Warwick School District gets ready for opening day

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:52

    IT being made ready for Sept. 6; hardware moving from PI, By Abby Wolf Warwick - The floors are clean and freshly waxed. Teachers’ supplies have been stocked in their respective classrooms. Hardware from Pine Island has found new homes in Sanfordville and Park Avenue Schools. Bus routes are being mailed to parents. As sure as the leaves will soon be turning, these are signs of the Warwick Valley School District staff’s preparations for the new school year. The board assured parents at its regular monthly meeting on Aug. 8 that the schools will be ready when the opening bells ring on Sept. 6. According to Larry Berger, the district’s technology point man, “Park Avenue (school)’s technology is up and running.” Sanfordville’s and Kings’ were expected to be complete by this week. Twenty-five new teacher workstations have been added at the high school; district-wide, staff have refurbished non-working Smart Boards, updated servers, and hope to have the network up and running by the end of September - “fingers crossed,” Berger said. Speaking on behalf of Buildings and Grounds, John DeAngelo told board members that school buildings are “about 60 per cent ready - floors are cleaned and waxed, and teachers’ supplies and hardware from Pine Island are being moved to Sanfordville and Park Avenue.” DeAngelo said that the existing fire alarm system will remain operational until the new system is up and running. He expects all wiring and invasive work to be complete by late September. He continued that the art project from this past year has been removed from the high school’s exterior. He noted that the district is saving money by using student workers to perform some tasks: “Kids work for $9 an hour.” Bus routes have been finalized. The School Board decided to notify parents by both mail and on the district Web site regarding student bus routes. In other business The board affirmed that there will be no raise for non-unit (i.e., non-union) employees, given the current difficult economic climate. Superintendent Dr, Raymond Bryant offered to reduce his salary. Bryant announced that, due to teachers’ twice-monthly performance reviews, or APPRs, classes would be subject to a two-hour delay twice a month. Some parents in attendance were not too thrilled with the prospect. Diane Roe believes that this would negatively affect the quality of her daughter’s education. Allison Berman expressed concern that the delays will create child-care problems for parents who work outside the home. Public comment In the interest of better communication with the public, board member Lynn Lillian and board president Dave Eaton attempted to make a clear distinction between a regular board meeting and a work session. Eaton also tried to clear the air on the purpose of the public comment section of a meeting: “We’re supposed to listen to you,” but it’s not supposed to be a conversation or dialogue. He added that the board “is not ignoring people.” Members often reply to comments at the end of a meeting. “We try to keep it loose as we possibly can.”