Here are highlights from the KCSD Board of Education meeting this evening.
Mr. Gerald Celente and several people he brought with him spoke during public comment about his bid to purchase the Cioni building and convert it to boutique apartments. Board President Mrs. Scherer stated that the Cioni building was not on the meeting agenda and that the board lawyer was looking into the triple-net lease issue and a report was expected at the October BOE meeting.
Class size concerns were raised during public comment as several schools saw large classes (27-28 students) on the first day of school. Dr. Padalino reported in the superintendent’s report that the average class size across the district is: kindergarten – 19 students, grade 1 – 22 students, grade 2 – 22 students, grade 3 – 22 students, grade 4 – 22.5 students. There are bubbles in some buildings and after registrations/withdrawals settle down (about a week into school), administration will look at where adjustments need to be made – possibly adding aides or new sections. There are 124 elementary sections grades K-4 in the district and only 10 have over 24 students. Dr. Padalino also told that board that special permissions is one of the practices he would like to talk about this year with the intention of getting rid of it as it is ‘a nightmare’ and causes problems with class size.
A parent spoke during public comment about their special education student who had been successfully mainstreamed last year and benefited from instrumental and vocal music ensembles. However upon moving up to Bailey and getting the 5th grade schedule last week, there was no ensemble music included in the schedule even though the student had indicated a desire to continue at the end of last year. When inquiries were made, the family was told that inclusion students can not participate in music ensembles at Bailey because they conflict with the reteach period. This denial of an opportunity to participate in music ensembles is unfair at best, discriminatory at worst and needs to be addressed.
Dr. Padalino reported that the JFK playground is delayed while the city makes an environmental report. Once this part of the process is complete, the district is ready to move forward and the contractors can build the playground in about a week. The hope is that the playground will be up before it snows.
Dr. Jacobowitz asked about KALP for this school year and an organization chart for the administration. Dr. Padalino said he could give a KALP report at the next board meeting and a presentation with the organization chart for administration could be posted on the district website.
5 boys from Rondout Valley Central School District will be merged with the Kingston boys swim & diving team for this school year. UPDATE 9/4/14: article with details about the swim/diving team merger as well as a gymnastics merger approved a few weeks ago from the Daily Freeman. This article reports on how the Kingston football team is doing including the Onteora students who merged with the Kingston team.
The School Comprehensive Education Plans and the District Comprehensive Improvement Plan were approved by the BOE and are available on the district website – here.
Board goals from the agenda with the addition of a goal to hold a referendum for a new capital fund (current fund has been depleted) were approved.
A resolution to hire a professional trainer service for the district was passed as new business.
- Next BOE meeting – September 17, 2014 at Myer Elementary school.
- Coffee & Conversation – September 10, 2014 8am at Dominick’s Dreamweaver Cafe. Dr. Padalino and board member Jim Shaughnessey will host.
- BOE Audit & Finance Committee meeting – Tuesday September 28, 2014
- BOE Curriculum & Instruction Committee meeting – Thursday September 18, 2014 9:30-11am