By Jennifer Weber

The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education met on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. and began with a presentation from Joann DePue, Director of Technology and Assessment. The presentation was a slideshow on the most recent school report card data from the 2015-2016 school year. The information provided is available to the public at the New York State Education Department (NYSED) website

When reviewing the data, it was noted that the results reflect the number of students that are taking the tests and the percentages in each category are therefore lower because of the number of students in the district opting out of testing. The board addressed the question of whether it is their responsibility to take a proactive role in making sure kids are taking the tests so they meet the needs of the formulas created by New York State standards versus allowing parents the autonomy to choose what they feel is best for their child. This discussion will be continued at the workshop meeting on Oct. 24.

Last year’s test scores 2016-2017 will be sent out to students and parents on Oct. 13.

The board also discussed the feasibility of adding an additional after hours bus to the schedule, which would cost approximately $11,000 more per year. The 2017-2018  budget allocates $33,000 for late buses. Currently, the 4:15 p.m. school bus moved to 4:30 p.m. to allow middle school academic support students to ride home on the elementary buses Monday-Friday.

The board questioned whether adding additional transportation will allow more students to participate in athletics and extra-curricular activities and wondered what level of obligation the board has to address this situation. A basic survey will be created on Survey Monkey and distributed to students and parents through the website to gather more information on the needs of the community.

SGI seventh grade student Julia Uhteg and advisor Sara Coughlin gave a public presentation on their attendance of the “Fuel Up to Play 60” health and wellness program sponsored by the NFL and USDA held July 24-27 in Minneapolis, MN. Julia was given the once in a lifetime opportunity and chosen to represent Springville as a Student Ambassador at the summit, where she worked on leadership skills and learned about programs to integrate  healthy living and physical activity into the school day and allowing”kids to be kids.”

The Board approved the following trip requests:

• FFA Club to attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN Oct. 23-28, 2017

• SGI Track athletes to attend the Penn Relay at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA April 25-28, 2018

• 8th Grade students to travel to Washington D.C. May 9-11, 2018

• HS students to travel to Europe (Italy and Greece) on a date to be determined in June-July 2019

The board also voted to approve the NYSSBA (New York State School Board Association) membership dues for the 2017-2018 school year with discussion that school board members should take advantage of the professional development opportunities that membership allows and to discuss the possibility with committee members about keeping the annual dues from rising.

The Annual Griffith Day of Giving is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 20.

The next meeting of the SGI board will be a special workshop session on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. held at the district office. The next Board of Education meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the High School Library Media Center at 290 North Buffalo Street, Springville.