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The Telegram
  • Frankfort-Schuyler school board discusses staffing

  • A pair of curriculum coordinator positions were reinstated and the need for a district data coordinator discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Frankfort-Schuyler school board.

    Superintendent Robert Reina raised the need for a district data coordinator.

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  • A pair of curriculum coordinator positions were reinstated and the need for a district data coordinator discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Frankfort-Schuyler school board.
    Superintendent Robert Reina raised the need for a district data coordinator.
    “This is becoming more and more important as APPR (annual professional performance review) and test scores have to be sent to the Regional Information Center,” he said. “It’s more and more demanding with the types and amount of data. It has to be correct for the teachers to be fairly evaluated and the school to be fairly evaluated by the state. There are aid implications.”
    He proposed hiring a teacher’s aide with good computer skills for this position.
    Board members suggested the new position amounted to an unfunded state mandate and board member Michael Button asked if it could be shared through BOCES.
    With the amount of work involved, Reina wasn’t sure if a shared position would be sufficient, “but we’re looking at it; it’s on the table,” he added.
    Reina asked the board to reinstate English Language Arts and math curriculum coordinator positions for the remainder of the school year because of curriculum changes that are taking place. He expects to bring candidates to the board for approval soon so the coordinators can begin working with the principals and staff and prepare for any work that must be done over the summer.
    “We’re looking at a new reading series and new math series,” said Reina. “I think with the reading series, we’ll hold off for awhile.”
    He said the district will also be preparing for some changes the state is planning that will require students to take Regents and state assessment examinations on computers.
    “They’ve sent us the specifications the machines will have to have to do the testing online,” Reina said during a telephone interview. “We’re now in the process of assessing the hardware we have and where we stand in terms of the specifications. Then we’ll start developing a budget for bringing any of the machines that are not up to specs.”
    He said plans call for the new system to be in place by 2014-15.
    “What concerns me about all this is that nothing is tested, nothing is piloted,” said board President Lisa LoRe. “They haven’t tested their own ideas, yet schools are expected to spend all this money. There’s no process. They think of things, then go with them and we all have to scramble.”
    After hearing the governor’s proposal, the district stands to receive about a one percent overall increase in state aid for the 2013- 2014 school year, according to Business Administrator Kacey Sheppard-Thibault. “We didn’t fare as well as we wanted,” she said, adding she would have to wait for the aid runs from the state before she had more definite figures. She noted state aid for BOCES, transportation and buildings is expense-driven.
    Page 2 of 2 - Reina added decisions have to be made based on aid and expense estimates in order to draft a budget. For example, if it appears an extra bus run might be needed, it would be included in the budget, but the district would not receive the aid if it does not actually add the bus run.
    Reina said in addition to the state aid discussed in the governor’s budget proposal, there will be competitive grants schools can apply for if they qualify.
    “We won’t know until the legislature goes back into session and starts working,” he said.
    “There is a formula for state aid that would benefit many upstate school districts, but it’s not being followed,” Reina added.
    When it comes to personnel, the district is sharing some services including a building and grounds superintendent shared with Ilion. Plans call for continuing that arrangement. The possibility of sharing a Committee on Special Education coordinator between districts has been raised.
    The district is already sharing a physical education teacher and an art teacher between the middle and elementary schools and expects to continue this next year.
    Reina said, depending on enrollment, the district may be looking at the possible reduction of one elementary school position.
    He also said he will likely request the addition of a school monitor position to assist at the high school. “We’re exploring having a fourth lunch period,” he said. “This person could do a study hall and it might free up a teacher to teach an additional class or do some AIS (Academic Intervention Services) work.”
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