By Josh Hatcher

Ellicottville’s senior class will be headed to Philadelphia and Ocean City, NJ, this spring, striking a “good balance between education, and fun stuff,” according to Superintendent of Schools Mark Ward.

Class of 2016 President Lindsey Robinson was present at the October 27th meeting of the Board of Education, presenting a PowerPoint that showed the basic itinerary for this year’s four day senior trip, which begins May 14, 2016. Robinson explained that about 40 students expect to travel to Philadelphia to visit the Franklin Institute and take a walking tour of the historic city.

The trip also includes an entire Monday at the beach. Ward said, “A lot of our students have never seen the ocean, so while that’s a ‘fun’ thing, it’s also an educational experience for a lot of them.” The board approved the trip, along with the eighth grade trip to Washington, DC, in June 2016.

Ward briefed board members on the Capital Project, which he said is “in the home stretch.”

There was one major delay as officials had to refuse delivery of the new lockers, which were a foot shorter than those that were ordered. Meanwhile, Ward said they are working through a laundry list of other little items that need to be finished, and he’s confident things are coming together, including the electrical work for the new stage with recent lighting and sound system installations.

Ward described it “as fine a stage as you’ll find in any school with a full auditorium.”

That stage will have its day to shine November 12, as the schools’ fall concert has “a surprise” in store, according to Middle/High School Principal Bob Miller. He told the board that a string quartet from the Buffalo Philharmonic will be performing as a part of the concert. Ward told the board, “It’s nice to have something like this to GIVE to the community!”

Board Member Nicole Klein updated the group on the Health and Safety Committee’s activities. She explained that Ellicottville developed a flip chart for faculty and administration to help them deal with emergency situations. That flip chart template is currently being used in schools in eight different Western New York counties.  She explained that the emergency plans have been reviewed with teachers and substitutes, as they are every year.

Miller responded to some concerns that were recently brought up regarding the dispensing of controlled medications. According to the state, a parent or a health care professional, like a school nurse, are the only ones who can give a student controlled medications. This would pose a problem for field trips, which would have required the nurse or a parent to go on the trip with the group in order to dispense the medicines. Miller explained that his conversation with state officials resolved the matter, though there are some specific parameters to work through – if a student has a prescription bottle, and one dose, a teacher can administer the medication in those circumstances.

Board Vice President Connie Hellwig approved a motion to accept a bid of $400 for a surplus 2004 Ford van. The school’s current van broke down when the engine died and the cost of repair was not worth the investment, according to Ward.

The board approved a list of sports coaches and advisors for winter 2016.

•Boys Varsity Basketball: Dave McCann

•Boys Junior Varsity Basketball: Matt Finn

•Boys Modified Basketball: Chris Keenan

•Girls Varsity Basketball: Chad Bartoszek

•Girls Junior Varsity Basketball: Tim Bergan

•Girls Modified Basketball: Tammy Eddy

•Volunteer Assistant Coach (Basketball): Katie Taylor, Chelsea Cole

•Basketball Cheerleading Advisor (traditional sideline) contingent upon numbers: Diana Olson

•Weight-Lifting/Training: Mary Neilon

•Boys & Girls Bowling: Kevin Eagan

•Alpine Skiing: Kelly Fredrickson

Principal Miller shared with the board about homecoming. He said that West Valley brought its 7th through 12th grade students over for the Pep Rally. “It was nice to see that gymnasium full,” said Miller.

The West Valley School had a Fall Formal and named a King and Queen who were recognized at the rally. Miller says that the Homecoming Dance was also open to the students from the other schools, and it was the biggest turn out for a dance that he remembers.

“We had 165 kids in the cafeteria. Kids from the other schools were mingling with our kids, and they all got along great.”

The next meeting of the ECS School Board will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library.