By Jann Wiswall
The Ellicottville Central School Board of Education presented plaques to departing, long-term board members Steve Crowley and James Wiley at its meeting on Tuesday, June 24. Crowley has served on the board for 15 consecutive years, Wiley for a record-breaking 29 years. They will be replaced on July 1 with newly elected board members Niki Klein and Michele Cortez.
During the meeting, Superintendent Mark Ward reported that the bids received for the school’s renovation project were higher than expected. He assured the board, however, that Campus Construction — the project manager — is meticulously reviewing estimates and assumptions with the low bidders to be certain that bids were based on the architect’s expectations. Ward said that this important process is going well and that bids are coming down. He expects the board to be able to officially award bids at next week’s board meeting.
Ward also reported that “Buffalo Business First” has released its 2014-15 School Rankings and that Ellicottville Elementary School ranked 35 out of the 276 schools in the region. The middle school ranked 64 out of 205 schools and the high school ranked 39 out of 135 schools. The Ellicottville Central School District as a whole ranked 22 out of 97 districts and No. 1 in Cattaraugus County. District rankings are based on four years of test data. These rankings represent improvements over 2010 data. For more results, visit www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2014/06/05/business-firsts-2014-2015-guide-to-western-new.html.
Finally, Ward said that the Holy Name of Mary Church will no longer hold its Wednesday intermediate religious classes at ECS. Church representative Frank Steffen said the classes will now be held at the Ellicottville Town Center. Elementary (grades 1-3) classes will continue to meet on Tuesdays at ECS.
In appreciation for the school’s generosity in providing space for the classes, Steffen arrived with an array of snacks for the board to share during the meeting.
In other business, the board’s safety committee has met to review policies and procedures in emergency situations. While details are confidential, Ward said the school is planning to hold a drill in September on a date to be announced.
The building and grounds committee also met recently and committee chair Carl Calarco reported that the committee will be recommending the school sell a van that is no longer being used. Another vehicle is being repaired and a pickup truck may have to be replaced with one that can support a snowplow.
Calarco also informed the board that the bus garage roof sustained major wind damage during a recent storm. The damage has been reported to the school’s insurance company and the committee is getting three bids for repair.
Elementary School Principal Connie Poulin was happy to report that all special education students in the school will be matriculating to the next grade next year, as will all elementary school students. She explained that teachers set clear student learning objectives at the beginning of the year and benchmarked them in January. Students who were falling behind were given extra support to ensure they met their goals.
Poulin also said she is in the process of interviewing applicants for a new teacher for the 2014-15 school year.
Middle/High School Principal Bob Miller reported that all 56 of the school’s seniors will be graduating on Friday, June 27, and that graduation preparations are going extremely well, thanks in large part to the exceptional administrative and organizational efforts of Tammy Auge.
He also reported that he and Ellicottville’s two WIVB 2013-14 scholar-athletes, Elizabeth Wendel (named by the station in January) and Courtney Scanlon (named in May), attended a banquet in their honor this week in Buffalo.
He and Poulin also attended the graduation for CA-BOCES Career and Technical Education students on June 20.
The next meeting of the ECS Board of Education will be held on July 1, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library.