Shrinking school day
At the July 31 school board meeting, Highland Middle School Principal Day Seyler-Wetzel briefly explained the new schedule that has been developed for the new school year. Because of cuts in staff, the school will be moving from a nine-period day to an eight-period day.
Classes will begin at 7:45 a.m. with dismissal at 2:05 p.m., which is 18 minutes earlier than last year. Class time will be 44 minutes, up from 42 minutes last year. Teachers will then be available for a 28-minute period for parent conferences, to give extra help to students, and to meet with the principal.
“The biggest change,” Seyler-Wetzel said, “is that there will be fewer study halls.”
In personnel, the board approved Joe Jackson, Nihir Pakihr, and Nick Signorelli at a rate of $12.57, and Greg Pennes and Shawn Reynolds at a rate of $8.50 per hour as temporary technology summer workers. From July 9 through August 10, these students will be paid $8.50 per hour by the Ulster County Summer Youth Employment Program.
The following staff were appointed as Dignity Act coordinators: Peg Trinkus for the elementary school; Nancy Jensen and Meghan Connors for the middle school; and Sarah Dudley-Lemek for the high school. Coaches appointed for the fall sports season were Alexandria Ayers, varsity cheerleading; Mike Milliman, varsity cross country; Carl Relyea, John McFarland, and Billy Phillips, varsity football; Josh Tatum and Kevin Rizzo, junior varsity football; Tom Schlappich and Matthew Relyea, modified football; Paul Latino, varsity boys golf; Frank Alfonso, varsity boys soccer; Pete Watkins and Alissa Morano, varsity girls soccer; Katie Reid, junior varsity girls soccer; Alan Benson, varsity girls tennis; Matthew VanVoorhis, varsity girls volleyball; and John Brennie, modified girls volleyball.
The board also approved the maternity leave of Shamien Jansen, middle school math teacher; and salary increases for Carol Potash, director of technology; Debbie Tompkins, assistant in transportation; Carly Jacobsen, secretary to the assistant superintendent; and Pete Miller, superintendent of building and grounds. The board accepted the resignation of Alix Walsh, middle school French teacher.
Superintendent Deborah Haab reported that the new school year will start on September 5 with the staff returning on September 4. She said there will be the usual opening day activities, including a picnic lunch at the high school. She also reported that Ulster BOCES is continuing work on establishing the central business office at the high school, and that teachers are hard at work on the APPR and staff developing of the Common Core State Standards. Haab said that the school and the police are following up on some vandalism at the elementary school playground where skateboarders damaged a slide. She also said that school schedules would soon be sent to families along with state scores from the last round of testing.
In other business, the board approved a retainer agreement with attorneys Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert for the 2012-2013 school year. The school district will page $3,333.33 per month for professional legal services.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, board vice-president Sue Gilmore asked Jeff Palladino to do a presentation to the school board in the near future on what the Town of Lloyd is doing to attract new businesses.
By Teri Jones