By Caitlin Croft

The Ellicottville Central School Board of Education heard a presentation during its May 29 meeting on the students’ recent trip to Costa Rica.

Teacher Jamie Edwards showed a four-minute video with snippets from the trip, explaining how the students were immersed in their culture by experiencing their cuisine, wildlife, language and outdoor activities. They also were educated on the plant life in Costa Rica and learned to salsa dance.

Edwards’ favorite part was watching the kids grow over the nine-day trip. Some hadn’t even been on a plane before and it was rewarding to see the change. Edwards would like to hold off on the 2020 trip proposal, as the teacher she coordinated this trip with is retiring and would like to wait until a replacement is found and it can be a collaborative effort.

During his superintendent’s report, Robert Miller noted the minimum teacher days has been met for the 2018-19 school year. The elementary school will begin to release students at 1:30 instead of noon.

During his report, middle/high school principal Erich Ploetz discussed the Awards Banquet, as it was his first time attending one and being the emcee. Of all the banquets he has been to, this one was by far the nicest, he said. He recognized how good it was for the younger students to see the older ones getting these awards, as it acts as a motivator for them. It was also nice to see the parents dressed up.

Ploetz thanked the band for performing on Memorial Day at the Town/Village Hall for their service. Upcoming events are a band competition at Darien Lake, prom at HoliMont, Athletic Awards at Holiday Valley and the band concert.

Committee Reports – Athletic Report: A survey for coaches will be going around regarding sending teams to summer camps. There will be research into whether the Varsity Club can offset some of the costs. They are working on sports team apparel guidelines so that students don’t have to pay so much out of pocket for items such as warm ups, sweatshirts or duffle bags. There is communication with the Sports Boosters on how to get the athletes more involved with fundraising. There was discussion regarding the Athletic Banquet format. Last there is a draft for providing transportation to athletic events when there is five or less students attending the event. When it is complete it will be sent out to the parents of the athletes.

Discussion Items: The New York State School Board Conference is coming up in October and Miller would like the board to start thinking about it and if they are available to attend. Miller is working with a team to put together a request for proposal to send out for a financial advisor. They want to collect proposals and see what direction to go to better streamline capital projects.

During new business, the board approved motions to:

• change the date of the July 10 reorganizational meeting to July 9;

• renew the Capital Reserve Account;

• approve the following the rate of $10.40/hour for cleaners and bus garage workers; and

• approve the 2018 ECS Youth Soccer Camp.

Personnel: There was a motion to grant Mrs. Catherine Nason tenure; a second and ayes carried. There was a motion to grant Mrs. Lillian Lechner tenure; there was a second and ayes carried. Nason is a business teacher and Lechner is in the art department. There was a motion to approve Chris Mendell as the Summer Driver Education teacher at ECS for a salary of $33/hour; there was a second and ayes carried.

At the beginning of the meeting, the school board opened with public comment from Frank Watson, a resident of Great Valley. He wants the school board to consider his son for Pre-K this coming fall. He misses the cut off date by three days.

Through research Watson has done he claims there are exceptions to the rule. His son completed Ms. Steinbroner’s class and has an email recommendation from her stating that he is ready for Pre-K. Watson’s daughter is in the Elementary School and he loves this district and what the education thus far has done for his daughter. Watson does not want to see his son’s education halted due to this deadline issue. The Board thanked Watson for his comments will consider the matter and get back to him.

The next meeting of the Ellicottville School Board will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 5 in the school library.