KINDERHOOK–Board President Matthew Nelson announced to the public at the board meeting this week that Superintendent Michael Vanyo had been seriously injured in an accident while on vacation and had just come out of surgery in Syracuse that day.
At the August 21 meeting Mr. Nelson said the superintendent will be “out for an extended period of time.” He said the board would address how they planned to move forward.
Questar III/BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Gladys Cruz will be acting superintendent while Mr. Vanyo is recovering.
After an executive session at the end of the regular meeting, the board came back into public session and appointed Suzanne Guntlow assistant to the acting superintendent of schools. Ms. Guntlow has signed a contract with the board and will receive a daily stipend in addition to her regular salary.
Ms. Guntlow currently works in the central office as the Principal for APPR, Professional Development, Curriculum & Instruction, and will take over the day-to-day administration at the school, while Dr. Cruz deals with other superintendent duties. Ms. Guntlaw does not have the superintendent certification.
During the meeting, the board discussed updates to the student code of conduct, which will now mean no demerits given in the high school and has added language prohibiting e-cigarettes and vaping equipment.
The board also heard a report from Dan Doyle, transportation director, addressing comments his department has received about the new bus routes planned for September. The district is going to a one-bus run–also called a one bell–program next year. All students, k through 12, will ride on the same bus runs in the morning and afternoon. The middle school and high school will both start at 7:45 a.m. and the primary school will start at 8:15 a.m. Students in the high school will get on the bus at 2:15 p.m., the Middle School at 2:23 p.m. and the primary school at 2:20 p.m. Bus runs are posted on the district website www.ichabodcrane.org.
Mr. Doyle said that parents who had reviewed the new routes had several questions including the absence of some houses on a route. He pointed out that most homes have not been bus stops for years. He also said that arrival times for all the routes had a window of 5 to 7 minutes so students will get to school on time. The transportation office did try to reverse the routes so students who sit on the bus for a long time in the morning will have a shorter ride home, but Mr. Doyle said they can’t always do that for safety reasons.
He said the office is answering all calls and emails that come in.
One resident, Lina Baker-Cortes, was concerned about the Spanish speaking community in the district and how information may not have gotten to them. “Google translator isn’t going to do it,” she said of letters that go home.
Mr. Doyle said his department does not use online translator programs but has Spanish speakers translate the letters. Both the primary school and middle school principals said they would try to reach out to the Spanish speaking families.
Mr. Doyle said he would love to find a solution to reach all the families in the district, and that he would work to “reach out to everyone we have to reach out to.”
The board also discussed the resignations of three math teachers in the middle school and high school: Cadie Pangie, Jake Patenaude and Katie Sheehan. Ms. Guntlow assured the board that the positions had been filled for next year and high school Principal Craig Shull said, “We did everything we can to maintain all the programs.”
The board spent the rest of the meeting reviewing a possible capital improvement project. The board has been going over each part of the project to see what they plan to ask voters to approve at a special December referendum.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, September 11 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale at