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Sheman Central sees benefits of tuition policy

October 5, 2016
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

SHERMAN - Enrollment has taken a big jump at Sherman Central School, largely due to a change in the tuition policy, board of education members learned at their regular meeting on September 19.

Sherman Superintendent Michael Ginestre told the board that enrollment is up to 441, from 410 last year. "I think a big credit to this is our new tuition policy," he said.

The district Board of Education recently announced a new tuition policy aimed at attracting families of students from outside of the district's borders. Previously, tuition for a student to attend Sherman Central School was approximately $4,000. The new policy sets the 2016-17 school year rate at $570 per child.

Article Photos

Photo by David Prenatt
Sherman Superintendent Mike Ginestre and Principal Bryna Booth report to the Board of Education.

Ginestre said he believes word of the new policy is getting around and it is having an impact on the school's enrollment numbers. "While there is a lot of talk about enrollment declines, we are not in that conversation this year," he said.

In another matter, Sherman Principal Bryna Booth told board members that the district would be expanding their after-school program from 2 days a week to 5. The after-school program, known as Wildcat Den Homework Haven, provides activities and homework assistance.

The expansion was made possible by a state grant that provides funds for programs which promote community within schools Booth said.

The state will be providing $45,000 which will allow the school to compensate to teachers to staff the program, Booth added.

National Honor Society volunteers will continue to assist with Wildcat Den according to Booth. "Teachers can make it mandatory for students to go on Tuesday and Thursday for academic help," Booth added.

Booth also reported that 62 students took part in Wildcat Weeks, the district's summer program. During that time, the district served 1304 lunches and 1302 breakfasts, she said.

In other matters, financial manager Kim Oehlbeck reported that the district auditors will present their findings at the October school board meeting. Also, the state auditors are almost finished and will be meeting with school officials for an exit interview.

Ginestre reported that the opening days of school went very smoothly. He said he was impressed with the amount of instructional teaching going on. "By mid-afternoon, it looked like the middle of the year," he said.

In other business, Ginestre updated board members on the district's progress with lead inspection. The district's director of facilities, Jared Oehlbeck, has been working with county and village officials on the matter, he said. "We found a vendor to test samples for $11 each," Ginestre said. "We have 149 spots to test. The governor said aid will be available for this."

The issue of lead has been raised by state Commissioner of Education, Mary Ellen Elia, who said in a memo to all school administrators that reports of the discovery of high levels of lead in some schools across the nation, has resulted in legislation requiring schools to test their water supplies. This legislation also allows schools to remediate the problem.

Ginestre also updated board members on this year's Wall of Fame inductees, noting that this year's ceremony be held on November 18 at the Chautauqua county golf Club. "Mr. Dean will be there with the '57-'58 basketball team," he said.



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