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Hammondsport school board 03/18/09

Meeting:  The Hammondsport Central School Board of Education met Wednesday, March 18 for two hours and 45 minutes, plus a 40 minute executive session.
Attendance: Board member Rick Drain was absent; all other members present, plus school officials and an audience of 15.
Discussion without action: Dr. Susan Gray and Dr. Robert Bradley reported on findings of their “Fresh Perspective” review of district operations and conditions.  “Fresh Perspective” is a leadership tool from the partnership between the New York State School Boards Association and The Council of School Superintendents to provide guidance for school board administration teams in transition to improve student achievement. After interviewing some 47 people they found district stakeholders positive about leadership stability, and about the rigor and breadth of academic offerings and achievement. On the other hand they are concerned about the future of the district, and worried about financial stability. Gray and Bradley added that many respondents are concerned that Hammondsport is becoming “a special education school,” while in reality the number of special education students is well below state average. Reviewers warned that leadership must maintain close communication with the community, and needs to make careful planning and clear goals a priority.
• Superintendent Kyle Bower reported on his latest budget draft, warning that amounts for state aid and federal stimulus package are still unknown. He stated that none of the reductions planned will affect the graduate profile, or any of the items valued in the Fresh Perspectives study. “After this year, we will have the smallest administrative staff of any of the 21 districts in the GST BOCES, and that will include eight districts that have smaller enrollments than we do,” Bower said. He pointed out, though, that auditors and the Fresh Perspectives team were both objecting to the superintendent doubling as chief financial officer. Overall, Bower told the board, “We’re still in a good long-term position” to maintain the proposed budget over two years.
• Bower reported that the architect working with the school on roof replacement and repair has proposed the project as a Federal stimulus grant project aimed at alleviating local tax burdens, and that the proposal has passed the first several rounds of cuts.
• Secondary principal Tad Rounds reported that declining enrollment means that some spring sports such as softball and baseball will have no junior varsity teams, but only modified (grades seven to nine) and varsity (grades 10 to 12) squads, and that this would probably also be true for soccer in the fall. Since the league will not accept freshmen on modified teams, play at that level will be restricted to other smaller schools such as Prattsburgh, Bradford, and Jasper-Troupsburg, though the same number of games will be played. “That is the future, basically,” Rounds concluded. “We have more sports for our size than any other district, Bower pointed out.  He added that eventually the number of sports available will probably shrink, adding, “In reality, it’s the kids who’ll make the choice,” by electing some sports over others.
•  Waste water hauling contract to Superior Septic, at 10 cents per gallon.
Appointments/resignations:  The board approved the following appointments; Tad Rounds, tenure appointment; Melissa O’Brochta, on-call substitute aide/assistant/clerical, $70 per day; Gloria Rowley, long-term substitute aide, $10.84 per hour.
• The board approved the following resignations; Chad Walker, leave of absence.  and Ronald J. Good, terminate probationary period.
•  The following coaching assignments: Leo Stermole, varsity golf, $2960; Adam French, varsity tennis, $2960; Dan Conley, varsity baseball, $2960; Ray Ullrich, modified baseball $1268; Jeff Champlin, modified baseball $1268; William Ordway, varsity softball, $2960; Lynn Binnert, modified softball, $1268; Kelly Meade, modified softball, $1268; Marc Hopkins, varsity track, $2960; Jason Brayman, varsity track, $2960; Tracy Wood, assistant track, $1691.
Upcoming meetings:  The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m.

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