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Enrollment Highest in 13 Years at ECS

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By Stephanie Timblin

At the Sept. 13 Ellicottville Central School Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mark Ward reported that the overall student population has climbed to the highest number in 13 years, with 651 students enrolled in grades Pre-K through 12.

The Superintendent reported to the Board that the district is prepared to submit a final Annual Professional Performance Review to the New York State Education Department on Sept. 14. The plan will remain focused on four main concepts including: data driven decision making, a core curriculum that is aligned with standards, an atmosphere where bullying is unacceptable, and embraces diversity, with direct ties into the districts strategic plan, and a focus on technology, particularly embracing the school’s new interactive screens and schoology software programs. All approved Teacher and Principal APPR plans are posted alphabetically by New York State school district name at www.nysed.gov.

Superintendent Ward has met with district performing arts consultant John Wilder to discuss the upcoming theater season. With the newly-remodeled auditorium, and at the recommendation of students, the district will offer both the traditional drama club musical, along with a middle school performance later in the year. Wilder has also recommended that the district purchase a new piano for the program, as the school is presently utilizing a 53-year-old piano. The board briefly discussed leasing as an option, which has been successful for the district at other occasions, including the lease of a French horn and other band equipment. The budget already included $5,000 for the purchase of onstage speakers to aide performers in hearing themselves. Ward and Wilder will make further recommendations at a later date.

Connie Poulin, Elementary Principal/CSE-CPSE Chairperson provided the Board with a Principal’s Report. Poulin conducted opening day and week assemblies for students in grades K through 6 that included special introductions for new students, a Principal’s Challenge update, audience participation courtesy rules, cafeteria procedures, school bus rules and safety, fire drills/safety drills, and attendance and being on time. The principal’s challenge for the 2016/17 academic year is a reminder to “look someone in the eye when speaking to them, and ensuring the use of their name during conversation.”

Board members briefly discussed new tracking requirements and deliver option for continuing education requirements for all professional certificate holders, as well as proposed policies No. 5683 Fire and Emergency Drills, Bomb Threats, and Bus Emergency Drills, and No. 5681 School Safety Plan. All materials are visible online at www.ellicottvillecentralschool.com.

The board unanimously approved the following during regular session:

Upon the recommendation of Mark J. Ward, Superintendent of Schools approval of an agreement between   The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and Ellicottville Central School    for the 2016-2017 school year.  The agreement is for services from the Division of     Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics to provide technical assistance to Ellicottville    Central School.   

Upon the recommendation of Mark J. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, approval of the following advisors   for the 2016-2017 school year: National Honor Society, Blair Wood; French Club, Dolores Whistler; Homework Club/Academic Tutor, Holly Richardson; Music Association, Kathy Weller, Crystal Wilder, Pat Waldron; and Robotics Team Coaches Blair Wood, Chris Edwards            

Upon the recommendation of Mark J. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, approval of Jenna O’Connell to the position of long-term substitute teacher assistant, effective retroactive to Sept. 12, 2016.   O’Connell will receive $88 per day for this assignment.

Upon the recommendation of Mark J. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, approval of LaDonna Freundschuh to the position of substitute teacher (non-certified) at a rate of $68 per day. This appointment is contingent upon a successful fingerprint clearance from New York State.   

Upon the recommendation of Mark J. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, approval of Ann Barren to the position of substitute teacher (non-certified) at a rate of $78 per day.

Upon the recommendation of Mark J. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, approval of Forester Financial as a third party vendor for staff investment opportunities.

The Board adjourned into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter. The next Board of Education meeting will be held Oct. 11, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

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