Hudson moves closer to selling abandoned Greenport School

HUDSON — Mary and Dan Udell, video journalists who live in the school district and whose work is seen on MidHudson Cablevision, and Steve Mortefolio, director of sales at MidHudson Cablevision, presented the school board this week with a 55” video monitor. The flat screen monitor was donated by the company to the school district and will be used for viewing news broadcasts produced by students aimed at the student body during lunch periods.

One broadcast segment that included an interview with Hudson High School Principal Steven Spicer, was shown at the meeting. New segments will be created by students in an afterschool, ½-credit course taught by the Udells, with high school art teacher Liz Abino. The course is now in its third semester.

“He got it right away,” said Dan Udell, referring to Mr. Spicer’s support of the Media Arts /Video News Network program, which is financed by the 21st Century Grant.

Also at the Monday, November 8 meeting of the school board, school officials discusses plans for the sale of the Greenport School by auction. The vacant school building on Route 66 has been appraised at $900,000, and the board considered what to set as the lowest acceptable bid, a matter that the board will determine by a vote. If the district receives an acceptable bid, the public would have to approve the sale in a special election costing $6,000 or more. An auction would bypass realtors, and the district would avoid having to pay a commission.

Board Member Peter Meyer suggested the board get a more current appraisal, but the rest of the board was satisfied with the one they have.

Also this week  at the Board of Education Meeting:

*Schools Superintendent John Howe announced that the school district will host a “Community Conversation” Wednesday November 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Junior High School cafeteria to discuss the budget and transportation issues. “The public is invited to join us on that evening. We’re in for another difficult budget year,” he said.

Mr. Meyer suggested the district provide free buses to help people get to the meeting from Hudson.

*Assistant Superintendent Maria Suttmeier talked about a new student management system software program, Parent Portal, which the district will offer during the coming year after a small group samples it and provides feedback.

The software replaces another program, Parent Connect, in use until last year by parents. Complete rollout of the new program, which covers attendance, schedules and disciplinary records, is expected to take a year.

*Superintendent Howe said the district has completed its federal Race to the Top funding applications, which allows the district to compete against hundreds of other districts for $250,000.

*Mr. Howe spoke about a fire in the Tech Wing that ignited in some wood working projects at the close of a school day earlier this fall. The fire is under investigation. All systems worked well, he reported, with buses arriving promptly and parents notified.

*Caroline Keeler, a new student member of the board, was present for her first meeting. She is also a member of the High School Student Council.

*A new book and breakfast club starts on Tuesday.

*Modified sports is back thanks to $18,000 to support the program. The money was raised by volunteers.

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