By Jennifer Weber

The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Directors met on Monday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. and  opened their meeting with a performance from the Springville Chorus, which sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”  As an encore, the “Little Shop of Horrors Urchins” chorus performed a song promoting the upcoming High School musical “Little Shop of Horrors” being held on March 10-12. Tickets will go on sale the Monday after February break.

The Springville Middle School Students who won the Kids Escaping Drugs PSA contest gave a presentation to the Board. The students competed against 21 different schools across WNY including High Schools. Students will be attending the Sabres game on March 4, where they will see their winning video on the jumbotron.

The board voted to nominate the Human Rights Club, led by Drew Beiter, for the Annual Erie County Association of School Boards: Diana Miller Service to Education Award honoring an individual or organization that has made contributions to the betterment of education.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the SGI High School Orchestra performed at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo as a part of the “Community Spotlight” program sponsored by the BPO and the Erie County Music Educators’ Association (ECMEA).

Nils Wikman was honored as the Citizen of the Year and Caroline Dickinson was honored as the Student of the Year at the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner on Feb. 4.

The School Board is looking into an alternative to the current Driver’s Education program.  The cost right now is $460 through the school; however, if the program goes through BOCES, it would only cost $250 per family. Forty-four students signed up right away for the program; the board will put this in the budget line for next year.

Superintendent Moritz has been conducting site visits in each of the school buildings, which has been “honestly a pure delight…was probably the best part of my year so far.” In addition, she is working on reviewing every single budget and expenditure line preparing for the upcoming 2017-2018 budget process.

The board reviewed the Governor State Aid Proposal and started to discuss areas of the Budget the Board of Education, Transportation Operations & Maintenance.

Overall, the school budget plans on keeping spending as clean as possible. At this time, the budget is still tentative; they are working on what it’s going to look like and will know by March 13.

The goal is to maintain student programs; currently the school is reviewing and analyzing revenues, which are down $90,000 from last year. The student population should stabilize between 1600-1700 students in a few years, but the decrease in population does have a negative impact on the dollars received. Funding is based on number of students, and the fewer students in the district, the less money received. There also is the annual increase in contact expenditures such as insurance and employment contracts.

The budget calendar that the board created at their workshop meeting is as follows:

March 1: The school business administrator will discuss the tax-cap levy calculation due to the NYS Education department.

March 13: The board will review the following areas of the budget: undistributed (debt service & employee benefits), individual building budgets (including instructional and special education and technology), general support budget, BOCES budget, interscholastic budget, revenues preliminary staffing requests and changes. And will review presentation of superintendents budget recommendations for 2017-2018.

March 28 -April 1: The first of four legal notices due on budget voted and board election will go out during this time period.

April 3: Adoption of 2017-2018 Budget. The next Business Day after budget adoption the Property Tax Report card is due to NYS Education Department.

April 17: Deadline for School Board candidate nominations

May 8: Public Budget Hearing at 7pm

May 11: Voter Registration Day  from 12 to 8 p.m.

May 16: Budget Vote and School Board Elections 10am-9pm

The E2CCB Annual Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4th  7:30 p.m. at LoGuidice Center – Erie 2 BOCES  9520 Fredonia Stockton Rd, Fredonia, NY.

The next SGI School Board meeting is Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the Colden Elementary School, located at 8263 Boston Colden Rd, Colden, NY, in the cafeteria.