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Odessa approves new program

ODESSA—The Odessa-Montour school board unanimously approved a preliminary agreement with the YWCA of Elmira to provide a new after school program, during the Thursday, Sept. 12, meeting.
The school board learned at the end of last school year the district would not receive another round of funding for the 21st Century after school program. Both Odessa and the Watkins Glen school district reviewed options to provide another program. Superintendent Jim Frame explained the board approved a memorandum of understanding to have the YWCA in Chemung County administer the program in Schuyler. The YWCA will handle the arrangements for both Odessa and Watkins, which will have separate offerings.
He added the district expects to start the after school program sometime in October, once the YWCA is certified for Schuyler County. Frame explained the YWCA will charge a fee, but said there are also scholarships. He added the organizers don’t have a history of turning students away.
The program also expands under the YWCA. Previously, the after school activities were meant for fifth through eighth grade students. Frame explained it will now be open to two age groups: kindergarten to fourth grade and fifth to seventh grade. He said the separate programs will run until 6 p.m. “I hope a lot of folks find it convenient,” said Frame. In other business:
• A presentation was given by the Office of Real Property Tax Services about the STAR tax exemption application process. Residents who receive the basic STAR exemption on school taxes are being asked to reapply by Dec. 31, 2013. Homeowners with questions can call 518-457-2036.
• The board approved the creation of a full-time teacher aide position, effective Sept. 1, 2013.
• The board also authorized a bond resolution to pay for two new school buses. Frame explained the bus purchases were previously approved by district voters.



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