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Dundee school board 02/12/09

Meeting: Dundee Central School District board of education met for approximately  one hour, Feb. 12. The meeting was preceded by an executive session to discuss personnel matters lasting 30 minutes and a second for the same reason following the regular meeting which lasted approximately 30 minutes.
Attendance: Board member Kristen VanValkenberg was absent. Eleven members of the public were in the audience.
Action: Approved changes in three district policies including the community volunteer policy. The word volunteer was removed and service experience used. The new policy clarifies the fact that the work is to be done outside of the school day and that community service imposed through the legal system does not qualify. The phase-in schedule was also moved down with this year’s seniors encouraged to participate. Next year’s senior class would have a target of five hours; class of 2011, 10 hours, 2012 15 hours and from 2013 on, 20 hours.
• The board voted to authorize superintendent of schools Nancy Zimar to send a letter to Finger Lakes BOCES asking for a grace period for BOCES sign up.
• Raymond Wager was appointed external auditor for fiscal years ending on June 30, 2009, 2010 and 2011 at a rate of $15,000, $15,500 and $16,000 respectively.
• The board approved the Memorandum of Agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association, effective July 1 through June 12, 2012.
Resolutions regarding coaching appointments for several Spring sports was tabled until after the second executive session. When the board reconvened, they approved the list with one exception.
Discussion without action: Zimar outlined portions of the proposed budget for the next school year as well as projected increases in spending and decreasing revenue, calling this, “Unprecedented times of economic and financial crisis.”  She said the current projected tax levy is approaching a 22 percent increase, then outlined ways that the increase can be controlled. Zimar said cuts of $40,000 raise or reduce the levy by one percent. To reduce the increase to 10 percent, $580,000 in cuts would have to be made. To reduce to five percent, $716,000 in cuts would have to be made. Following her comments, Zimar asked the board of education for direction.
Board president Joseph Capurso said, “It would be irresponsible of us to set a number without knowing what would be cut.” He would like to see what kind of cuts would be required to get to eight, four or zero percent increase.  He said, “Then we could look at what could be realistically cut. We need to understand what the scale is and we need to strike a balance. Board vice president James Joehler said he likes some choices, adding, “In the priority, whatever we have to do, do what impacts students the least.” Board member John Frederick said it looks like there might be some form of stimulus, adding, “The question is how much and when?” Zimar said one of the concerns about the stimulus is whether it will come directly to the school or filter through State Education  Department. She said, “By the time our budget must be voted on they may not have all the details.”
• The board congratulated January Mega Scots Ashley Kelly, Nicholas Raplee, Matthew Tarlach and Megan Gilbert.
• The board learned that Science teacher Jennifer Clancy had received a science equipment bonanza. Zimar said Clancy learned that Ward’s Natural Science was offering free equipment. Clancy went  to Rochester at 6:30 a.m. on the appointed day and received a number of pieces of equipment at no cost to the district.
• Capurso announced Giles Shur Fine Save-A-Tape program began Feb. 2 and will last through March 31.
• Student forum was hosted by the Varsity Football Team and Natural Helpers. Football team members Andrew Prisco and Blaine Moore spoke first. Prisco said, “It was a great football season, a great experience. The best thing was winning sectional for coach. Moore added, It was an amazing ride. It felt like there were millions here on the sidewalk to welcome us. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” Moore told the board that the New York State Athletic Writers listed the team as third in the state. Zimar said, “You added tremendous pride to our community.”
• Natural Helpers Advisor Sharla Yarnell outlined activities of that group. She told the board that 13 new members were added in November and have been trained locally. In the past, training was held at Watson Homestead, however Yarnell said that was not done this year due to the cost. She said the group is interested in bringing back the random acts of kindness program and mix it up at lunch day. The group discussed bringing back some form of Scotapaluzza Day.
Upcoming meetings: March 12 at 7 p.m. in the public meeting room at the school. There will also be informational meetings on the proposed capital project at 6 p.m. on March 11 and 18.  

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