Tag Archives: Fulton City School District

Fulton school budget approved by voters

by Nicole Reitz

The Fulton City School District’s $65.3 million budget received approval from voters Tuesday. The 2013-2014 school budget passed with an unofficial count of 381 to 200 votes.

In addition to the passing of the budget, incumbent board member David Carvey and newcomer Christine Plath were also elected for three year terms. In the unofficial count, Carvey received 489 votes while Plath received 469 votes. Plath will replace Brian Hotaling, whose term expires on June 30. Carvey has already served two years on the board of education.

There was a smaller voter turn out than in years past, but Superintendent Bill Lynch said he is pleased with the outcome and number of voters in favor of the budget. The budget set out what it meant to accomplish.

Since the budget was first introduced, the goal has been to maintain and grow learning opportunities for students of the district. With no staff reductions or cuts to programming, the board feels that this budget achieves that.

Despite a modest tax increase, the 2013-2014 budget relies less on the reserve balance, which puts the district in a positive position for next year, said Lynch.

Since the vote passed, there is no need for the board of education to adopt a contingency budget.

Fulton school budget vote is Tuesday

by Nicole Reitz

Registered voters in the Fulton City School District will have the opportunity to vote on the 2013-14 school district budget May 21 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Residents who live inside Fulton on the west side of the Oswego River can vote at Lanigan Elementary School. West side voters who live outside Fulton may vote at Granby Elementary School.

East side residents who live within Fulton’s boundaries will vote at Fairgrieve Elementary School while residents who live outside Fulton on the east side will vote at Volney Elementary School.

Fulton residents will cast their vote on the $65.26 million budget. There is a percentage spending increase of 4.6 percent and an estimated tax levy increase of 1.5 percent for a total proposed levy of $20,042,698.

The district is requesting a tax levy that is below the permissible tax levy limit and will require a simple majority.

The tax rate is based on the overall assessed value of the property in the city or town, and the equalization rate for that municipality.

Equalization rates are set by the New York State Office of Real Property Services. After the Basic STAR Exemption is applied,  a homeowner who resides in a house assessed at $80,000 can expect to pay $19.50 more next year in annual school taxes.

The budget is increasing by $2.86 million. The increase includes new instructional materials and technology for students to support the common core standards.

The budget also covers a spike in pension costs and increases in BOCES administration costs. The full cost of the second energy performance project and the BOCES capital project is reflected in this budget.

Capital project costs are offset by state building aid and BOCES aid, which lessens the impact on taxpayers.

The budget being presented to the community meets the district’s three goals of maintaining student supports and services, using less of the fund balance and for the budget to be sustainable and meet the multi-year budget planning process.

If voters defeat their school district budget on Tuesday, the district can either resubmit the same proposal or a revised one for a re-vote June 18 or adopt a contingent budget.

If residents vote down a resubmitted budget, the district then must adopt a contingent budget.

If it is necessary for the district to go to a contingent budget, the budget would be $64,962,902, a difference of $296,198. Adopting a contingent budget prohibits a district from spending any money in certain areas, such as community use of school facilities, unless all costs are reimbursed to the district.

Public hearing on TV

The public hearing on the proposed 2013-2014 budget, which was held May 8, will be aired on Time Warner Cable public access channel 96 in Fulton.

It will be on television May 18 at 1 a.m., May 19 at 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., May 20 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., and May 21 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Two candidates running for two open seats on Fulton school board

by Nicole Reitz

The annual budget vote for the Fulton City School District’s 2013-2014 budget will be held Tuesday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Voters will also have the opportunity to cast ballots for two open seats on the Fulton School Board.

The candidates elected will served three-year terms and will begin their term of office July 1. Christine Plath and David Carvey will appear on the ballot. Board member Brian Hotaling has decided to not run again. His term expires on June 30.

With two candidates running for the two available seats, there is not a contest race.

This is Plath’s second attempt at running for the board. She ran in the 2011 election, one of the seven candidates running for four open seats.

She has decided to give it another try after not being voted in.

Plath said that she is fully aware of how public education operates and how schools run. She taught at Mexico High School for 30 years and retired in 2010 as the assistant principal of Mexico High School.

Plath taught summer school for 11 years and was the summer school principal in Phoenix for one year.

She currently teaches as an adjunct math professor at Cayuga Community College. She also tutors students who attend school in the Fulton City School District.

Having both an educator and administrator background, Plath hopes to communicate students’ needs.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

LiteracyNight1

Fulton UPK open registration night scheduled for June 6

Fulton City School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten student Cali Shaw is all smiles as she finds letter matches and puts Humpty Dumpty back together again at a UPK Family Fun Literacy Night. Pictured with Cali is her older sister Emma, a fourth grade student in the district; her mom, Amy; and UPK teacher Sally Austin.
Fulton City School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten student Cali Shaw is all smiles as she finds letter matches and puts Humpty Dumpty back together again at a UPK Family Fun Literacy Night. Pictured with Cali is her older sister Emma, a fourth grade student in the district.

The Fulton City School District will be holding an open registration night for the district’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program Thursday, June 6.

The event will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Fulton Education Center, 167 S. Fourth St., Fulton, and will feature a free performance by the Twin Magicians as well as complimentary snacks.

The event is open to the public and parents wishing to register their son and/or daughter for the district’s UPK program for the 2013-14 school year.

Teaching staff will also be on hand during the event to answer questions and speak to parents about the UPK program.

The Fulton City School District offers UPK as a two and one-half hour morning or afternoon program at Fairgrieve, Granby, Lanigan, and Volney Elementary Schools.

The program is free for district residents and is coordinated in partnership with Oswego County Opportunities, First Step Universal Pre-K, and the Fulton YMCA. Eligible children must turn four years old on or before Dec. 1, 2013.

The following information is needed to register a child for UPK: original birth certificate (with raised seal), up-to-date immunization record, and proof of residency

Fulton schools evolve as technology evolves

by Nicole Reitz

Stephanie Maturo, director of technology for the Fulton City School District, recently gave an overview of the district’s technology plan to the board of education.

She spoke of new programs that have been implemented, which are  all related to the reform agenda, specifically the Annual Professional Performance Review.

The Regents Reform Agenda is based on the goal that all students will graduate from high school in New York State ready for college and careers. Such readiness will ensure that all students can successfully participate in an increasingly connected world, said Maturo.

LinkIt! is an online assessment creation tool being used to assess students from kindergarten to the twelfth grade. It tracks students mastery of the Common Core Standards and provides data analysis of how Fulton students are doing on state assessments.

OASYS is the system that is used for managing teacher evaluations. Its software features evaluation programs for teachers, principals and administrators and includes auto-fill templates on self-reflective assessments, classroom observations and informal walk-throughs.

Interactive whiteboards continue to be installed in the classroom. In 2011, there were 32 interactive whiteboards in the district and that number has grown to 171 as of last week.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can also subscribe by calling the office at 598-6397 or clicking on the link on our homepage

Governor’s budget includes more aid to school districts

by Andrew Henderson

Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his executive budget earlier this week.

Local representatives were cautiously optimistic about the governor’s plan, which does not include new taxes or fees, closes a $1.35 billion budget gap, and increases aid to local school districts.

“Taking a first look at Governor Cuomo’s 2013-2014 New York State budget, I found things to like but also things that concern me,” said Assemblyman Bob Oaks. “I am encouraged the governor was able to keep the ‘all funds’ budget increase under the two-percent spending cap and has proposed a four percent increase in education aide.

“I think the legislature should take a serious look at considering his mandate relief initiatives,” Oaks added. “At the same time, we need to determine exactly how he proposes to portion out that school aid and encourage him to consider additional mandate relief.”

According to the governor’s budget, the Fulton City School District is targeted to receive $37,074,440 in state aid, an increase of 3.11 percent.

The Hannibal Central School District is targeted to receive $16,646,549 in state aid, which is an increase of 2.26 percent.

The Oswego City School District is looking at $15,732,350, which is an increase of .53 percent while the Phoenix Central School District is targeted to receive $19,559,842, which is an increase of 1.20 percent.

Assemblyman Will Barclay said he was pleased that the budget proposal does not include more taxes or fees.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Fulton schools to hold showing of ‘Drop Out Nation’

by Andrew Henderson

The Fulton City School District will be holding a screening and discussion of “Drop Out Nation,” a film that follows a group of students in Houston, Texas.

“The Fulton City School District is committed to supporting the success of all of their students, in school and after they graduate,” said Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch. “We recognize the importance of working with students, families, and community members to ensure that success.”

Lynch added that the district need to address chronic absenteeism, school drop outs, and impact of poor economic conditions in the community.

“To begin the important conversations about the solutions to these educational challenges, the Fulton City School District will be hosting a screening of the Public Broadcasting System Frontline program entitled ‘Drop Out Nation’,” said Lynch.

The screening will take place on Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. in the G. Ray Bodley High School Auditorium, with small group discussions to follow.

Dinner will be served and child care will be available on site for children ages four and older.

The film follows a group of students in Houston, Texas, to explore the challenges faced by students as they struggle to stay in school and administrators who are working against the odds to keep them there.

According to the organizers of the film, the average dropout can expect to earn an annual income of $20,241, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a full $10,386 less than the typical high school graduate and $36,424 less than someone with a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, joblessness among those without a high school degree measured 12 percent. Among college graduates, it was 4.1 percent.

Also, statistics show that among those between the ages of 18 and 24, dropouts were more than twice as likely as college graduates to live in poverty, according to the Department of Education.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Fulton voters approve school capital project

by Nicole Reitz

Voters in the Fulton City School District approved an $8.8 million capital project Wednesday night.

The vote was 299-149 to approve the borrowing needed to do the work, according to Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch.

“The turnout was on the lighter side with 415 total votes casted, but the board is pleased with the outcome,” said Lynch. “I want to thank the community and those who participated in the referendum. It is a great project and will serve as a final phase to a capital project that began in 2006.”

The project includes improvements at G. Ray Bodley High School and at Volney and Fairgrieve elementary schools. It also involves stage upgrades for curtains and rigging at the Education Center.

At Volney Elementary, technology upgrades include the creation of a new computer classroom and renovation of the existing computer classroom adjacent to the Media Center.

Other classroom renovations for technology call for the replacement of moveable partitions and data wiring. Partial roof replacement is also scheduled for Volney, as is painting the gymnasium walls and ceiling.

At Fairgrieve Elementary, there will also be the creation of a new computer classroom and renovation of the existing computer classroom adjacent to the Media Center.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397