June 17, 2011
As I begin this effort to communicate with those interested please know in advance that my aim is to offer information relevant to the ongoings of the school district. It may be school district highlights, promotion of events, impact of State Education Department decisions, clarification of matters, informational, etc. For this first e-newsletter I would like to address some points that were brought up at recent BOE meetings during the Public To Be Heard and Public Comment sections.
1. “Why aren’t minutes from the previous meetings on the website?
The minutes for each meeting are posted on the website the following business day after their approval by the Board of Education (BOE) at a meeting. This is the longstanding and typical process and allows for BOE agreement on accurate minutes. It is done in this manner in an attempt to achieve harmony and to avoid any misunderstanding.
2. “Why is there a lack of communication with the public?”
In regards to this issue, the lack of the previously published monthly NewsNotes, which served as a primary communication tool, was a regrettable cut for the 2010 – 2011 school year necessitated by the lack of funding from New York State (NYS). Due to the financial shortcomings of NYS which in turn becomes a burden for school districts, the District leadership decided to direct funds towards operating the educational program rather than public relations. The monthly NewsNotes will not return for the 2011 – 2012 school year as funding for such was not budgeted as we continue to operate on a constricted budget. Please know that we continue to consider economical options to offset the lack of NewsNotes such as the e-newsletter.
Further, we have tried to keep people informed through use of our front sign, postings on the websites, as well as through the many public meetings that were announced in local newspapers. While these initiatives may have not reached everyone in their homes, hopefully the e-newsletter will further bridge the perceived gap.
3. “Will the Superintendent receive a salary raise for the 2011 – 2012 school year?”
In March of 2011 the school community was informed at a public budget information session by me that not only would my salary be frozen at its current level for 2011 – 2012 but so would the Business Administrator’s salary. It was our intent to lead by example. It was our pledge then and continues to be that our salaries for the 2010 – 2011 school year will remain the same for the 2011 – 2012 school year and the BOE has agreed to such. No tricks, no secret deals…..salaries frozen.
4. “Why do we pay ticket takers, chaperones, score keepers, and coaches when volunteers would do this work?”
The District is bound to pay a wage to ticket takers, chaperones, scorekeepers, and coaches due to a contractual agreement. Since the District is mindful of its obligation of upholding the contract and seeks to avoid any litigious action for violating the contract, the positions above are due a wage for work accomplished. Please know that given that there is a salary freeze in effect for 2011 – 2012 for such positions, there will be no wage increase.
On a lighter note, the next week ushers in a time of recognition. Our stages are to get a workout. On Saturday, at the Alumni Banquet, one of the highlights of my year is providing the alumni with a review of Weedsport’s achievements. I have developed quite a long list of accomplishments…..one that fills me with pride for our District. Additionally, the Alumni Banquet also serves as the venue to honor the latest two inductees to Weedsport’s Graduates of Distinction program – Deborah (Kinney) Weymouth (Class of 1975) and Donald G. Atkins (Class of 1937). On Tuesday, June 21st our elementary students have their award ceremony in the morning and the 6th graders have their celebration in the evening to signify their transition to the Jr.-Sr. High School. Finally, the Class of 2011 will proceed through their graduation ceremony on Friday, June 24th. It will be an honor to shake their hands and congratulate them for their achievement as they “walk the stage” and become alumni.
While this e-newsletter did not touch upon every question that surfaced at our most recent meetings I felt it was best to address just a few at a time as my aim is to keep the e-newsletters relatively brief. Please know that any questions on school related matters and/or feedback about the e-newsletter is welcomed. Please feel free to call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shaun A. O’Connor