By Rick Miller

The Ellicottville Central School District’s unassigned fund balance exceeded the state Department of Education guidelines at the end of June.

The state recommends a surplus of no more than four percent, said Denise Veloski, a certified public accountant with at R.A. Mercer, the school district’s outside auditor.

The $843,195 in unassigned fund balance that remained as of June 30 was 6.8 percent, above the four percent allowed by New York state, Veloski said. It’s something to keep an eye on, she added.

The 2017-18 school budget is $12.3 million; four percent of that is $492,297. The issue is addressed in the auditing firm’s management letter.

The school lunch program continues to run a deficit, but is getting better, Veloski said. A $25,000 transfer from the general fund has restored a $14,000 balance to the program.

High school principal Erich Ploetz said the high school and middle school are running very well. He described a recent three-school football pep rally and homecoming dance the school hosted as without issue. “It was probably the largest homecoming ever,” he said.

Ploetz also reported seniors were in the early stages of planning a shorter, closer to home senior trip to the Lake George area in May. Board members encouraged further planning.

The senior class has struggled in the past few years to find trips the seniors would go on, Ploetz said. They are looking at a Saturday through Monday trip with chaperones before Memorial Day.

At the recommendation of Superintendent Robert Miller, the board approved trips by the French Club to Quebec in the spring and to Washington, D.C., by the eighth-grade class in June.

Ploetz said he had approved a trip by members of the French Club to the Buffalo Peace House, where former residents of the French-speaking Congo are living. The students will help in translating.

The high school/ middle school principal also said he plans to start a brown bag lunch series for students, with details to follow, and has permitted a senior lounge in the home economics department classroom during lunch.

“It has a feel of a college campus,” Ploetz told the board. “They appreciate the trust I was placing in them.”

The next ECS Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.