Story by Naomi Hanson
The Florida School Board meeting kicked off with students from Golden Hill elementary school showcasing their art. Fifth graders exhibited the pieces made in their art class in the pointillism style. The 4th graders demonstrated their mastery of tint.
Potential for New School Bus
A proposal for a new school bus was brought up by Howard Cohen during the preliminary budget discussion. This bus would help alleviate transportation needs since busses seven and eight have been out of commission for a significant period of time. Cohen expressed caution and predicted a down year in revenue for schools nationwide, though budget permitting, believes that a bus number 13 could be added.
Discussion on expanding Pre-k Offerings
Deborah Lisack, Principal of Golden Hill Elementary School, suggested adding another 18 person pre-k class. The board discussed both full day and half day options, especially in keeping with the current pre-k grant program. The discussion is in its earliest stages and the board, superintendent and Lisack will be conducting more research into this option.
Expanding Learning Opportunities
Principal Michael Rheaume and Assistant Principal Susan Moore brought three different points to the board to expand student learning. Hiring a new science teacher was top of the list, as it would allow one science teacher for 7th grade and one for 8th grade. It would also allow for Seward to potentially grow a computer science program, reflecting national trends of students going into engineering. Rheaume and Moore also proposed new ways of expanding distance learning. Currently three courses are being taught through the distance learning program: sociology, psychology, and a history course. This program allows for Seward students to take classes not normally offered, and though enrollment is low, student satisfaction with the program is very high. Lastly, Rheaume and Moore proposed using a furniture budget to create more mindful spaces in the school due to the positive reaction of the student oriented spaces already in use.
A motion passed to continue the athletic merger with Warwick Valley Central School district, despite that varsity football will not be a part of the merger. The merger will consist of girls and boys swimming and JV and modified football.
Technology Educator Goes Above and Beyond
Peter Pekny was appointed to a four year probationary term as a Technology Education teacher. Pekny brought student projects to showcase at the meeting. Pekny brought a string art project and a cutting board as proof of student success in his classes. Moore discussed Peknys dedication, saying “he has taken his time after school and during his prep periods to work with these kids.”
The next Board meeting will take place on Thurs., Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Building, 51 N. Main St., Florida.