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SGI Board Updates Community on Tragic Accident

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Introduces High School Pathways Elective Program for 2017-2018 School Year

By Jennifer Weber

The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education held their regular business meeting on Nov. 14 at the Collins Center Fire Hall in Collins, NY.

Superintendent Kimberly Moritz opened the meeting expressing her condolences to the family of Alyssa Hearn saying, “What we experienced the past week is, I believe, the most tragic of any experience a district can have.”

“This student we lost, Alyssa, we lost her from one of our school buses. This is a tragedy that all of us feel a certain responsibility for,” stated Mortiz.

The New York State Education Department, responsible for investigating the accident to determine a better course of action moving forward across the State, visited the school district on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

“We will be a district that thinks about what we can do better moving forward and we’ll be very, very clear that we are improving our practices,” said Mortiz. “I think that’s the only way we can, we have to move forward with the positive changes that can keep our kids safe on a daily basis.”

The Erie County Sheriff Department is still investigating the accident alongside the Department of Transportation, and it could take a few more weeks to conclude the investigation. The New York State Education Department will revisit the district after the final police report is issued.

High School Principal Michael Bialasik presented the Board with the Pathways in High School Electives Program developed for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Pathways Concept will allow students to strategically choose an elective program that will supplement their core program based on interest, give students the ability to take rigorous elective coursework and give students the opportunity to authentically apply their learning.

“Basically, the whole idea of a pathway is exactly what it sounds like,” said Bialasik. “What we’re really trying to do is, if you can imagine, paint a really clear picture for kids of some of the elective work they can do at the high school level.”

The four pathway curriculum areas being developed for the 2017-2018 school year are Agriculture, Art, Business and Technology. Each pathway will consist of an introductory course, several pathway elective classes and conclude with a capstone element course.

The timeline in place to implement this program includes:

• January 2017 – Eighth Grade Visit to High School and High School Elective Fair

• February 2017 – Final Selection of Courses for 2017-2018

• March 2017 – Eighth Grade Through Junior Students Select Courses

• April 2017 Eighth Grade Parent Orientation

The Board is looking for interested community members willing to serve a five-month appointment on the SGI Board of Education from January 2017 – May 2017.

Anyone interested should submit a letter of interest to Kathy Tucker, District Clerk, at ktucker@springvillegi.org by Nov. 30 and be available to attend the Dec. 12 board meeting for a short interview in a public forum.

In other news, the board approved the following business items: recommendations on the district’s committees of special education and preschool education, fundraising activities for the school, recycling of technology items, the scheduling of a special board work session to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the high school at 7 p.m., a risk management consulting agreement for services provided by the corporate screening and investigative group, a bond resolution relating to the 2016 district-wide capital improvement project and a clarifying resolution approving the tentative agreement between the district and the SEEA.

Anyone looking for more information about any of these matters can visit the SGI website at http://www.springvillegi.org. Audio recordings of the Board Meetings are also available on the website.

The next Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the SGI High School Library Media Center located at 290 North Buffalo Street, Springville, NY.

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