Budget issues were the focus of the January Chautauqua Lake Board meeting. The board addressed issues brought forward in the audit report with a "corrective action plan." The board will use $250,000 from its undesignated fund balance for needed plant maintenance in the coming year. As the physical plant reaches a point where some repairs are needed, necessary maintenance for the next year will likely include repairs to the main water line, some roofing, paving, work on the track and needed repairs to the heating system in the bus garage.
Budget planning will also focus on special deduction requirements for the next school year. As Superintendent Spitzer pointed out, the process is made difficult due to the unpredictability of the number of special education students who may need services in a particular year.
Spitzer brought to the Board the issue of required homework, group projects and mandatory athletic practices during school breaks. These requirements can be a problem when families wish to have a vacation together. As board member Jay Baker pointed out, students who are members of sports teams must often either "abandon their teammates or their family vacation." This puts these students in what Baker calls a no-win situation. After some discussion it was agreed that policies would be changed so that group projects and practices in general would not be required. This cannot apply in certain instances such as fall sports, where practices are needed before athletes can be considered ready to play, so exceptions to the policy will be included.
Elementary Principal Ella Ames spoke of plans to help with transitioning Ripley students to Chautauqua Lake for secondary school. A number of events are in the planning stages for middle grade students. Chautauqua Lake 5th and 6th grade students will participate in the Ripley annual field day and plans are being made for middle grades to have a shared "tri-athalon" and combined spelling bee this spring.
Principal Joshua Liddell announced that Secondary School students who have made the Merit, Honor or High Honor Rolls for both the 1st and 2nd quarters have been honored with an invitation to attend a snow-tubing outing at Peek'N Peak Resort on Feb. 28.