Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Warwick School Board met for their first regular business meeting of the 2017-18 school year on Mon., Sept. 11 at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center. The Pledge of Allegiance was followed by a minute’s silence in memory of the people who lost their lives on Sept. 11.
Topics of Future Board Work Sessions
Superintendent Dr. David Leach outlined work session topics as follows: Mon., Sept. 25, discussion of capital projects in the District; Mon., Oct. 30, a look at health insurance; Mon., Nov. 27, focus on career and technical education; Mon., Jan. 29, a look at special education and the upcoming budget; Mon., Feb. 26, comprehensive school plans and the budget; Mon., Mar. 21 and Mon., Apr. 23, 2018-19 budget; Mon., May 21 and Mon., Jun. 25, School Board executive session to work on the superintendent evaluation process; and the final work session to be held in August 2018, will address curriculum, instruction, literacy, and professional development updates.
Capital Projects with No Tax Impact
Dr. Leach announced that the School District is considering a capital project that includes repairs and renovations to all of the schools in the District with no additional cost to taxpayers. The State aid will cover 63.8 percent of the cost and money set aside in the District’s capital reserve fund will cover the balance. These repairs were identified during a State-required building condition survey done in 2016. The repairs include roof work, masonry repairs and upgrades to electrical and plumbing systems and energy efficiency upgrades.
New Teachers’ Orientation Workshop
Dr. Leach said that he would like to thank all those who took part in the two day new teachers’ orientation that was held in August. The orientation covered topics such as cyber security and data management, literacy across all content areas, working with service providers, taking the initiative, wellness and the importance of balance in a teacher’s life, the importance of inter-personal skills, making friends with the right people, and best teaching practices.
Dr. Leach thanked Grace Community Church and the Warwick Foundation for Excellence in Learning, who joined forces to donate 50 backpacks filled with grade level supplies for students at the Park Avenue Elementary School. Those backpacks will then be used for the Backpack Snack Attack program.
Over the summer, Sanfordville Elementary School donated a box of books from the school library to the Olng’arua Primary School in Kenya. A letter was received from Emma Redfern of DARE (Development Assistance for Rural Education) thanking the District for their generosity. More about the school can be seen on the DARE Foundation website at www.darefoundation.com.
‘ Spirit Week’ at Middle School
“Spirit Week” took place during the week of Mon., Sept. 11 to Fri., Sept. 15 at the Warwick Middle School. Monday was crazy sock day, Tuesday was sports team day, Wednesday was crazy hat day, Thursday was color wars day, and Friday was Warwick pride day and the pep rally. It was also stated at the meeting that a new process for recess has been implemented in the middle school. All students eat lunch at the same time and then go to recess as a class.
Rotary Presentation for Odyssey of the Mind
David Eaton, a member of the Warwick School Board and President of the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, presented elementary school PIE teacher and Odyssey of the Mind advisor Donna Denny with a check for $1,000 to be used for Odyssey of the Mind. Denny thanked the Rotary for the generous donation.
Additional Enrollment in Younger Grades
At the close of the meeting, Dr. Leach shared some good news with the Board. He said that although there is declining enrollment in the District and in all schools in the county, there is increasing enrollment in Warwick in the younger grades, more so than was predicted in the demographic study.
Twenty additional students enrolled in first grade between Sept. 2016 and Sept. 2017. In the same time period, 11 additional students enrolled in the current second grade and 11 additional students in the third grade.
Next Board Business Meeting
The next school board meeting will be held on Mon., Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, located at 225 West St. Ext. in Warwick.