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Odessa-Montour school board 8/12/10

Meeting:  The Odessa-Montour school board met, Thursday, Aug. 12, for 55 minutes.
Attendance:  All board members were present.  There were no members of the public in the audience.
Action:  The school board approved the bond resolution to purchase two new school buses this year, which will replace two older buses.  The plan was previously approved by district voters.
• A cooperative purchasing agreement with Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES was approved.  Superintendent Jim Frame explained the district gets a better deal when more schools are involved in a contract.
Discussion without action:  Business Manager Greg Dale spoke to the board about the state passing its budget and the federal government approving emergency funds to schools.  However, he said he only had estimated or unofficial numbers at this point.  Dale said for state funds, the unofficial numbers looked like state aid will be close to the five percent cut Gov. David Paterson proposed.  This is what the district based its own budget on.  When it came to the federal money approved to save teaching positions, Dale said there are too many unknowns.  He said Odessa should get $200,000 for one year only.  Dale explained there has been no word when the funds will arrive, what the rules are, and if it will go through the state to be distributed.
• Frame told the board about the New York State Education Department changing scoring cutoffs for grades third through eighth, English Language Arts and math.  He explained the bar was raised for performance statewide, and now many students are below the state’s proficiency level.  Frame added students would have shown improvement under the previous scoring system.
• Frame gave an update on changes for the next school year, which includes not allowing students to go to the gym if they are done eating lunch.  He explained the change was made due to staffing restrictions.  Board member Matt Walters said he didn’t like the change, because it took away an opportunity for students to be active.  Frame added it would not be taking away a lot from a large number of students.
• Board member Scott Westervelt asked about the progress of the capital project and if facilities will be ready for students, including practicing athletes.  Frame said work is being finished on a number of small, but slow aspects.  However, he added that once those are complete, crews will be able to come through and clean.
• Frame read a letter from the New York State Department of Transportation stating that the district passed the bus inspection at 97.5 percent.
Upcoming meetings:  The next regular school board meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m.


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