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Community Passes School Budget Spell, Murphy and Zlockie Elected to Board

By Jann Wiswall

The ECS community voted Tuesday to approve the 2013-14 school budget of $10,891,507 by a vote of 186–50. Voters also approved resolutions to lease two school buses (186–51), and to provide funding to the Ellicottville Memorial Library (157–80).

The election for three new board members resulted in the election of Roger Spell and William (Bill) Murphy to five-year terms beginning July 1, and Leonard (Len) Zlockie to a four-year term to fill out the remainder of the term left vacated by the resignation of Aimee Kilby.  Zlockie was sworn in during the Tuesday evening board meeting and immediately took a seat at the table.

Before receiving election results, the board began its regularly scheduled meeting with a presentation from Elementary School Guidance Counselor Dan LaCroix. LaCroix provided a comprehensive update on K-7 guidance activities over the past year and briefed the board on the expansion of a number of efforts related to anti-bullying, career awareness, student safety, Individualized Education Program (IEP) efforts for students with disabilities, and more.

Also during the meeting, the board passed the “Cooperative Purchasing Annual Resolution of the Board of Education” allowing the school to participate with BOCES, and it approved the engineering contract with SEI Design for the Capital Improvement Project.

In addition, the board approved the 2013-14 school calendar, which will be shared as soon as possible with the public.

Superintendent Mark Ward reported that SEI Design — the architectural and engineering firm working on the building renovations — regularly is on site meeting with teachers and staff, and is working on the detailed drawings needed before construction begins. Ward showed the board some of those preliminary drawings.

In MS/HS Principal Bob Miller’s absence at the beginning of the meeting, Ward also reported that the 8th grade and Senior Class trips had been great successes, the girls’ softball team is headed to playoffs at Ripley High this week, three 9th grade boys made it to track sectionals, the Odyssey of the Mind team is competing in the World Competition at Michigan State University this weekend, the High School Band placed first at the Darien Lake competition, and lots of testing will continue through the end of the school year.

Elementary School Principal Connie Poulin reported that her team is deeply involved in the state’s Special Education audit of ECS’s program. Twenty IEP folders were pulled at random by the auditor for review. For each, the auditor will interview parents, observe classes, meet with teachers and administrators, etc.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Poulin said.

Poulin also reported that testing continues to keep everyone busy, and that it is field trip season for the elementary grades and students are looking forward to those educational adventures.

The next meeting of the ECS School Board is June 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library.

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