KINDERHOOK — The Ichabod Crane Board of Education this week approved the district’s involvement in a Rensselaer Student Transportation Collective study designed to look at sharing transportation services with neighboring districts.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Lee Bordick said that being part of the study did not obligate the district to merge its transportation with other school districts, but it will determine whether such a merger is feasible.
Mr. Bordick also said at the Tuesday, November 1 meeting that the board would look at the savings possible by having the district switch to a “one-bell busing system.” Under a one-bell systems the school day at all schools in the district would begin and end at the same time, which means district buses would make a single daily round trip on each route instead of two-tiered runs in the morning and afternoon, one for upper grade students and one for younger students. The system would mean having students from kindergarten through 12th grade riding on the same buses.
“There are several districts that do that,” said Mr. Bordick at the November 1 meeting.
The Chatham School District decided to change to a one-bell system a few years ago at a time when Mr. Bordick was the interim superintendent in that district.
He also said he would present the board with the budget numbers for having a kindergarten through 3rd grade bus run and a 4th through 12th grade runs. Currently the district has a kindergarten through 5th grade and a 6th through 12th grade runs, which means two different bus schedules at the middle school.
In other business:
*The district has seen a decline in enrollment this school year, Mr. Bordick told the board. The board knew the decline was coming after commissioning an enrollment study. The district has 1,930 students this year compared to 2,015 last year. There are around 150 students in the district who attend private schools or are home schooled.
*A new board committee is being formed to look into drug and alcohol use in the district. Board member Regina Rose said committee meetings were attended by several members of county law enforcement, including the district’s DARE officer and the county District Attorney Beth Cozzolno.
“There is a real need to educate parents and the community,” said Ms. Rose of the issue, “I know many, many children wouldn’t touch [drugs], but some will.” She said the committee was brainstorming ways to deal with the issue but felt an important piece was having the community involved.
*The Property Disposition Review Committee planned to report to the board in executive session about possibly renting the empty elementary school buildings in the villages of Kinderhook and Valatie. The Town of Kinderhook and the Village of Valatie governments had expressed interest in renting the Martin H. Glynn Building on Church Street in Valatie.
The board met with the school district’s attorney during that executive session. They did not plan to make any decisions at the Tuesday night’s meeting or share their findings with the public at this time.
The next school board meeting will be a workshop on November 15 at 6 p.m. in the Middle School Library.