By Jann Wiswall

The Ellicottville Central Schools Board of Education unanimously elected Carl Calarco to the position of president of the board. Connie Hellwig was unanimously elected vice president. Calarco was nominated by Roger Spell, who had been serving as president until the vote at the Tuesday, July 1 board meeting.

During the same meeting, the board’s two newest members, Nicole Klein and Michelle Cortez, were administered the oath of office for their five-year terms.

The meeting, the first of the 2014-15 school year, served as the board’s annual reorganizational meeting. The newly seated board, chaired by Calarco, reappointed officers, approved the 2014-15 calendar of board meetings, reauthorized officials to perform assigned duties, approved school lunch prices, authorized substitute teacher pay rates, and reestablished school and board committees and subcommittees.

In continuing board business, the board approved policies related to staff and student use of computerized information resources, Internet content filtering/safety, and testing misconduct/mandatory reporting requirements.

The board also approved the following companies as winning low bidders for the school renovation project, which is set to begin this month.

General Trades: SLR Contracting, $5,705,432

Plumbing: DV Brown Associates, $375,900

Mechanical: Parise Mechanical, $1,066,000

Electrical: Industrial Power & Light, $1,059,000

These base bids total $8,206,332. The project is budgeted at $9.8 million.

The board voted to allow Calarco, as president of the board, to sign all contracts associated with the project and voted to allow Superintendent Mark Ward to “approve and execute change orders in an amount not to exceed $30,000 in connection with the Capital Project…unless the Superintendent determines, after a good faith review of the proposed change order, that the change would constitute a material alteration to the Project.” In this case, Ward will seek approval from the board.

For the benefit of the new board members, Ward discussed policies and procedures that are being put in place regarding the 100 computers that will be provided to all juniors and advanced sophomore students this year. (Extra computers will be available from the library for other students to borrow.)

All students receiving computers will be required to sign contracts and parents will be offered the option of purchasing insurance (roughly estimated at $30 for the entire year). The school board, which authorized the purchase, felt that ensuring regular accessibility to computers will prepare college- and work-bound students for the future.

Principals’ Reports

Elementary Principal Connie Poulin reported that, generally, report cards for elementary students were excellent and that teachers did a very thoughtful job with their narrative comments. She said that professional development for teachers over the summer will focus on aligning teacher comments with the Common Core.

Middle/High School Principal Bob Miller said that the 2014 graduation was an enormous success, with 56 of 56 seniors graduating and a huge crowd on hand to celebrate their achievements. Everyone agreed that it will be nice when the new gym/multi-purpose room is built and air conditioning is available for graduation 2016.

The next meeting of the ECS school board will be held on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library.