West Valley Central School Board discusses water district, sports collaboration
Durandetto compared the West Valley Central School class sizes with that of much larger school districts, such as Orchard Park. Although West Valley has a much smaller student body, the student-to-teacher ratio is growing closer to that of the larger districts. Durandetto said she feels that “district budget cuts are making teachers worthless pawns in a game,” and noted that “people are more than numbers.” She told the board that she believes the school needs to implement better demographics.
Munson voiced his concern regarding an item on the board’s last agenda, a discussion on whether or not the school should be closed on May 25 because of an unused snow day. He said a contract stated that the school needs to be open “180 days minimum, not maximum,” and added that he feels there should have been a public debate on this issue.
Munson said he believed Business Official Michael Chudy’s involvement in the water committee is unnecessary unless the BOE gets involved in the issue.
In another matter, Athletic Director April Preston offered a solution in regard to an inadequate number of students on WVCS sports’ teams. She said that the lack of students’ involved with school sports makes it harder to have consistency within the teams. “For example, modified players have to be bumped up to JV sometimes, in order to have enough players on one team,” she said. “This is still resulting in a deficiency in players on a team, due to standard requirements such as a required amount of skill and emotional maturity a student must have to be bumped up to another level.”
Preston told the board that she has discussed this issue with the Ellicottville Central School’s athletic director and that the two have reached an agreement to consider combining sports within the two districts. Preston said that the sports both schools offer would split time equally at both schools, meaning practices and games would be taking place at West Valley and Ellicottville. Sports offered at only one school, such as track at West Valley or football at Ellicottville, would still hold practices and games at the respective school alone.
Preston said, “Why fix what isn’t broken?” Although this arrangement may affect the school transportation budget, board members said they felt it was worth discussing. The item will appear on the next board meeting agenda and a public hearing will be held on the issue.
In other matters:
- Members of the board noted the success of the school’s anti-bullying assembly, which featured a motivational speaker. Miss New York and Miss America finalist Kaitlin Monte visited the school to raise awareness about the issue. Board members said they felt Monte had a lot of relevance with the students and that many valuable connections were made.
- West Valley Central School was granted the highest level award for safety within the district.
- The board is considering the possibility of having the school supply the town’s water. Resources and costs are being investigated before any actions can be pursued.
- The board adopted the proposed budget in the amount of $8,609,698 for the 2012-2013 school year.
- A motion to accept “The Houdini Box” by Brian Selznick, a donation from the student council, was approved.
- The board accepted the donation of “Seed Soil Sun” by Cris Peterson from Phyllis Couture through the Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau.
- A motion was accepted to approve the use of the school’s auditorium by Girl Scout Troop No. 10381 on Friday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. for its court of awards ceremony.
- The donation of $500 from Utica National Insurance Group’s certificate for the 2012 School Safety Excellence Award was accepted.
- Board members praised students for “a great performance put on at the Coffee House Hour” by the high school and middle school band.
The next WVCS Board meeting will be held May 14 at 7 p.m.