KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane School Board met on July 7 for an organizational meeting. Members discussed the construction project at primary school and the new student code of conduct, which includes rules about cyber bullying and “sexting.”
The board started the Tuesday night meeting with a moment of silence for High School Librarian Sharon Marie Gaffney. Ms. Gaffney died from ovarian cancer on July 5. William Schneider, principal of the high school, said Ms. Gaffney “was a great, great librarian.”
The board elected John Phillips president and Andrew Kramarchyk vice president. The board has two new members, John Antalek and Bruce Naramore, each elected in May. Thomas Nuefeld and Edward Harsen, who were originally appointed to positions on the board, were also elected in May. The board approved the dates for meetings during the 2009-10 school year, with the sessions scheduled for the first Tuesday of the month, with exceptions in September, November and April.
There was some discussion of whether or not meetings should start and end earlier. Each year the board adopts a motion requiring meetings to end by 10 p.m. unless the board votes to extend the time at the meeting. Board member Anthony Welcome said he thought meetings could end earlier. “I don’t think meetings need to be three hours long,” said Mr. Welcome. He and Mr. Nuefeld were the only board members to vote against the motion for the 7-to-10 p.m. meeting time.
Shannon Shine, Middle School assistant principal, and Daniel Farley, High School assistant principal, talked about the code of conduct they had edited for this year. Mr. Shine said they wanted to specifically address bullying. Looking at the old code of conduct, Mr. Shine said, “The word bullying wasn’t in there.” The new rules include bullying in digital and electronic forms.
Schools Superintendent James Dexter said that rules about “sexting”–sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, often from mobile phones–were so important they were working on a separate letter home to parents. The term is an offshoot of texting, or sending text messages via phone. The district may schedule an information session about the topic. Mr. Dexter said that the topic is so important, “we think it needs a separate policy.”
In other business, the district is in phase two of a capital project to fix roofing problems at the primary school, asbestos abatement involving ceiling tiles and replacing the boiler. “I’m pleased with the progress the contractors have made,” said Steven Marotta, director of facilities and operations. “Things are moving along smoothly.”
The next regular board meeting is August 4 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Library. The board will take up approval of the new code of conduct at that meeting. On August 18 the board will have a special meeting to set the tax levy. That meeting will also be in the Middle School Library at 7pm.
For more information about the district go to www.ichabondcrane.org.