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Westfield Board of Ed. proposes budget with minimal tax increase

April 21, 2016
By David Prenatt ( , Westfield Republican

Westfield residents can expect a minimal increase in their tax levy if the 2016-2017 school district budget is accepted by voters.

Westfield Academy and Central School board of education members reviewed and gave final approval to the proposed budget, which includes an estimated maximum tax levy increase of 0.23 percent. A public meeting will be held for voters to review the budget on Tuesday, May 10 and residents will vote on the budget on Tuesday, May 17.

District Superintendent David Davison told board members that the proposed 2016-17 budget upholds the goals expressed in the district's mission statement, specifically "to educate all students to the highest level of their academic potential ... and to provide all students with a range of challenging educational opportunities in a safe, supportive environment."

Article Photos

Photo by David Prenatt
WACS curriculum coordinator and seventh-grade science teacher Molly Anderson talks to the board of education at its regular meeting on April 11.

Davison said that the increase from the 2015-2016 budget to the 2016-2017 budget is $134,293 or 0.89 percent. "We always try to think about the mission statement on the back wall when preparing the budget. I do believe this budget supports our existing programs," he added.

School Business Official Anthony Montoro showed members of the board how the total capital budget increase of $683,101 or 4.54% represents a transfer to the capital fund from the general fund, which has no tax levy impact. Board members did not propose any amendments to the proposed budget.

Seventh Grade Science teacher Molly Anderson, who has been attending regional curriculum meetings, gave board members a curriculum update. "Both science and social studies are going more in-depth. Social studies will be dramatically different, including questions on the Regents exam," she said.

Anderson explained the importance of vertical alignment, which examines how the curriculum at one grade level connects to the program of study at each successive grade level. This involves looking at scope and sequence, as well as making sure students and teachers are using a common language, she said.

Anderson said that WACS curriculum teams are looking at some summer opportunities which would include peer leadership training for qualified students. "We are also planning outreach to help parents of pre-school children, so the kids will be better learners when they come here," she added.

Board member Deanne Manzella shared the Stand Up for Public Education You Tube video created by Forestville/Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board Member Sylvester Cleary. Manzella told board members that she admires Cleary's enthusiasm and his message.

The point of Cleary's video is that "When we stand up for public education, America excels!" He entreats viewers to "Bring the public back in public education." He adds: "It's the only way to educate the kids in our nation. It's the fair way, the right way, the way it should be done. We can't allow the states just to call the shots and run,"

In other business, District Clerk Tina Winslow told board members that there are three openings on the BOE. Two are full term positions and one will fulfill the term of vacating member Edward LeBarron. She said that Steve Cockram and Wendy Dymant have returned petitions to her.

Winslow said that the Chautauqua County Board of Elections will produce the ballots and an optical scanning machine will be used for the election.

Superintendent Davison said that he has been contacted by the hospital about traffic congestion during drop-off and pick-up of school students. He said that they have "tossed around some possible solutions." Davison told members of the board that the principal concerns are the ability of ambulances to get in and out, and the inevitability of parents cutting through the hospital during drop-off and pick-up.



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