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ECS/West Valley Open to Talks

By Colleen Mahoney

The Ellicottville Central School District is open to participating in an annexation study with West Valley Central School, according to ECS Superintendent Mark Ward.

During his report at the Feb. 9 Board of Education meeting, Ward talked about a meeting that was held between the two districts to discuss the future of both schools.

“West Valley is continuing to have dialogue in their community about what the next step is,” Ward said. “We told them we’d work with them once they decide.”

Ward said the next move needs to come from West Valley, but said the initial meeting was good and informative. Ellicottville is willing to keep channels of communication open, Ward said, but they will wait to hear from West Valley.

“The ball is in their court now,” he said. “We made our position clear.”

Ward also updated the board on the progress of the ongoing capital project. The date for completion of the lockers has been moved to April, which he called “aggravating,” but said everything else is moving along nicely. The bell and clock display in the main entrance – “a nod to the 1948 merger with Great Valley High School” – will be glassed in. Ward said students have already been “checking them out,” adding it’s been a long time since the clock has been running.

The display is “symbolic … I think it’s turning out pretty classy,” Ward said.

Elementary School Principal Connie Poulin updated the board on the strategic planning task force.

Poulin, who serves as its facilitator, said the core team will be meeting again on Feb. 23, to discuss the strategic intents and key initiatives. Some of the goals include performing 20 percent better than the New York state average in assessments, maintaining appropriate levels of communication between parents, the school and students, finding flexibility between traditional and digital textbooks and planning for prioritizing building needs.

The senior trip has been canceled due to a lack of student participation, Middle and High School Principal Robert Miller reported. The trip had only seven students signed up, Miller said. The board asked if the students could instead participate in a day trip, locally. Miller said they would go back to the “drawing board.”

ECS students placed first in the Scholastic Challenge Competition in Portville, Miller reported.

After a “heated battle” with Wellsville, ECS was able to take home first place and move on to Nationals.

“It’s a great opportunity for our kids,” Miller said. “It carries on the tradition of academic excellence in ECS.”

The team, coached by Ann Chamberlain, includes Victor Reiman, Robert Spell, Will Timkey and Shelby Toth.

The ECS Board of Education will next meet on March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library.

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