WESTFIELD - Universal pre-kindergarten has been restored.
That was the good word at the most recent Westfield Academy and Central School's Board of Education meeting on Monday, April 16.
While it is unclear if the district will be reimbursed for the current school year, the funding is guaranteed to be restored starting with the 2012-13 school year.
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Westfield Academy and Central School’s Board of Education said good-bye to member Tim Smith, standing right, with a gift at the April 16 meeting. Also pictured are Board President Marie Edwards, left, and Board Vice President Steve Cockram.
"We could not have offered the program without it being restored," Interim Superintendent Margaret Sauer said.
She thanked New York State Senator Catharine Young and New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell for their assistance in reestablishing the funding.
In other business, the board approved the 2012-13 school year calendar which will coincide with the BOCES calendar. Board members Tim Smith and Mark Winslow both said they are in favor of being in sync with BOCES and Winslow commented he was upset by the flip flopping back and forth that has gone on with the calendar in recent years. Secondary Principal Ivanna Hite explained it was detrimental to have the a split spring break with the block scheduling Westfield used to have, and Sauer said the decision to mimic the BOCES calendar makes the best educational choice now.
Board Vice President Steve Cockram asked if there would be any issues with the shared sports teams and Sauer did say the Brocton district will be on the same calendar as Westfield, but the Ripley and Chautauqua Lake districts have elected to go with two consecutive weeks of spring break.
"The best thing we could do in this county is for all the schools to agree on the same calendar," Sauer said. "But we've been trying for decades and its not happening."
Another "flip-flop" will be CTE students beginning a transition to BOCES. It will be fewer travel miles and Westfield will be splitting that travel cost with Brocton Central Schools. However, some special education students will still be going to Chautauqua Lake Central Schools.
In the business manager's report, Al Holbrook said the last of the Excel building project money was spent and work completed over spring break, just over five years from its approval. There are now digital cameras in all the stairwells, the gymnasium, the cafeteria and the bike rack. He also reported WACS received its eighth consecutive School Safety Award and that the $500 prize will go toward yellow bests for those on the road.
The April meeting was the last for Smith, who has served on the board for over seven years. Board President Marie Edwards gave him a gift on behalf of the board, a framed clock as a memento of his time on the board.
Finally, the board had the difficult job of officially terminating the necessary positions for the 2012-13 budget and school year.
"These were really hard to make," Smith said.
The cuts to the least senior teachers effective July 1 are as follows: 1.0 position in the elementary tenure area, Kimberly Tiberio; 1.0 position in the music tenure area, Roger Chagnon; 1.0 position in the social studies tenure area, Bryan Olson; 0.5 FTE in the science tenure area, Molly Anderson (will be 0.5 FTE); 0.5 FTE in the art tenure area, Geraldine Beers (will be 0.5 FTE); 0.33 FTE in the foreign language arts, Ann Jaink (will be 0.33 FTE); and 0.5 FTE in the school nurse position, Nancy Walker (will be 0.5 FTE). The votes for each cut were unanimous, except for the music tenure area when Cockram voted against the cut.
In other business:
the board abolished a custodian position which id currently vacant;
Nicole Robbins, David Luder and Alexandra Matos was appointed as an uncertified substitute teacher for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year effective April 17;
the board approved revisions to the 6000 section of the Board Policy Manual; and
BOCES services to be provided during the 2012-13 school year were approved.