Rec Committee will do further research and give the Board more information at our next meeting.

The Village of Swanton has proposed to extend our lease with them for use of village parks' facilities for one year.  They also propose that we grant them an easement by Crestwood School for a drainage project.  Comments included the need to "drain Lake Crestwood" - where, apparently, several long-time residents used to ice skate as children!  Obviously the drainage problem has a long history.

We held one executive session at the end of the evening.  Upon our return, we approved Personnel recommendations by the Superintendent and tabled action on a proposed job description. 

We adjourned around 10:30. 

Remember:  you can listen in on any board meeting by going to the district website, here.  Scroll down the page to "Podcasts".   All of our meetings are digitally recorded in mp3 format, and placed online for use by our residents.  If you ever have a question, don't hesitate to contact any board member, our district Treasurer, Superintendent, or principal.  We are here to serve!

No comments: