KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education unveiled its draft strategic plan for the district at the regular meeting Tuesday night. The board is holding off approving the plan until January to give the public time to look at the issues and goals discussed in the plan.
Most of the people at the December 3 meeting were part of the 24-member committee that came up with the draft with help from a moderator from the Questar III BOCES. “It was really, truly an open dialogue,” said Superintendent George Zini.
Members of the committee presented the mission and vision of the plan, which talks about creating life-long learners who have a strong community spirit and “Rider pride.” The committee discussed the strengths of the district and the challenges. “A big part of our discussion involved challenges,” said committee member Paul Herrington.
The plan talks about competition from other schools drawing students away from ICC, as well as getting information out to the community about what’s happening in the district. Technology is also a large part of the plan as a challenge and a goal for the future.
A section of the plan talks about potential strategies. One strategy reads: “By 2016, technology will be expanded and enhanced in the areas of networking and infrastructure hardware and software acquisition, professional development… and administrative efficiencies to increase students’ college and career readiness.”
There are also strategies about creating “a safe and productive environment” at the schools, reaching out to the community, possibly with a newsletter, and partnerships with community organizations to “engage the students outside of the traditional classroom setting and curriculum.”
As for safety issues, committee member Laura Etlinger said that that issue could also cover looking at healthy living and working with local social services to promote the health and wellbeing of all students.
“I think this is a good plan,” said Mr. Zini, who added that that a lot of time and thought went into the creation of the document.
The committee was made up of administrators, parents, board members and community members.
Board member Bruce Naramore said that though he appreciated the work that the committee had done and agreed it was a good plan, he hopes to see more in the plan about restoring courses that have been cut over the years, like advanced placement. He said he was also hoping to see more in the plan about “maintaining and expanding educational opportunities inside the classroom.”
Regina Rose, a former board member who attended the meeting, agreed that there needs be to be more academic language in the plan. She wanted to see the plan deal with large class sizes and literacy in the Primary School.
At the meeting the board did discuss adding four classrooms at the Primary School to deal with crowding. The district would receive reimbursement from the state for over 75% of the cost of expanding classroom space at the building and the board set aside money to pay for construction as part of last year’s budget.
Board member Cheryl Trefzger praised the plan, saying that it was a way explain the strengths and goals of the district to people. “We have to bring people back to this community, and this is a good start,” she said.
Also at the meeting the board:
•Approved a lease contract with BOCES/Questar III for six new copy machines, with the district receiving state aid to help offset the cost. Mr. Zini said, “We’ve been putting a lot of money into our 10 to 11 year old machines.”
•Heard form students and teacher Lara Marotta about the 8th trip to Washington DC. Ms. Marotta said the students got many compliments for their behavior on the trip.
•Announced the new district website will be up at the end of December.
•Presented the 2011-12 and 2012-12 tenure recipients. Cadie Ahlgren, Gayle Himmelstein, Melissa Vooris, Curt Barford and Andrew Mead received tenure in the High School; Anne Krizar, Kerry Mulahy, Stephen Leader and Julianne Rulison received tenure in the Middle School; Kathryn Bernarde, Julie Eckholm, Kari Lane, Angela Shevy, Alyson Yoder, Carrie Dugan, Sandra Ford, Megan Loefke and Holly Vincent received tenure in the Primary School. Daniel Farley received tenure as an administrator.
The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday, January 7 at 7 p.m. in the High School Library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .