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WACS to aid students struggling to eat outside school

October 19, 2016
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

Westfield Academy and Central School District will be in a better position to help students who struggle to obtain adequate food on weekends and school vacations, board of education members learned at their monthly meeting on Oct. 11.

WACS Superintendent David Davison, told board members that the Union Relief Association of Western New York has teamed with the Food Bank of Western New York this year to keep the program running. "Hopefully, with the food bank, we will be able to reach out to more families in need," he said.

Board member Deanne Manzella noted that the Union Relief Nutrition Program had test runs in May and June. "This is a big project and we're very grateful to be able to work with the food bank. This is a great program."

Davison told members of the school board that the photo ID program is off to a soft start. We've received mostly positive feedback to the use of this program for entry into the building," he said.

At this time, all visitors must show photo identification to the attentant before being admitted to the school. In October, an identification machine and program will be installed to further improve security at the school, Davison said. The program, which will involve an annual charge for service, will be paid in part by the district with monies that are aid-able through BOCES, he said.

District Business Official Anthony Montoro informed the board that there is presently one potential candidate and two additional applicants for the position of cafeteria manager. He said applications will be closed this Friday and interviews will begin.

Montoro also updated the board on the mandatory New York State lead testing by which districts in the state are required to test potable water systems for lead contamination. Montoro said that testing and some remediation will be eligible for state aid.

Montoro noted that the results of the testing will probably not be complete by budget time, so it will not be possible to project the cost of remediation. Therefore, at this point, the district may only be able to receive aid for testing the water for lead contamination.

Director of Facilities Lou Golando told the board that the water samples the district sent to the state for testing have a shelf life of six months. "So we have no idea of when they are coming back," he said.

Golando also reported that capital facilities project is proceeding smoothly. The bathrooms are largely complete as well as the stairwells, he said. Most of the work remaining involves the floors in various classrooms, he said.

Elementary principal Dr. Mary Rockey noted that most of the work in the elementary school is done. Only one room is not finished, she said. "We are finally in full swing."

Secondary principal Ivana Hite reported that the Homecoming celebration went very well. Students from Brocton and Fredonia were in attendance. "They all mixed well and got along well. They had fun," she said. Westfield students have also been invited to attend the Homecoming celebrations for those districts, she said.

Montoro told board members that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has begun sending checks to people who receive property tax relief through the S TAR program. According to Montoro, homeowners will receive a STAR credit in the form of a check, rather than receiving a property tax exemption.



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