State funds ICC-Schodack plan to seek savings

KINDERHOOK – Ichabod Crane School District Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick announced this week that the district has been awarded funds do a functional consolidation study with the Schodack Central School District.

Mr. Bordick stressed that the $49,500 would go hiring a consultant to look into how the two districts could consolidate services and not to work on consolidating the districts into one.

 

Mr. Bordick also told the board at the Tuesday, September 7, regular meeting that Ichabod Crane has been chosen as a pilot project for the National Assessment for Education Process (NAEP) tests in grades 4 through 12. He said he is not sure why the state picked the district along with others, but he assumed that officials looked at demographics. Mr. Bordick said that the state’s request to test students in the district this winter is “not required but everyone needs to participate,” adding that the decision “seems to portend that the future” in state testing will be the NAEP program.

The board also said goodbye to one of its long-time members, as Gary Bagnato was leaving the board that night. A year remains in his term, and the board, which plans to appoint a new member to his seat, is accepting applications now. Mr. Bagnato thanked his fellow board members, as well as the district employees. “I believe we have an excellent faculty and staff,” he said.

He has said he is stepping down in the hopes that a community member would be interested in sitting on the board as it goes through the process of hiring a new superintendent. The board is just starting its selection process after the departure of the previous superintendent at the end of the school year.

The board observed a moment of silence for Dr. Tom Little, a 1967 graduate of Ichabod Crane. Dr. Little was killed in Afghanistan last month, one of six doctors healthcare workers shot to death while volunteering his services in that country. Board President Andrew Kramarchyk praised Dr. Little’s service of “giving selflessly” and said any child in this district could be the next Tom Little. Dr. Little, an optometrist, had lived in Afghanistan for much of the last several decades, but he also had a home in the Albany suburb of Delmar and practiced there.

At the start of the meeting, a district resident asked the board about plans to close one of the district’s two elementary schools, saying that there is “a lot of concern in the Village of Valatie and Kinderhook.”

Board members talked about the demographic study they commissioned last year, which shows that enrollment in the district is declining. “We have a long way to go, in my opinion, before we’d all be comfortable with closing a building,” said board member Regina Rose. The board plans to hold community forums on several issues the district will face in the next budget process, one of those being the declining enrollment. The forums are planned for October 7 and 28. More details about the agendas of those forums will be on the district website www.ichabodcrane.org in the coming month.

When Mr. Bordick discussed the consolidation study with the board he said he worried about the rumors that may spread that do not accurately reflect what the study hopes to accomplish. The district is only looking into sharing services with Schodack and is not pursuing the option of merging the two districts. Both districts applied for the state money last year and were originally turned down. Mr. Bordick said that Schodack was reaching out to a consultant this week.

Tuesday was the first day of school for Ichabod Crane students, and administrators reported that things went well. The district is dealing with staff cuts and retirements, most noticeable in the transportation department, which lost its director due to retirement. But primary school Principal Melissa Murray said, “We got everyone home to the right house.”

The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday, October 5 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Library.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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