By Jennifer Weber

The Springville-Griffth Institute Board of Education held their monthly business meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and opened with a presentation of the fall sports season report given by student athletes.

School Board President Allison Duwe gave a recap of issues the board discussed at their workshop meeting held on Oct. 24 regarding the future of thinking about education at SGI.

“The notion of this work of thinking about our future and how we want to change the school in Springville will not be led by the board or administration,” said Duwe. “ We need a coalition of different voices to participate in this work and open up dialogue and make sure we are listening to all different members of the community and make sure we are acting really intentionally about that.”

The board will continue to discuss and explore this issue throughout the year in various workshop sessions.

Board Member Chris Cerrone gave the Legislative Committee update, reporting on a planning meeting that was held between area districts and the State Senate. The school districts are coming together with one common voice to advocate for an increase in state funding from the current level of 40 percent to 50 percent in the upcoming year. The Legislative committee will meet again with State Senators before the next session opens in January.

Superintendent Kimberly Moritz reported that with the resignation of Larry Strauss, who served as Director of Facilities, the District posted, interviewed and offered Dave Seiflein, currently Director of Facilities in Cattaraugus/Little Valley, the position, which he accepted and will begin on Dec. 11.

The West Valley School District has started their annexation study and Springville is committed to do whatever they can to support their needs over the next few weeks while gathering data.

The capital project was approved at the State Department of Education and bids for work have been sent out with the anticipated timeline of awarding contracts in January 2018 and beginning work in February 2018.

Moritz will be meeting with the Football Fanatics later this month to discuss ideas of partnering on a long-term donation the organization wishes to make to the school.

In other news, Moritz announced a tentative collaboration with Alfred State University and Erie 2 BOCES for a Pathways to Technology program that would provide area students the opportunity to receive a high school diploma and associates degree within six years, starting in the 9th grade, in the fields of electronics and computer science. “There’s a huge need for skilled trades in this area,” stated Mortiz. “We hope to develop a great partnership with industries in the community through this program.” The concept behind this program is similar to the one that currently exists in Dunkirk, and would be managed by BOCES, but housed locally at SGI.  Preliminary meetings will be held in the weeks ahead to discuss this future collaboration and BOCES is currently working to secure grant funding for the program.

The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the High School Media Center, 290 North Buffalo Street.