By Bill Foley, OCT Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – A new format for the annual budget vote and board member election, the appointment of a new attorney, several resignations, support for a Board of Regents candidate, more information on the new regional high school establishment and several other items dotted the Oswego City School District Board of Education agenda on Monday night.
John Sheffield, a 27-year veteran of education and currently a teacher in the Central Square School District, told the board members of his intentions to seek a Board of Regents opening.
He has been an advocate for children’s education and has expressed his disdain for Common Core as well as some of the educational policies for Governor Cuomo.
Later in the meeting, board member Sam Tripp expressed the desire to endorse Sheffield in his quest.
Board members appeared to agree and a further resolution addressing this could be brought to the February committee meetings.
After a 50- minute executive session for a personnel matter at the beginning of the meeting, the board returned to resume the public meeting shortly before 6 p.m.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dean Goewey spoke about the regional high school that will encompass the nine schools districts from Oswego County. Each school district will be allowed five students each year.
Dr. Goewey noted, “This school will start in the Fall of this year and the program will be six years in length. Students will earn a Regents degree as well as an Associates Degree in an applied field.“
He further explained that the target student type would be underserved, at risk of dropping out, female and a focus on students with disabilities. Five current eighth graders would be included in the incoming ninth grade class.
Students will attend all of their classes at the regional high school site, but would have rights to participate in music, sports and other extracurricular activities in their home school district.
The cost per district for next year would be just over $27,000 total. It is anticipated the regional high school will be based on the CITI (BOCES) campus, but in time there could be nearly 300 students thus forcing an alternative site.
The regular agenda was rather crowded with a variety of resolutions.
Approval was given to make the annual May voting process more efficient.
This year there will be four centralized voting sites (compared to ten in the past). Voting hours have also been expanded with the polls open for 12 hours beginning at 9 a.m.
Voting sites include the Scriba Fire Station for Scriba and town of Volney voters; St. Paul’s Church in Oswego for voters in the second, fourth and sixth wards on the east side of the city of Oswego; Elim Grace Church for the first, third, fifth and seventh wards in the city of Oswego and the Oswego Town Hall for Minetto, Oswego Town and Sterling voters who vote within the district.
The board accepted four resignations.
Most notable was the Director of Technology Richard Hogan who commenced his duties in the position in September. His resignation was effective on January 22.
Typist Pamela McCrobie, part-time registered professional nurse Linda Pickens and part-time teacher aide Michael Henderson also resigned.
Dispatcher Harry Farrell was terminated in his position as dispatcher, but will return from a leave of absence to a school bus driver position.
Kirk Mulverhill was approved through June 30 as an interim administrator serving as assistant high school principal at Oswego High School.
Regular teaching substitutes approved by the board include Samantha Ross at OHS in a science position as well as special education teachers Patrick Donovan and Catherine Furletti along with teacher assistant at Oswego Middle School Frederick Donabella.
Support staff appointments include dispatcher (grievance settlement) Wendy Suits and senior typist Patricia Perfetti.
Provisional appointments included computer aide Matthew Schneider, typist Mary Pryor and senior typist Elisha Abare.
Schneider will receive $12.20 per hour for a 37.5 hour week. Abare will received $30,565 and commence her position on February 1 while Pryor will receive $28,659 with duties beginning on January 26.
Under support staff permanent appointments Andrew Krul, a senior groundskeeper, was approved at a salary of $58,509 and Mary Pryor a part-time library clerk at Oswego High at $12.59 per hour commencing on January 25.
After several years with another law firm, the board members approved 5-0 with an abstention from Heather DelConte, the appointment of Bond, Schoeneck and King as the district legal counsel.
The retainer will be $3,500 per month.
It was noted by Board President Kathleen Allen that Mrs. Delconte’s husband worked for Bond, Scheneck and King, but “won’t be involved in Oswego City School District actions.”
The appointment was immediate and Dr. Goewey indicated it was the way the board wanted to go at this time.
The financial portion of the agenda saw just over $15,000 transfer of funds to cover insurance premiums for nine new buses that were added on November 30 of 2015 and funds to replace failing projector lamps districtwide and depleted toner cartridges for classroom printers districtwide.
In a budget amendment, $81,43.83 was accepted and this is the payment from the insurance company for repairs of bus garage after damaged caused by an accident.
The board accepted annual scholarship awards from recently retired teacher Mark Mirabito as he will present $100 to each student in the area of Health Education Achievement,Psychology Achievement and Anatomy and Physiology Achievement.
Also accepted was a donation from donorschoose.org to Fitzhugh Park Elementary School teacher Nick Little in the amount of just over $287 to purchase an LED television to project students’ digital work and student led morning announcements.