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Penn Yan school board 10/20/10

Meeting: Penn Yan Central School District board of education met for approximately 45 minutes on Oct. 20.
Attendance: All members of the school board were present.  Four members of the public were in the audience.
Action: Approved routine matters
Discussion without action: Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Staff Development Howard Dennis presented an update on the External Diploma Program. Dennis said the program is assisted locally through Literacy Volunteers. Dennis outlined how the program is organized. A diagnostic phase is first followed by a demonstration of skills. Portfolios must be created and approved before a diploma would be awarded. Dennis said there are more and more people who need diplomas. It is hard to get a GED if the individual has been out of school for a long time. There would be no cost to the district.
• Superintendent of Schools Ann Orman presented an update on the Race to the Top program. The program is listed as a Regents integrated approach to achieve student success. One goal is preparing students to succeed in college and careers. Graduation rates and college persistence (meaning staying in college) are also targeted for improvement.  Orman said guidelines are expected in May 2011 for critical reforms. Orman said Penn Yan Central School District is one of a few schools in the region allotted over $100,000 for four years, for a total of $180,000. She said up to 75 percent must be spent on network teams. Orman said she thinks Penn Yan was fortunate to get the amount they got. She did caution the board that other programs, such as Reading First, have not always produced the amount of revenue that was first indicated. Orman said she thinks the basis of the Race to the Top program is wonderful. She would like to have the same standards across the state.
• School board members were honored as part of School Board Recognition Week, Oct. 25 to 29. Each member was invited to select a book that will be donated in their name to any of the three school libraries.
Bids/purchases over $1,000: Approved $17,695 for asbestos removal at the high school. This is due to approved change orders.
Appointments/resignations: Accepted the resignation of Teaching Assistant Sharlene Briggs, effective Dec. 31.
Upcoming meetings: Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the elementary school cafeteria. 




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