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Oswego School Board Meets For Last Time In 2013

OSWEGO, NY – The final regular meeting of 2013 was conducted by the Oswego City School District Board of Education on Wednesday (December 18) at the Oswego High School Anthony J. Murabito Media Center.

The board officially accepted a grant which earmarked funds for an extension of a half day to a full day universal pre-kindergarten at the Frederick Leighton Elementary School as well as a half day afternoon UPK session at the Kingsford Park Elementary School. This grant is for $60,180 and needs to be used by June 30, 2014.

Additionally, the board members approved an agreement with First Step Universal Pre-K to support the extension of the district UPK program.

Superintendent of Schools Ben Halsey asked if the board members were interested in a professional development opportunity in conjunction with the other school districts in Oswego County. The board expressed the desire to research the program which would be coordinated to the Oswego County BOCES.

Halsey also noted he was continuing his entry plan and had continued to be involved in a variety of visits, duties, programs and projects.

He said he had attended numerous school district holiday concerts and it was a “pleasure to see the connection between students and teacher” who are involved in the touted music program.

Under “Items from the Board” Thomas DeCastro asked if the board would review its policy for appointing a member to the BOCES board to represent the Oswego City School District.  Currently, Dave White represents the district as he was serving when his term with the Oswego board expired. His term expires in the Spring, but DeCastro asked if there was interest in having White continue in the BOCES position.

Board members were supportive of White, but it was noted that the policy would be required to be amended.

Board member John Dunsmoor asked the superintendent to provide direction to the school attorney in regards to tax pilots.

He also mentioned he had spoken with a member of the city government in regards to the possibility of the district taking over the two municipal skating rinks. Dunsmoor said this was just a discussion with one person, but that there might be a possibility and asked to research into this area.

Regular Meeting Actions

Approval was also granted for the field trip for the Oswego Middle School French Club to Montreal on May 9-10 as well as the authorization for the creation of a jayvee winter guard for students in grades five through 12 and a winter drum line program at the Oswego High School.

In the area of “Personnel” the resignation of Mary Beth Fierro as a mathematics teacher was accepted. She had taken a leave from the position to serve as a principal in the district and recently received tenure as the Oswego Middle School principal. Michelle Emmons was appointed as a regular substitute as a mathematics teacher through June 30, 2014.

Special Education teacher Melissa Guild and elementary teacher Samantha Spaulding were granted leaves of absence while probationary appointments were approved for elementary teacher Carolyn Slobodian and Samantha Spaulding (OMS Reading).

Extra compensatory positions for after school homework supervisors were approved for Frederick Leighton,  Fitzhugh Park and Charles E. Riley Elementary Schools.

Under the area of “Support Staff” recommendations Lee Williams and William Carney were approved as permanent school bus drivers and Geoff Marsh was appointed permanent head automotive mechanic.

The board also approved substitute and temporary employees. These included substitute teacher and tutor Bryan Smith, Nancy Fyckes, Kayla Gallipeau, Michelle Hill, Nicole Jackowski, Jillian Knapp, Mitchell Malfitano, Daniel Mannix, Michael Marr, Gabrielle Rumrill, Jillian Schneiller, and Ceara Windhausen.  John Herrman was approved as a substitute bus attendant while Theresa Haynes was approved as a substitute school bus driver. Shelly Ann English was named as a substitute teaching assistant while Margaux Ganoung and Stacy McRae were approved as substitute teacher aides.

In the “Finance” portion of the meeting the board gave its permission to transfer $6,900 to cover expenses of the interim superintendent, entered into an agreement with Edmentum (formerly Plato Learning), accepted a $132 donation from Target for Frederick Leighton Elementary School and entered into an agreement with Oswego County Opportunities involving  the extension of the runaway-homeless youth specialist.

The next gathering of the board of education will be Wednesday, January 8 with committee meetings commencing at 5 p.m. in the Oswego High School Anthony J. Murabito Media Center.