Tag Archives: Fulton Board of Education

Fulton school board reorganizes for 2013-2014 school year

The Fulton City School District Board of Education held its reorganization meeting July 9.

The Fulton Board of Education re-elected David Cordone as president, Dan Pawlewicz as vice president and Barbara Hubbard as board clerk.

The board of education further made the following appointments: banks, Community Bank to collect taxes, school attorney: Ferrara Law Firm, internal auditor: Dermody, Burke and Brown, and claims auditor: Ronald Woodward

The board set the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month for meetings with the regular meeting to start at 7:30 p.m., preceded by Executive Session at 6:30 p.m.

The board also decided to hold one regular meeting a month in one of the schools. This schedule will be developed and advertised in the media.

At the regular meeting following the reorganization meeting, the board of education set the dates to tour district facilities the evenings of Aug. 28 and 29.

Betsy Conners, executive director of instruction and assessment, presented the district’s School Improvement Plan Goals, which are aligned and support the District Comprehensive Education Plan.

Agendas for Regular Meetings and additional documents pertaining to those meetings are posted on the District website at www.Fulton.cnyric.org prior to the meeting.

The board of education scheduled a special meeting to be held Tuesday, July 30 starting at 6:30 p.m.

Fulton Board of Education adopts $65 million budget

by Nicole Reitz

The Fulton Board of Education adopted its $65.26 million budget Tuesday night, making it one of the first local districts to approve its budget for the 2013-14 academic year.

However, the budget was not adopted unanimously. Four voted yes, two voted no and one abstained.

Board members Fred Cavalier and Brian Hotaling voted against the budget, expressing their concerns about the tax levy increase. Dan Pawlewicz abstained from voting.

After the last meeting, Superintendent Bill Lynch went back to the budget draft to reassess spending line by line. The budget that was approved varies little from prior drafts discussed earlier in the year.

A budget to budget increase of almost $3 million is in part the result of rising pension costs.

“We have over $1.1 million just in pensions and that’s an increase we can’t control unless we lower our payroll,” said Business Administrator Kathy Nichols.

The budget includes a 1.5 percent increase in the local tax levy and uses more than $2 million from the district’s reserve fund. These two combined factors make up for the money not provided by aid from the state.

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School Board Notebook: July 14, 2012

by Nicole Reitz

The Fulton Board of Education has a new president.

David Cordone was elected as president. He replaces Robbin Griffin, who lost her school-board seat in the May election.

Fred Cavalier was also elected as the new board clerk. He replaces clerk Brian Hotaling.

Rosemary Occhino will remain on as the board’s vice president.

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Audience member attendance might have been at an all time low during Tuesday’s meeting.

The low attendance sparked an idea from board member Dan Pawlewicz. He suggested moving the board meetings to the city’s six schools.

“Offering a different venue could allow principals to show of their school,” said Pawlewicz.

Hotaling was open to the idea, but questioned if moving the meetings would be more work than an opportunity.

“It’s not a bad idea, I don’t know if the timing it perfect for it,” said Hotaling. “I’d like to hear from principals to see if they would be interested in hosting us.”

Changing the location of the twice-monthly meeting is something that the Fulton board has never done before, but is a common practice in other schools, such as Hannibal Central School District.

Pawlewicz’s concern is that the community is not attending board meetings not because of a lack of interest, but an intimidation factor.

“I know people won’t get into this building, people are afraid of it,” said Pawlewicz.

Superintendent Billy Lynch noted that a change in environment could mean more work for the schools’ principals.

The district’s portable sound system would also need to be set up. “It would give the board the opportunity to interact with that school community,” said Lynch.

The board approved the meeting schedule for 2012-2013, but will further discuss the possibility of holding meetings outside of the Fulton Education Center.

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During the regular business meeting, the board approved resolutions that highlighted the careers of 13 retiring staff members.

They include Katherine Biss, Melanie Bock, Kathleen Kinney, Stephen Kush, Patricia Lok, Mike Schroeder, Elaine McIntyre, Kathleen Rossi, Deborah Walbereger, Dave Wilson, Diane Wilson, Georgia Wood and Lynn Swayze.

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Meeting adjourned: Final Fulton Board of Education meeting for Robbin Griffin

by Nicole Reitz

Robbin Griffin, a 21-year member of the Fulton Board of Education, said goodbye to her fellow colleagues during Tuesday’s meeting.

Griffin’s three-year term ends June 30. She will be replaced by former board member Dan Pawlewicz, who will rejoin the table next month.

Griffin first ran for a seat on the school board in 1991. At that time, she had attended board meetings for ten years and was an active member of the Friends of Fairgrieve Parent Group.

Twenty-one years ago, the school board was much different and didn’t have the policies that exist today, said Griffin.

“We had absolutely nothing written down,” she said.

Now, there are more than 9,000 policies outlined in the district’s handbook. These policies include expectations of the staff as well as the intent of the district.

“Overall, the development of strong policies are beneficial for kids and people who work in our system,” noted Griffin.

In the last two decades, Griffin said the board is more accepting and open to accountability. She added that she is also proud of her peers’ commitment to the board.

As far as the students, Griffin said technology has changed the classroom. Students are more distracted with handheld technology and need interaction. Teachers have to be more in-tuned to the millennial generation, which requires them to make plans above and beyond a sit and listen lecture.

“Expectations of students are much more rigorous than they were 21 years ago,” said Griffin.

She often jokes at monthly public meetings that her grandson is going to be more knowledgeable than her soon.

To keep up with her knowledge of education, Griffin sits on many committees. She has sat on the audit committee since its formation, which she described as a well-working group that works at a high level of performance. In the past, she also served on a committee that studied student eligibility.

Throughout her career, Griffin said she has kept her focus on education, whether it be focused on the school board or lobbying in Albany or Washington, D.C.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

School budget vote to be held this Tuesday

by Nicole Reitz

Residents of the Fulton school district will have the opportunity to vote Tuesday on the school district’s budget proposal.

The Fulton Board of Education approved a $62.39 million tentative budget April 10. The budget is $2.15 million increase from the current year budget.

The budget is supported by an increase of $1.2 million in state aid and a 1.9-percent increase in the local tax levy, which is below the two-percent tax cap. The board will also use $2 million from its reserve fund.

Over the past three years, the district has faced significant reductions to programs and supports, including the elimination of over 50 staff positions.

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Fulton school budget includes 1.9 percent tax levy increase

by Nicole Reitz

After four months of meetings and reviewing the school district’s spending habits, Fulton Board of Education members unanimously approved the tentative budget for the 2012-2013 school year.

Superintendent Bill Lynch and Business Administrator Kathy Nichols outlined the spending plan, which includes a 1.9 percent tax levy increase.

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Fulton Board of Education looks to fill $550,000 budget gap

Master of strings – Fulton students performed at the Education Center for members of the Fulton Board of Education Tuesday night as part of Music In Our Schools Month. -Valley News photo by Nicole Reitz

by Nicole Reitz

Audience members heard more of the same during Tuesday’s meeting of the Fulton Board of Education.

The school district is looking to fill $556,384 in its budget and is waiting for additional state aid.

The first draft of Fulton’s 2012-2013 budget shows an increase of 3.37 percent or a $2 million change from the current year’s spending plan.

If Fulton were to keep programming and services as they are now, it would create a deficit of more than $2.5 million.

The district has proposed to use $2 million from its reserves, but it’s not enough, according to Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch.

The deficit of more than $500,000 must either be met through additional state aid or through cuts.

“To make further reductions will cause us to have to take some things away,” said Lynch. “As we look at our operations, we look at how we bargain and we’re continuing to look at that.”

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News