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September 19, 2018
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Latest Newsletter

General News: Update from BOE February Meeting

March 06, 2018

Monday, February 26th, 2018
Business Meeting CCMS Cafeteria
By Hannah Comitz

Student Report:
Sam Delacruz reported about all the exciting events occurring at the high school. He discussed the new addition of a winter pep rally. At the end he added that a meeting was held at the high school that afternoon about the recent tragedy in Florida. The school walkouts that were discussed and organized by students, are still planned for March 14th and March 20th. Many students brought up possible solutions to make changes and improvements to the school environment after the increased emphasis on safety. Some of these included metal detectors, increased police presence, and increased ID checking. The board thanked Mrs. Imperato for working with the students. This is good progress and it is fantastic to see that change is possible.

OCSBA Report:
Mrs. Quinn said that she hopes to get this report done very soon and it has been more work then she anticipated. She hopes to get it finished by Thursday.

Another community forum will be held at 2pm on March 11th at the library.

“All Night In A Day”
Melanie Mulroy-Robinson brought up the visit that Larry Berger and she took to the high school. They visited during “All night in a day”, which is a day that all sophomores go into the auditorium and read all of the book “Night” in a single day. The teachers organized this event very well and a few board members had the opportunity to be guest readers. The two board members said it was very moving and well organized.

The board is going to meet on March 21st to discuss developing new policies for the district. This project should be finished by the end of this year.

Facilities:
There were no real updates, but on March 12th there will be a Capitol Project meeting at the middle school.

Donations:
Many of the donations that were given are going towards educational field trips. Mrs. Manzano is beyond thankful for the generosity of the community.

Proposed Budget Overview and Expenditure Review:
Harvey Sotland presented the new possible budget for next year. Many parts of the budget are roll-overs that have just been amended from previous years. Sotland wants to stay within the Property Tax Cap because the benefits are very good. The board wants to maintain all staff and programs that are currently running. They want to rebuild and grow instructional programs in the schools.
The budget is going to increase by about $1,798,589. The records show that there are three staff retirements planned and possibly more that are reflective in this budget. This budget includes new students enrolling from pre-school and also includes assistant services for special needs students. The new possible amounts of revenue to pay for this increase are from the passing of the increased Tax Levy Cap. There will be an increase in state aid of about 1.61%, which will assist in paying for the increased cost. This is the first time in a while that there is a reserve in the fund balance, which is a great sign.
The “Salaries” portion of the budget increased by $772,610. This portion includes all things that are paid for such as overtime for at home teachers and regular salaries. There are about 600 employees that are managed on an annual basis. The NYS Employees retirement system (ERS) is decreasing in cost by about 10.1%. There is an increase in cost for health insurance throughout the district of $398,338. A member brought up the concern about the increased security costs, because of the recent school shootings. Mr. Sotland said that this will be added into the budget once a discussion is held and an exact number is figured out.
The budget vote and BOE election is March 15 at 6pm at the middle school. A community member confirmed that the capital budget is different then the maintenance budget. The President of the board thanked Mr. Sotland for his great presentation and realizes that some of these things make all our heads spin.

Closing Comments:
Ana Martinez read a passage she wrote about the tragedy that occurred in Florida. She read it allowed and it was truly touching. She spoke about how being a student today is different then what it used to be. She hopes for a future when students can feel safe and secure. Martinez didn’t want people to focus on how it is today, but on how to “make being a student today better” Ana wants to make sure actions are done and change is accomplished.
Board members all thanked Ana for the insight and keeping the board grounded and focused on the real goals.
Nancy Bryant commented on the progress that has been made in this small community after the tragic shooting. Bryant liked that the community has come together to make change and support each other.
Mrs. Quinn wanted to let the public know about a lesson on active shooters at the Orange County Sheriffs Office. This will be taking place on Thursday from 6-8 P.M. Contact 845-291-7698 for more details. Mrs. Quinn also said that she has sign up sheets to spread the word about things going on at the schools. Contact her at mquinn@cornwallschools.com for more information.


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