Friday, December 17, 2010

Other News from the Board of Education

In addition to adopting district goals and hearing the internal audit report, the Bronxville Board of Education addressed several other issues of interest at its December meeting:
  • Dr. Quattrone thanked the PTA and the Council for their much-appreciated Holiday Tea; announced the Holiday Sings at the Elementary School and band, orchestra, and choral concerts at the secondary schools; recognized the two-week exchange with students from the Canary Islands, thanking Patrick Miele for his leadership efforts; and acknowledged the ninth grade community service project with the Andrus Center.
  • Mr. Carlin announced that we are nearing completion of the boiler project, and that the general contract should be done by mid-January. There are ongoing issues with the performance of one boiler, but the other three are providing sufficient heat as we work to fix that problem. although all tests indicate that the sound made by the boilers fall within acceptable levels, we are working with our architect to attenuate sound further, as requested by neighbors. Possible remedies include interior baffling, exterior shielding, or landscaping.
  • Mr. Carlin reported that he is projecting a $700,000 surplus in the current fiscal year, which would allow the District to offset the tax rate as it did last year. Pierre de St. Phalle, chair of the finance committee, described the goals the committee established for this year, encompassing budget guidance, investment policy, financial structures, and reporting formats. The goals can be found here.
  • Dr. Kehoe described the scope of duties performed by Securitas, our new security guard provider. The firm covers the fields and the building during off-hours and weekends, making full use of our surveillance cameras. Communication protocols with the Bronxville Police have also been arranged.
  • Dr. Cain, liaison to the Policy Board, described that group's effort to set up an evaluation and assessment framework for the district's global initiative.
  • Dr. Hudson shared his thoughts about a recent meeting about class size, requested by the PTA, Elementary Council officers, and several parents. Mr. Rugani, Dr. Quattrone, and Dr. Wilson also attended. The existing guidelines go back to 1992, and the policy is dated 1975, so there is a question about their continued relevance. Dr. Hudson said it may be more useful to replace the guidelines with principles and beliefs that affirm the value of small class sizes, especially in the primary grades, yet retain the flexibility to adapt to changing finances and enrollment fluctuations. Dr. Quattrone pointed out that we will have some real numbers to look at when the budget is presented.