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Odessa-Montour school board 1/13/11

Meeting:  The Odessa-Montour school board met Thursday, Jan. 13, for 55 minutes.
Attendance:  Debra Harrington was the only board member absent.  There was one member of the public in the audience.
Action:  The board approved increasing the mileage reimbursement rate by one cent to 51 cents.  Superintendent Jim Frame said this is the same level for the Internal Revenue Service.  Board members Scott Westervelt and Matt Walters voted against it.  Westervelt said even if it is a small increase, the state government is freezing pay increases.
• The board increased two accounts in the budget both by $29,704 to account for the electronic message board sign donated by the Sports Boosters Club.
• The board accepted $4,150 in donations for the purchase of snowshoes: $2,000 from the Hanlon Parent Faculty Organization; $1,400 from the Montour Moose Club; and $750 from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Schuyler County Environmental Management Council.  During administrators’ reports, fourth grade Hanlon teacher Jim Nolan explained he applied for the $750 from the environmental management council to incorporate environmental education into the curriculum.  He explained he thought snowshoes had many uses in different subjects.  Hanlon now has 50 pairs of snowshoes for students to use.
Discussion without action:  Westervelt asked for an update on middle and high school students not having the option of recreation time during lunch.  At the start of this school year that was eliminated.  Frame said it is working well because of changes to the lunch serving organization.  Teacher Chris Wood said there has been a decrease in disciplinary referrals due to the change.
• Frame said the district is doing preliminary work on the 2011-12 budget.  He added the school’s departments submitted internal budget numbers and all the district needs is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget Feb. 1.
• Middle and high school Principal Greg Conlon said January Regents exams are underway.  He said some students already took the English test, which was held in a three-hour session instead of two separate sessions.
• Hanlon Principal Chris Williams reported on the Homework Help Lunch program.  She explained it gives students a chance to finish homework while eating lunch in a quiet space.  She said between 10 and 20 students make use of it daily.
Upcoming meetings:  The next school board meeting is a workshop, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. 



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