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Phillips: shared services need to be reviewed in Schuyler

    WATKINS GLEN—Watkins Glen Superintendent Tom Phillips again called for discussion about ways to share and reduce the duplication of services in Schuyler County at the Monday, Dec. 3, school board meeting.
    Reading from a pre-written report, Phillips said he was meeting with Cornell University staff on Tuesday, Dec. 4, regarding the possibility of holding community discussions about shared services and mergers.  He said the upcoming budget preparations will be tough due to increasing costs.  He added with the state handling Hurricane Sandy relief, he doesn’t think Watkins will get any increase in state aid next school year.
    The community meetings would be held to encourage open discussion about ways to cut costs and still offer services from the school districts, county, towns, and villages.  
    In other business:
    •  The board discussed students being able to access Facebook on the school’s netbooks.  Principal Kristine Somerville said middle school students are now unable to visit the social media website from the netbooks after several incidents.  She explained the students are too young at that point to understand the implications of misusing Facebook.  When asked why students even have access to it, Phillips said a number of high school teachers create classroom pages which allow the students to connect with each other and the teacher online.  The board decided it would discuss the topic more in depth at a later workshop.
    •  Business Manager Gayle Sedlack said the board will have its first meeting to review the 2013-14 budget on Jan. 22.  Watkins Glen Faculty Association President Kate Bartholomew spoke during public comment and said the group wanted to be part of the budget discussion.
    •  Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Mike DeNardo and Phillips will present more details about the construction needed for the building consolidation project at the Monday, Dec. 17, meeting.  A timeline of the work will be presented.
    •  The board acknowledged the second reading of and adopted the following revised policies: student health services, free and reduced lunches, and purchasing.
    The next Watkins Glen school board meeting is Monday, Dec. 17, at 5:45 p.m.


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