School board winners will be in italics. Continue reading
Today’s letters: Barb Hubbard and Dave Cordone are running for re-election to the school board; the Friends of History say thank you; and the Fulton Public Library Board of Trustees answer some questions.
By Ashley M. Casey
The Fulton City School District Board of Education approved the fourth and final draft of the 2014-2015 district budget at its April 23 meeting.
The final budget totals $67,357,685, up 3.22 percent from the 2013-14 budget of $65,259,100.
The proposed tax levy — the amount to be raised by taxes — is $20,142,125, a 1 percent increase from the previous year’s budget. Actual tax rates will be calculated in the summer.
Not included in the total budget amount is a $60,000 proposition to buy two vehicles.
If the proposed budget is defeated twice by voters, the district goes to a contingency budget of $66,871,685. The tax levy would be $19,942,698, the 2013-14 amount.
The contingency budget would remove $30,000 in equipment and would eliminate the restoration of $25,000 to the athletic program, three elementary teaching positions, and the proposed $35,000 for an elementary mental health clinician.
• Director of Instructional Assessment Betsy Conners said the district is applying for several STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) grants for the middle and high school grades.
One such grant would allow seventh- and eighth-grade teachers to participate in a three-day professional development opportunity through BOCES in August. Conners said the interdisciplinary approach of STEM is becoming increasingly important to skilled jobs. The district will hear back about the grant in May.
• Director of Student Support Programs Geri Geitner introduced a “school within a school” model for alternative education students at G. Ray Bodley High School.
Currently, about 85 high school students participate in an alternative program at the Education Center. This would allow alternative students to take elective classes at GRB but maintain their current flexible scheduling and “safety net” of support services in a “pod” or partial wing at the high school.
The program would move four full-time and a handful of part-time alternative teaching positions to GRB. Geitner and GRB principal Donna Parkhurst are aiming to start the new program in September.
“It’s going to take a lot of coordination and individual planning if we move to this model,” Geitner said. “We want to replicate all the components that we believe are effective — and that students are telling us are effective — (and) offer them a broader range of opportunities.”
• Director of Facilities, Operations and Transportation Jerry Seguin updated the board on the 2012 capital project’s progress.
He said crews worked “fast and furious” through the April break to update IT infrastructure and clean power systems at Volney and Fairgrieve elementary schools, as well as asbestos abatement at Fairgrieve and the Education Center.
The district has received state Education Department approval for the replacement of the gym floor at Lanigan Elementary School, part of the 2014-15 capital project. The project will be bid out in May and the renovation will take place over the summer.
The replacement of locksets across the district will extend into the fall of 2014.
Seguin said other summer projects include the replacement of the Volney and GRB roofs, renovations of the Education Center’s auditorium and gym ceiling, and renovations in Volney and Fairgrieve classrooms.
• The board also voted to pass the BOCES administrative budget, which is tentatively calculated at $6,408,434. The school board voted three members to the BOCES board for three-year terms: Eric Behling of the Mexico district, John Shelmidine of Sandy Creek and William “Dave” White of Oswego.
• Petitions for school board and library board candidates are due to the district office by April 30.
• The public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. May 7 at the Junior High School.
• The next regular school board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. May 13 at the Education Center.
• The budget vote, school board election and library proposition vote will be held May 20 at the elementary schools.
By Ashley M. Casey
The 2014-15 Fulton City School District budget will have to wait another few weeks before board approval.
Superintendent Bill Lynch and Director of Finance Kathy Nichols presented drafts three and four at the board’s April 8 meeting, and the board is expected to accept the fourth draft at the April 23 meeting.
According to this fourth draft, the budget will total $67,357,685, up 3.22 percent from the 2013-14 year’s $65,259,100. Continue reading
By Ashley M. Casey
Voters in the Fulton City School District will have two decisions to make concerning the fate of the Fulton Public Library in the May 20 election: how it’s funded and who runs it.
The library is putting forth two propositions for next month’s elections. One would make the library a school district library — solely funded by a tax that the district collects, eliminating the city of Fulton’s responsibility. The other puts the election of the board of trustees up to the voters as well. Currently, the city appoints trustees to the board. Continue reading
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.
by Nicole Reitz
Eleven teachers and staff have retired from the Fulton City School District this year. Resolutions of appreciation were approved during Tuesday’s Fulton Board of Education meeting.
“I would just like to express appreciation to all of our retirees,” said Board Member Barbara Hubbard. “This is a substantial number of years (of experience). They’ve all been so dedicated to our district so I certainly want to thank them and wish them well,”
Board member Brian Hotaling added, “I would also like to congratulate and thank all of the retirees this year. There are very good educators here that I’ve had the privilege to learn under, and actually taught my children. too. I thank them for their dedication and service.”
Marysia Czachor, a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School, was appointed as an elementary teacher 26 years ago. During her career, she taught at Fairgrieve and Volney Elementary, State Street, Erie Street and Phillips School before being assigned to Granby Elementary.
Czachor has taught first through fourth grade at the elementary level.
During her time as a teacher, Czachor developed age appropriate lessons and implemented new practices to insure her students were successful. She sat on many committees during her time in the district, including professional development, inclusion, the site and BIAC committees.
Rhonda Carter, a graduate of Mexico High School, has been a mathematics teacher in the district since 1985. Carter taught seventh and eighth grade math during her career in Fulton, served as the junior high mathematics facilitator, and was a mentor to new teachers.
Carter coordinated the MathCounts program at the junior high, presented at the N.Y.S. Mathematics Conference, and participated in a county-wide mathematics GAP.
She served the greater junior high school community through her participation on the scheduling committee, Drama advisor, student council advisor and athletics coach.
Martin (Marty) Gillard, a graduate of G.Ray Bodley High School, was appointed as a science teacher 35 years ago. Since then, he has taught biology, Science 9, chemistry and advance placement biology. He was also appointed to the position of Science Department chair.
His student interests outside of the instructional program led him to varied coaching positions that included junior high girls basketball, freshman football, assistant varsity football, and head varsity football and basketball coach.
Gillard’s strength as a classroom teacher was seen in his ability to actively engage, motivate and bring out the best in his students. He also served as the science club advisor, an extended year teacher and as a negotiations committee representative for the Fulton Teachers’ Association.
The top storytellers from each elementary school in the Fulton City School District were honored last week at a district-wide storytelling festival at the Fulton Education Center.
Participants shared folklores, fairytales, legends, and fables that ranged from spooky to downright hysterical and many even included a useful moral lesson that provided a bit of advice to audience members.
The festival was the culmination of a storytelling event that began in each elementary school in late March.
Students in grades three through six competed for the honor to represent their school by progressing from classroom-level competitions to grade-level competitions to a building-level competition and then finally the opportunity to represent their school and tell their stories at the district festival in front of a large audience.
The goals of the storytelling program are to increase self-esteem, develop poise and confidence in public speaking, enhance listening and memorization skills, strengthen language development and heighten the students’ appreciation of literature.