KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education announced at its first regular meeting of 2013 that the district no longer owns the Martin Van Buren and Martin H. Glynn school buildings. The board sold the Van Buren School, in the Village of Kinderhook, to gallery owner Jack Shainman on December 21 for $550,000; the board concluded the transfer of the Glynn School in the Village of Valatie to the Town of Kinderhook and the village for $1 on December 28.
At the January 8 school board meeting board President Anthony Welcome said the district was happy that the buildings would be used. “They are not just going to sit there,” said Mr. Welcome, “they are going to be used by the community.” The district closed the two elementary schools last year, moving all students to the main campus on Route 9. The move resulted from declining enrollment and budget concerns.
Last week’s meeting was also the first run by the new school Superintendent George Zini. The board gave Mr. Zini a three-year contract starting this month. “I’m happy to get started,” he told the board at the start of the meeting. He said that he and his wife recently bought a house in Kinderhook and they are excited to be part of the community.
Mr. Zini last worked at the Uxbridge school district in Massachusetts but has been spending time at Ichabod Crane learning about the district since his appointment was announced in November.
He discussed upcoming budget forums. (A report on the first one January 15 accompanies this article.) Mr. Zini asked the board for guidance on what topics should be discussed, saying that many topics that were covered last year, like the one-bell busing system, will not be discussed this year.
“I do the budget process a little different than what you are used to,” he told board, saying he is reviewing all the staffing and budgets with the district business manager now.
The board also discussed new policies that they are reviewing at Tuesday night’s meeting. There is a new policy allowing board members to attend meetings online using software like Skype.
There is also an updated policy on student use of electronic devices like cell phones. “Students can’t have them during testing,” said board and Policy Committee member Regina Rose. She said the updated policy “strengthened that message to kids.”
And finally there is a new policy covering employees who turn in teachers and administrators who falsify record test scores. “It’s sad that it’s necessary,” said Ms. Rose. She also said that the incidence of false test scores is increasing as state standards rise and districts that do not meet the standards face sanctions.
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