ICC board limits last-minute bus changes

KINDERHOOK – The Ichabod Crane school board approved the resignation of Primary School Principal Shannon Shine at the regular board meeting August 6. Superintendent George Zini said he is looking for an interim principal to start at the end of this month when Mr. Shine leaves to take over as superintendent in Galway.

The board also approved of Mr. Zini’s plan to limit students to two bus pickup and drop-off points and to have bus passes issued only for emergencies this school year. The board heard from the transportation director and administrators about safety issues caused by students changing buses on a daily basis, which was previously allowed.

Mr. Zini said the board had expressed concern at the last meeting that any changes made to the busing rules not be too restrictive this close to the start of the school year. “I have never seen the extent of service we’ve provided in transportation,” he said, comparing Ichabod Crane to other districts. Until now students have been allowed to ride a bus different from the one they regularly take if the parent sends in a note the day of the change, and some students get dropped off at different places throughout the week due to custody issues or childcare needs. Mr. Zini said that 225 bus passes have been issued monthly in the primary school alone.

Children will still be dropped off and picked up at daycare or different family members’ houses on different days of the week but it must be consistent, and he said of changing the bus on the day of the request, he said that it must be an emergency and “not so much we are going to someone’s house ‘just because.’”

He said letters will be sent home to parents along with regular mailings before the school opens, information will be on the website and a pre-recorded call will go out alerting parents to the change.

The board also heard from Dominic Lizzi, the historian for the Village of Valatie. Mr. Lizzi and Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle were at the meeting to ask that a portrait of Martin H. Glynn currently at the school be lent to the village for a celebration of Governor Glynn’s 100th anniversary of becoming governor of New York this September. The village plans to host an event on September 7 at Glynn Square on Church Street and rededicate the former Martin H. Glynn School, which the board sold to the Town of Kinderhook and the Village of Valatie for $1 for use as the town and village hall. The building will be renamed the Governor Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

Mr. Lizzi said the Village Board would be open leasing the portrait long term, with hopes of hanging it outside of the mayor’s office.

He suggested earlier in the meeting that portrait was given to the village to hang in the school by Governor Glynn’s widow. “Governor Glynn is our most famous resident,” said Mr. Lizzi, adding, “The portrait was given to the people of Valatie, as I understand it.”

Though several board members said they were not prepared to discuss giving the village the portrait, which hangs in the high school lobby, but they were comfortable allowing it to be used at the municipal building for the September event.

Board member Jeffery Ouellette said that where the school displays the portrait is not the best place. “The municipal building, that’s his home,” he said.

Mr. Zini said he would make arrangements with the village to have the portrait moved for the event.

The board also discussed the Primary School Climate Study, which was mostly positive. Parents, primary school employees and 3rd graders were asked to take the survey. The biggest issue that came up for most people, Mr. Shine reported to the board, was overcrowding. The board is waiting on approval from the state Education Department for either adding trailers or building an addition on the primary school.

“We’re very cramped,” said Mr. Shine of the school, but he stressed that the district is looking at addressing the issue.

Mr. Zini talked about the search for Mr. Shine’s replacement. “There is nobody internally that will fill this position,” he said. An interim principal, most likely a retired administrator, will be hired from a list provided by Questar III, Mr. Zini said. Former Primary School Principal Melissa Murray, who is now a district administrator, will head up the committee to search for a permanent replacement. “We’ll get [the position] posted and get it started,” Mr. Zini said of the search.

The next board meeting will be a special meeting Tuesday, August 20 in the High School Library. The central office has now moved to the high school and all Board of Education meetings will be held in that building going forward.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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