KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane School Board heard a presentation from Performing Arts Department Chair David Bulan about the music program in the district at the board meeting this week. School Superintendent George Zini said that during the fall and winter the board would hear several presentations from different departments as the district begins budget planning for the 2015-16 school year. Mr. Bulan reviewed the courses offered and stressed the importance of music education, especially in the developing brains of younger students.
When the school district closed two elementary school buildings a few years ago, an extra grade was moved to the Primary School and the music and art programs lost their classrooms. Mr. Bulan told the board at the Tuesday, November 4 meeting that not having a room for music means not having enough space in the regular classroom for movement or instruments. “It’s a major issue for us,” he said of not having a dedicated music room.
District voters approved a capital project last year to add more space to the Primary School. Construction on that project should start this summer. “I’m really optimistic that we get a room back,” Mr. Bulan told the board. The plan does include to adding music, art and special education rooms in the new school extension.
Mr. Bulan talked about other cuts in the program, which included theater classes and trips to New York City to see performances–activities he hopes the board will consider during budgeting. “Nobody in the high school is a fulltime music teacher. We share teachers among buildings,” he said of the program.
Board member Bruce Naramore said they the board needed to look at “restoring what we lost three or four years ago.”
The district is just completing another capital project, which included major work on the high school gym. “We have a turn-over date of November 18,” said Mr. Zini of construction on the gym. The district plans to host an open house for the public to see the new high school library and the gym Monday, November 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Also at the meeting the board:
- Announced it will host a special meeting on November 18 at to discuss the veterans tax exemption. Board and Audit Committee member Susan Ramos said the committee discussed the different scenarios for how the exemption will affect the district. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the high school library
- Heard from Peter Bujanow, president of the Friends of Lindenwald, about funding trips to the National Park site for all fourth graders. Mr. Bujanow said the friends group would fund transportation for the grade to come for a trip to the historic home of President Martin Van Buren and for the classes to come to the gravesite ceremony on December 4 held in Kinderhook to honor the Van Buren’s birthday. Mr. Zini said the students are planning to attend the gravesite ceremony
- Asked that a formal agreement be created between the board and Village of Valatie over the ownership of a portrait of former Governor Martin H. Glynn. The school agreed to lend the portrait to the village to hang in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building. Board President Tony Welcome said he wanted a formal agreement drawn up stating who owns the portrait and how long it will reside with the village.
The next regular board meeting is Tuesday, December 2 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .