Hoosick Falls School Board recognizes students, does business

Sunday June 19, 2011

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- The highest achieving high school students at Hoosick Falls Central School were recognized in a ceremony Thursday evening in the school cafeteria.

High school Principal Stacy Vadney and Board of Education Vice President John Helft presented each high honor roll student with a certificate at the start of the regular June board meeting. First to be acknowledged were class of 2011 Valedictorian Samantha Skott, daughter of Donald and Betsy Skott, and Salutatorian James Lynch, son of James and Julie Lynch.

The HFCS graduating class will have their awards ceremony this Thursday, June 23. Commencement will be held on Friday, June 24.

Following Thursday’s board presentations, the Board of Education dispatched with a number of business items on the evening’s agenda. The board adopted a new disaster recovery plan, which will safeguard and back-up electronic student records and school data. The school will contract with a storage technology company which will provide private, secure off-site back-ups of school data nightly.

The board also adopted a new safety plan after administrators consulted with law enforcement. New York State Trooper George Murphy observed recent school lockdowns and reviewed the existing safety plan at HFCS, and made several "minor recommendations" which were incorporated into the updated plan, according to school Superintendent Kenneth Facin.

New bargaining agreement

On Thursday the board approved a five-year contract extension for teaching faculty at the school. Facin said that the bargaining agreement was an extension of the existing contract, with a 7.25 percent rise in the step schedule over the five-year term. An allowance included to switch healthcare providers will save the district the equivalent to an estimated one percent on the local tax levy.

Business Administrator Pam Hatfield recommended a change in insurance providers for student accident insurance which would incur savings. The insurance covers students above and beyond their own personal insurance whenever the student is in the care of the school; be it on school grounds or under supervision while on a field trip or during extracurriculars or sports. Hatfield said the new carrier would have a better rating, the same coverage, and cost approximately $1,400 less annually.

The board approved a hike in school breakfast and lunch costs for next year. The increase was expected after discussion during recent board meetings. Hatfield said that New York State was mandating the change due to the amount of state reimbursement the school received per lunch. The adjustment for breakfast was said to offset a requirement for additional fruit and vegetable components.

Members of the board contrasted the price of a lunch today to when they were in school. Board President David Sutton remembered lunch costing him 40 cents. Helft said that his cost only a quarter.

Brett Lamy, assistant high school principal, was elected by the board to become the school’s new "athletic director." The part-time position was newly created and is an administrative position. It replaces a former "athletic coordinator" position which had been vacated and was abolished on Thursday.

Facin also announced his intention of going paperless at future board meetings. The topic will be up for discussion at next month’s reorganizational meeting. "It’s time to go wireless, people," said Facin. Sutton said that he did not doubt that he had personally used half a ton of paper during his 10 year tenure on the board. "That’s unacceptable," said Facin.

The switch was said to potentially save large amounts of paper in addition to costs associated with printing, copying, and mailings.


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