OSWEGO, NY â€“ Dave White returned to the presidentâ€™s seat Tuesday night as the Oswego School Board held its annual reorganizational meeting.
Jim Tschudy nominated Sam Tripp for re-election. Tripp declined the nomination.
John Dunsmoor nominated White and Fran Hoefer seconded the nomination.
Tripp nominated Dunsmoor for vice president and Hoefer seconded the nomination.
Both were approved unanimously.
The oath of office was administered to Tschudy, Kathleen Allen and student representative Hayley Lukaczyk.
The board handled the brief reorganization agenda in about 35 minutes.
Among the resolutions approved were:
Official District Newspapers – Syracuse Newspapers and Oswego County Weeklies; Official Media Website â€“ Oswego County Today.com; Official Bank Depositories – J. P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank, Key Bank, Citizens Bank, HSBC Bank and Alliance Bank; and various personnel appointments for the coming school year.
A board attorney wasnâ€™t named. At the end of the regular meeting, it was noted that the district will send out requests for proposals for legal counsel.
During the regular meeting that followed, the board discussed the possibility of redistricting â€“ reconfiguration and board goals for the coming school year.
The board wants guidelines in place for minimum and maximum class sizes. For elementary, the minimum for grades K-2 is 20 with a maximum of 22. For grades 3-6, it is 23 â€“ 25.
To make this a reality, it is necessary to redistribute those students who live on the fringes of attendance and transportation zones, according to Bill Crist, superintendent.
The district has sent out requests for proposals (to four different consulting firms) to help determine which option would be best for the district, Crist told the board.
â€œWe have received a response from one. Weâ€™d like to complete this work prior to our budget cycle beginning,â€ he said. â€œWe would like to get things concluded some time in mid to late November or early December at the latest to help us prepare for the budget.â€
The district has recently identified two other consultants â€œthat we will be having some discussion with,â€ the superintendent added.
Crist encouraged the board to continue with the goals they are currently operating under â€“ Identifying and implementing elements of highly effective instruction, implementing strategies to increase graduation rates and creating and maintaining an engaging, safe and motivating environment that will promote connections with all students.
He also listed six long-range goals for the district.
- Providing Pre-K opportunities for all 4-year-old district residents
- All students will demonstrate skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for success after graduation
- Obtain community support, increase involvement and satisfaction with our educational programs
- Create and maintain a learning environment that is optimal for personal and academic success
- All staff will demonstrate engagement in continued learning
- All district priorities will support fiscally responsible budgets.
The possibility of redistricting â€“ reconfiguring and the negotiations with Nine Mile I and II next year should also be priorities for the board, he added.
â€œEach year we sit here and look at goals. Does anyone ever look at how we did with these goals? Did we achieve any of these? Did we come close?â€ Tripp asked.
â€œPart of that would be seeing how I do as well, as the CEO of the district; to see if we made progress or if we made improvements in any of these areas,â€ Crist said.
â€œYes Sam, did we meet these goals, and do we strive to improve on them? Yes we do. Can we do a better job? Yes, I think we can do a better job of that,â€ the superintendent continued.
â€œAre we saying as a board that weâ€™re going to close a school?â€ Dunsmoor asked.
No, the superintendent responded.
Dunsmoor noted that the board should determine whether it will close a school before spending money on a consultant to research the matter.
â€œProbably, with a new board in place tonight, we should maybe set our very next meeting to at least vote for a direction,â€ he said. â€œKathy hasnâ€™t had a say in this yet. She needs time to think about it; we all do, people change their minds.â€
He doesnâ€™t support closing a school, he reiterated.
â€œI think we should look at all the options,â€ White said. â€œIf the majority (of the board) doesnâ€™t want to close a school, we donâ€™t close a school. But I think we should look at all the options. If weâ€™re going to put this out there, weâ€™re going to have to put everything on the table. If four (board members) donâ€™t want to close a school, weâ€™re not closing a school.â€
The board shouldnâ€™t eliminate anything until it sees what the consultant has to say, White said.
â€œAnd then, we can eliminate what we want,â€ he added.
Hoefer pointed out that the district â€œis spending millions on buildings we might close.â€
â€œWe need to decide what weâ€™re going to do on this issue,â€ he said. â€œWe have to decide what to do once and for all – soon.â€