By Shelley R. Clapper
The Florida School Board held a moment of silence at the beginning of their meeting on Thurs., Feb. 15 for the victims of the Parkland School shooting in the state of Florida.
After the moment of silence, Superintendent Jan Jehring gave an update on a threat to the Florida Union Free School District that had occurred very recently.
“We had a possible threat. We asked the police to come. Within 24 hours we were able to track down the source of the threat,” said Jehring.
The threat came from a minor from out of state and she said it had been dealt with promptly.
Florida School Board President John T. Redman said, “Obviously we have to address these things. At the same time we want to keep it under control and prevent wide-spread panic.”
Budget Public Hearing & Annual Vote
The Board then gave notice about the annual public hearing on the budget, which will be held on Thurs., May 3 at 7 p.m. at the S.S. Seward Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida. Notice was also given at the meeting of the annual vote to elect members of the Board of Education and to vote on the proposed school budget. The election will take place on Tues., May 15 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the S.S. Seward Institute, located at 53 N. Main St. in Florida.
‘Garden for Giving’ Proposed
A preliminary presentation was given on a proposed project for a “Garden of Giving.” The “Garden of Giving” will be an enclosed vegetable/flower raised bed garden designed by students and faculty advisors. S.S. Seward Institute senior Sarah Licata explained that the purpose of the garden will be to raise vegetables for use in the cafeteria and the Food and Nutrition program.
Also art students will be able to draw the flowers and the science students can study them. It can be a place for teachers to bring classes outside to read or for discussion as well as a seating/mediation/quiet area. She also said that during the summer months, vegetables could be donated to the Florida Food Pantry.
The students said that they were looking for community connections to help with supplies and to help mentor students about agriculture. Students will be sending letters to local nurseries to seek assistance with hardware and initial construction.
“We wanted to share the idea with the Board of Education. We loved the idea,” said Superintendent Jehring.
Girl Scout Gold Award Project
S.S. Seward Institute senior Brianna Milz gave a presentation on her Girl Scout Troop 494 Gold Award project. Brianna described to the Board how she had built a bookcase chair for the special education room at the high school. She described to the Board how she had built, sanded and painted the chair, then sewed the seat covers. She also said that she had solicited the local library for book donations. She said that the hours she spent working on the chair and with others helped her develop her leadership skills.
Board President John T. Redman II announced that an athletic merger with the Warwick Valley Central School District was approved. Students from the Florida Union Free School District in grades seven to 12 will be permitted to participate in the Warwick interscholastic girls’ and boys’ swimming program for the 2018-19 school year. Students in grades seven to 11 from the Florida School District will be permitted to participate in Warwick football program for the 2018-19 school year.
Next School Board Meeting
The next School Board meeting will be held on Thurs., Mar. 15 at 7.30 pm at the S.S. Seward Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida.