WESTFIELD - As consolidation plans continue, let the brainstorming begin.
As part of the discussion at Westfield Academy and Central School's Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 4 were some ideas put forth in a letter by board member Jeff Greabell. Superintendent David Davison said he liked the theme of transparency and openness, which are both important in the process.
Some of Greabell's suggestions included a series of community meetings open to residents of both Brocton and Westfield at places like local American Legions, fire halls or the Westfield Moose Lodge. He also suggested meeting middle and high school students from both districts to explain consolidation and its effects and also to answer any questions the students might have.
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Westfield Academy and Central School Superintendent David Davison, left, gives his superintendent report during the school board’s meeting on Monday, June 4 while board president Marie Edwards and board vice president Steve Cockram look on.
"They will have good ideas and we be able to hear them," Greabell said.
He also had a list of 25 thought provoking questions about how the two districts might function once they become one. Greabell's letter is on the district's website, www.wacs.wnyric.org, at the "Public Agenda" link for June 4 enclosures on the Board of Education's page.
"They (are) very, very good ideas," board president Marie Edwards said.
Board vice president Steve Cockram once again brought up the importance of having a social media campaign.
"It's out there and it's a very important factor," he said.
Board member Joy Bodenmiller said she was exited the board was talking about and planning for consolidation even before a study is done.
"I think that gives us a head start that we didn't have before," Bodenmiller said.
In regards to the consolidation request for proposal, or RFP, it was given to both Brocton and Westfield by BOCES to see if the two districts were comfortable with the timetable and the format. Davison has started looking into getting grants to fund the centralization study, including contacting New York State Senator Catharine Young's office. Davison relayed board member Mark Winslow's comments that he felt the timetable, specifically the time between receiving proposals in mid-July to the contract date, was an issue as Winslow was unable to attend the meeting. Greabell said he was pleasantly surprised by the timetable trying to move the process right along.
"If we can get (the consolidation) done before the next school year, we really ought to so that we don't have to go through another round of cuts such as we have just gone through," he said.
There were no other objections made at the meeting to the RFP.
During his superintendent's report, Davison spoke about his first two weeks on the job.
"I'm loving every minute of it," he said.
So far, he described it as crazy, but a good crazy that is both energizing and exciting. Instead of trying to make it to all the classrooms to introduce himself and interrupt classes, Davison decided to make the rounds during lunches in the cafeteria. He spoke about getting to attend end of year events such as a concert, the National Honor's Society induction ceremony and the Valedictorian and Salutatorian dinner.
"That's they way you want to end your days," he said.
Right now, it's overwhelming at times due to all there is to get his head around, but he said it all feels right. He described his impression of the district as having hard working, well intending employees, great students and a caring and dedicated Board of Education.
"I believe this may have been the best decision of my career," he said.
In other business:
proposed fundraising activities and overnight field trips for the 2012-13 school year were approved;
the contract with Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, Inc., in regards to Partners for Children student services for the 2012-13 school year was approved;
the natural gas bid was awarded to IDT Energy of Jamestown for the 2012-13 school year;
the trash removal bid was awarded to Casella Waste Services for $7,374 for the 2012-13 school year;
the overnight Camp Out for Stray Cat fundraiser sponsored by the Key Club for June 15 and 16 was approved;
participation in the Chautauqua Tapestry School Drop Out program for the 2012-13 school year was approved;
revisions to the second draft of the Board Policy Manual section 7000 were approved as amended;
the Memorandum of Agreement between WACS and the Westfield Teacher's Association regarding changes in athletic and co-curricular schedules for the 2012-13 school year was approved;
Zachary Camarata and Anne LaPorte were appointed as uncertified substitute teachers for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year;
Megan Morrison was appointed as the school psychologist intern for the 2012-13 school year;
fifth grade teacher Chantelle Liddell's child bearing/rearing leave was approved for Sept. 5 to April 29, 2013;
Kimberly Tiberio was appointed as long-term substitute elementary teacher from Aug. 30 to April 29, 2013;
James Morrison was appointed as mechanic's helper effective June 12;
the district's physical education list was amended by removing Jacob Hitchcock;
Cheryl DeJoe, Jennifer Leone, Robert Loewer and Faith Ottaway were approved for summer help;
Kim Abbey was approved as internal claims auditor effective July 1;
the following employment contracts were approved: Leon Hoesel, senior building maintenance mechanic; Patricia Button, cook manager; Eugene Hoitink, head bus driver; Mary Beth Pagano, district treasurer; Barbara Weingart, school nurse; and Alan Holbrook, business manager/district clerk; and
multiple individuals were appointed to the supplemental salary schedule for advisory or director positions.