By Elyana Schosek
The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education met for their monthly regular business meeting Feb. 11 in the newly renovated Middle School Library Media Center.
This meeting started a bit different from others: instead of saying the Pledge of Allegiance, high school senior Samantha Yetter performed the National Anthem.
Yetter is part of the cast for the HS’s upcoming musical, “The Addams Family,” which follows a grown-up Wednesday who falls in love with a normal boy and chaos ensues when their families meet.
The musical will be presented on March 6, 7 and 8. Yetter and some of the other cast members performed a brief segment of one of the musical numbers for the board as a bit of a sneak-peek.
All in all, the meeting was shorter than usual as there were only four voting members in attendance due to weather issues and a few being out of town.
Following the first public presentation from the high school musical cast members, there was another presentation that the board was sure to enjoy a bit less simply considering it was concerning employee health insurance.
The presenter showed the board a cost analysis of the last five years of health insurance expenses and then compared it to the percentage health insurance was of total expenses for the year. In both cases, it is increasing slightly each year. For instance, the increase from last year to the current year was the highest of the ones included at 6.53 percent.
Looking at this information along with much more, the district has made a decision to leave their current plan and purchase Independent Health directly from Independent Health. They currently have Independent Health but are going through NY44.
What the district has decided to do simply gets rid of the middleman while staying with the same insurance company. This decision allows employees to have a seamless transition from one year to the next.
Their rationale behind it was complex but one of the biggest aspects was the fact that with NY44, they were unable to see their claims history data.
“They really weren’t able to see anything,” as the presenter stated. NY44 had almost no transparency along with increased premiums and higher co-pays for Emergency Room visits.
Springville is not the first school district in the area to leave NY44 for one reason or another. But of course, the district didn’t reach this conclusion on their own, they had some help from an insurance consultant.
The transition will be officially implemented on July 1, 2020.
In addition to that, board members were presented with an idea a few months ago which concerned the implementation of a walk/bike path behind Springville Elementary and Middle Schools as a part of the current capital project to be started this spring.
Various individuals have been in the process of applying for grants to place fitness and science stations along the path to be used by teachers and students. There is a committee charged with planning what trees they want to plant and where to plant them along the path.
The board’s next meeting is March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Library Media Center.