By EAST AURORA EDITOR (3/7/2008 7:54:20 PM)
East Aurora Union Free School District
Board of Education Meeting Digest for March 5, 2008
The regular Board of Education meeting was called to order in the Main Street Building Library at 7:00 PM by Board President Daniel Brunson.Superintendent Bodziak's comments:
"Our school district, and specifically Parkdale Elementary, experienced a very tragic loss this past Saturday. Paige Hoeh, a kindergarten student in Miss Gaughn’s and Ms. Austin’s classes, passed away unexpectedly at home. Paige was a sweet, beautiful girl who brought a smile to all who knew her. Our school community is saddened by the loss of Paige. A memorial tribute will be planned for her at Parkdale in the spring. I would also like to thank the Parkdale Crisis Response Team, along with the counselors from the other buildings who worked diligently to help the students and staff at Parkdale deal with this tragic event. [A moment of silence was observed in memory of Paige.]
Our congratulations go out to our boys’ varsity swim team which recently clinched their 39th straight division championship, as well as won the ECIC Small School Championship. We are very proud of these young men and their coach, Rob Gipe, for their outstanding accomplishment.
I wanted to make the Board aware of a special activity that took place on February 7th at Parkdale. On this day, students and staff dressed in red and donated money for “Kids Helping Kids” for the Variety Club Telethon. $297.00 was raised and this amount was donated at this past weekend’s Telethon. Malena Mercurio, who has siblings at Parkdale and Main Street and is the Camp Good Days Young Ambassador for the Variety Club, presented the check on behalf of Parkdale. Congratulations to the students and staff for their efforts in supporting this wonderful cause.
At the last Board of Education meeting, I informed you of a number of elementary and middle school students who were chosen to participate in the Erie County Elementary All-County Concert. I am now happy to report to you that a number of seventh through twelfth grade East Aurora students have been selected to participate in the Erie County Secondary All-County Concert. These students include: Junior High Orchestra -Madalyn Atendido, Katie Ebersole, Rachel Hallnan, Tim Horvatits, Maren Johnson, Alex Weberg, Ed Crow (Alternate), Karin Sundquist (Alternate), Faith Robinson, Sarah Anstett and Jessica McMahon; Junior High Band - Abby Milliron, Kate Gelsinger, Ashley Yoviene, Grace DeSantis, Natalie Dubois, Mike DeSantis, Greg Lowe, Tyler Ljungberg, Josh Ruhl, Claudia Moeller, Mary Luellen and James Kress; Junior High Chorus - Emily Crow, Caitlin Hasselback, Emily Metzger, Faith Robinson, Nick Fontanese, Joshua Harts, Daniel Egan and Charlie Border; Senior High Chorus - Catherine Lang and Garrett Shea; Senior High Band - Brad Whitney, Samantha Willert and Alicia Fitzpatrick; Senior High Orchestra - Katherine Pierce and Kirsten Weberg.
Congratulations to all of these talented students and their music teachers for attaining such wonderful recognition of their musical talents.
Congratulations are in order to 2nd grader Nathan Hawayek, whose fire safety poster was one of twelve selected from thousands of poster entries from students in K-12 public and private schools across New York State. The Fire Association for the State of New York sponsors an Annual Fire Prevention and Life Safety Poster Contest. The theme for this year’s contest was, “Fire Safety Begins With You.”
Nathan’s artwork, name, photo and the school he attends will be featured in next year’s fire prevention calendar which is distributed to every K-12 classroom in New York State. What a wonderful accomplishment and honor for Nathan, Parkdale and East Aurora!
Last but not least, kudos go out to the entire cast and crew of The Sound of Music. Our students displayed superb acting, singing and dancing, as well as memorization and delivery of the respective lines by each and every character in the show. Kudos also to the faculty and staff that made up the production team which provided the various support for our students to achieve such great success."
Board president’s and Board member’s comments and committee reports: Dan Brunson attended a finance committee meeting regarding the building project and borrowing for the project that will begin after July 1. He proposed that change orders initiated by the contractor be authorized by the Superintendent and reported to the Board of Education, and change orders initiated by the district will come to the Board of Education for authorization. Jim Whitcomb discussed the aspect of a financial cap for change orders without Board of Education approval, and Eric Sweet agreed, suggesting a $10,000 cap. Marybeth Covert agreed.
Jim Whitcomb attended a budget workshop last week, and also expressed the hope that a contract resolution could be reached with faculty.
Eric Sweet commented on a proposal from Verizon to lease space for the district for a cell tower on district property, and expressed some concerns about that proposal.
Dennis Holbrook remarked on the ongoing DECA State competition in Rochester.
Kathyann Lorka reported on the recent safety committee meeting and possible updates to the Safety Code Book. She also mentioned an upcoming meeting regarding construction safety. She welcomed George Oliver as he begins his work with the audit committee. She also reported on a school visit. The Board retreat committee assembled a list of items for discussion and some possible dates for the retreat.
Stephen Zagrobelny talked about a recent school visit and a focus on classrooms, getting a sense of a regular school day in Middle School. He also reported on a recent policy committee meeting, with resulting policies to be addressed at the next Board of Education meeting.
Marybeth Covert reported on outstanding fundraising and grant activity in the schools and expressed thanks on behalf of her fellow Board members for the efforts of the district’s parent groups.
- Jay Hoagland announced the revival of televised academic quiz competition “It’s Academic” in Western New York, to will be broadcast live from Hilbert College, and the formation of an EAHS team coached by Jessica Lyons.
- District Clerk Jacquelyn Wopperer announced the availability of petitions for school board seats for incumbents Dan Brunson, Jim Whitcomb and Steve Zagrobelny.
- Mayoral candidate Clark Crook praised the district for the quality of its educational services and expressed the hope of working together.
- Alan Liedke, president of the East Aurora Faculty Association, read a brief statement:
"EAFA teachers continue to support education of our students in an exemplary manner. Just a few examples are: At our high school, our student college acceptance rate continues to be one of the highest in the county. Many successful charitable fund raising events continue with strong faculty support.
At the Middle School, continued interaction with the community provides enhancement of programs- for example visits from a Holocaust survivor, Civil War re-enactors, WWII speakers, Health related speakers such as Breaking the Circle of Stigma (mental illness), Eating Disorders Association of WNY, and Upstate Transplant Services. Our MS band is one of the most successful in the state- they will be the only band from all of NYS to participate in this year’s National Memorial Day parade in Washington, DC.
At Main Street Elementary, events such as the annual science fair and writers’ fair are received very favorably by the student body as well as the community. A very high percentage of grade 3-5 students consistently score 3-4 on all state exams.
At Parkdale, teachers continue to support school wide activities such as the Ice Cream Social, Literacy Night, the Spring Fling, and other functions that benefit students. They have served on committees to improve, create, and pilot a new writing program, a new handwriting program, a math program, the capital project, and the transition process.
Meanwhile, we met a number of times last spring as we began the informal negotiation’s process. This school year, our Chief Negotiator met several times with Mr. Bodziak and Mr. Blowers to clarify financial questions. We have also met seven times this school year to specifically attempt to negotiate a settlement.
As you may recall, last September, President Brunson told us that achieving a settlement on this contract was a top priority. Our meetings have been cordial and professional, but so far we have been unable to reach a settlement.
We believe that it may still be possible to come to a settlement through these informal processes. In an attempt to continue informally, the EAFA has proposed a one-year extension that includes some minor language changes and a modest pay increase. If the BOE can approve this proposal, we are prepared to continue informally working toward a long-term extension.
Please consider a favorable vote on our recent proposal.”
School Business Manager Paul Blowers reviewed the January, 2008 Treasurer’s Report and Budget Status and Revenue Reports to date.
Mr. Bodziak and Mr. Blowers presented the 2007-2008 Preliminary Budget and discussion followed with members of the Board of Education
The Superintendent recommends that the Board of Education;
Appoint Paul M. Rakoski, Jr. to a 1.0 F.T.E. Probationary Health and Physical Education Teacher position at the High School (replacing William Roberts) effective February 11, 2008;
Appoint Alathia Yuhnke as Peer Mentor (for Paul Rakoski) effective February 11, 2008;
Appoint John Gauthier, Jr., Michael Gorham and Anthony Monaco to probationary appointments as Custodians;
Appoint Donna Mergenhagen to a probationary appointment as a Teacher Aide,
Appoint Frank D’Avanzato as Athletic Equipment Manager;
Appoint Junior Varsity Girls Lacrosse Coach Matthew Brown, Junior Varsity Boys Lacrosse Coach Jesse Hamms, Volunteer Baseball Coach Joshua Koszuta and Volunteer Lacrosee Coach Robert Erickson;
Approve minutes of the Board of Education Meeting of February 6, 2008, recommendations of the Committee on Special Education and Committee on Preschool Special Education;
Approve of the High School Course Selection Catalog;
Approve a three-year agreement with Capital Management Advisors, LLC as it pertains to the issuance of public securities on the District’s Capital Project estimated in the amount of $21.5 million including leveraging the use of Excel Aid and District Reserve Funds, providing guidance on optimizing the District’s maximum cost allowance and completing the State Aid forms as needed; approve the retirement incentive payment for Berneice Janiga;
Nominate R. Michael Kraus to be included on the Ballot as a Board Member Candidate to serve on the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Second Supervisory District of Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties in an Election to be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2008;
Nominate Lori Sabo to be included on the Ballot as a Board Member Candidate to serve on the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Second Supervisory District of Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties in an Election to be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2008; and,
Appoint George Oliver as a member of the Board Audit Committee, effective immediately.
Next regularly scheduled Board meeting – Wednesday, March 19, 2008
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