By Jann Wiswall

Ellicottville Central School could see an enrollment increase of 40-50 students if this month’s trend continues, Superintendent Mark Ward told the board of education at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

“We can’t be precise at this stage,” he explained, “but there’s growth both from within and outside the District.”

At this point, he said, “we’re expecting 69 students in the 8th grade and 65 in 5th. Those are large classes for ECS.”

Ward reported that preparations for the new school year are coming along well. The new busses are in, building repairs, improvements and maintenance are ongoing and all of the new classroom smart boards have been installed. And, once state grant money comes in, he said, the school’s new security system can be purchased and installed.

Ward also reported that preliminary results from the spring’s grades 3-8 testing in English Language Arts (ELA) and math are excellent. Not only do ECS students rank first or second in Cattaraugus County at almost every grade level, but they rank in the top 20% almost across the board among Western New York schools.

Full test results will be reported in the September issue of the ECS Newsletter.

Finally, Ward announced some good news on the school tax front: the tax rate for the district went down this year, from $8.55/thousand in property value to $8.46/thousand. This represents a .99% decrease.

Following Ward’s report, the board approved a long list of recommendations, including approval of Board and District Committee members; approval of the 2017 senior class trip to Washington, DC and Virginia and Baltimore; appointment of the School Safety team; and approval of certain text books.

The board also took a number of personnel actions, including appointing school bus aides; several class, club and committee advisors; appointment of Jamie Edwards as a full-time foreign language teacher (as well as girl’s modified volleyball coach); and approval of Dan LaCroix as JV Volleyball coach.

The next meeting of the ECS School Board will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in the high school library. As always, all are welcome.