KINDERHOOK — Interim Superintendent of Schools Lee Bordick said this week that a new study indicates the Ichabod Crane Central School District can switch to a so-called one-bell bus system using the district’s current fleet of vehicles.
Mr. Bordick discussed the results of the study, conducted for the district by the Trans Finders company, with members of the school board at a special meeting December 20. A one-bell system would mean that all schools in the district would start and end the school day at the same time, eliminating the need for the three-tiered busing system the district currently uses.
Mr. Bordick said the study also looked at a kindergarten-through-3rd and 4th-through-12th-grade busing program, which he called a modified two-bell system. He said the district would see savings with either the one-bell or the two-bell approach compared to the current busing system. He plans to go into more detail about the possible change at the first budget forum scheduled for Tuesday, January 10.
Last year the district held several, well-attended budget forums in the high school auditorium last year, reviewing different programs and their budgets for residents over several months before the May annual vote. School officials plan to do the same this year, starting with the January 10 session and followed by a forum every other week until March 27. The plan calls for adopting a tentative budget April 3 that will go before voters in May.
All the forums are at 7 p.m. and will be in the high school. The dates are on the district website at www.ichabodcrane.org.
The board also revisited a discussion from earlier this month about allowing residents to pay their school taxes in installments. Mr. Bordick said he talked to representatives at the county Board of Supervisors and the district would need approval from that board to move forward with a plan, but he said there could be a surcharge for residents who would want to use the installment plan.
“The Board of Supervisors has had this question asked [before] and has not been overly receptive,” Mr. Bordick said in reference to other districts that have used this option.
The board made no decision at the meeting about asking the Board of Supervisors to consider the option for the ICC District.
The board adjourned to executive session to meet with a consultant about the use of the two empty elementary schools in Kinderhook and Valatie. The board has been in negotiations with the Town of Kinderhook and Village of Valatie to rent the Martin H. Glynn School building in Valatie for municipal offices. Mr. Bordick said they are close to an agreement.
The board hopes to sell the Martin Van Buran Elementary school in the Village of Kinderhook, and at the last board meeting Mr. Bordick said he met with the Kinderhook Village Board let its members know about the district’s intentions.
The next regular board meeting is Tuesday January 3 at 7p.m. in the Middle School Library.