Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mid-Week Update

Lots of interesting things going on around the District lately. First of all this weather is really causing issues for buildings and grounds, transportation, athletics, and all of those elementary students who can't get out and run for 20 minutes for recess (probably an issue for their teachers as well!).

The roof over Stonehedge Gold sustained over 300 cuts from the hail and the roof over Cafeteria I at the high school received over 1,000 (see picture at right of what a roof cut looks like). Both roofs have been patched, but we may need to consider an emergency project to replace the roof at the high school this summer not because it has structural issues but because it has been patched more than 1,000 times on an area smaller than a football field.

In addition, roads have been closed and routes have been temporarily altered in some cases which has kept the transportation department busy, not to mention our drivers dealing with the other cars full of drivers confident that their SUV's can actually do 100 mph in driving rain and flood conditions!

Softball and baseball have had a heck of a time getting games and practices in as well. The only bright side for me is that I haven't missed any Tuesday night adult softball games yet because they have all been rained out.

I had a chance to meet with the engineers from the county yesterday to discuss the West Genesee Street Paving Project. To view a copy of their plan, please click here to go to the Superintendent's Message and Informational Documents web page and click on the document, "Paving Project" so you can see exactly what they are proposing. This project has a long way to go before it is finalized. The Town is scheduling a Public Hearing on the matter later this month if you want to get additional information.

Speaking of Public Hearings, we have held two Budget Hearings so far and have our final meeting this evening at 7:00 p.m. in the high school large group instruction room (this is a change in location). It is important to note that these meetings are to present and answer questions about the budget. The Board of Education cannot legally change the budget up or down at this point. The actual budget was adopted on April 13 and our School Property Tax Report Card was submitted on April 23.
The adopted budget, as is, will be taken to the voters to consider on May 17.

The Hearing last night was a mixed bag of emotions, questions, and concerns. Some people in the audience wanted more things cut from the budget and lower taxes, while others wanted the third-grade strings program reinstated. Both meetings have gone well over two hours which is fine with me as long as everyone is respectful (being emotional and being disrespectful are two completely different things) and everyone gets their questions answered. So far so good, and our Board of Education has been very attentive and in tune with what all of the concerns have been. There have been no easy decisions. As I mentioned before, we are preparing to launch a web site dedicated to areas of the budget that will be reduced so people can see how services in the affected areas will be performed in the future.

I would like to congratulate our Fine Arts staff for helping the District to achieve the distinction of being "One of the Best Communities for Music" for the sixth time. This means a lot, especially since we have faced financial challenges in this area yet have still been selected to receive this award. Congratulations to all for your work and dedication to our students.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate Scott Duda for an amazing Academic Decathlon season. His group competed very well in North Carolina against National competition and Mr. Duda is already planning for next year!

Thanks, stay dry, and have a great rest of the week.