Sunday, February 25, 2018

Berlin School Board Action 

August 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Special Education In The District To Be Reviewed 
Town Tax Rate Per thousand
Berlin $ 58.23
Grafton $ 189.24
Petersburgh $ 26.83
Poestenkill $ 63.03
Stephentown $ 16.19
School Superintendent Dr. Stephen Young told the board the district is at full staffing except for one position, that of Director of Pupil Services. One of the duties associated with this position is watching over the needs of the special education program. Dr. Young asked the board for time to study whether a district the size of Berlin, really needs such a position, or should it be instead a Director of Special Education. He told the board now is the time to look at this. They agreed and asked the Superintendent to garner the input of staff and administratorts and report back in three months.
The board also agreed they would like to see the wooded area behind the former Grafton Elementary School turned into a nature preserve, and agreed with Board Member Jeff Paine’s suggestion that it be named after Grafton’s first settler, Abel Owen. Owen is credited with creating the first road from Troy to Williamstown, Massachusetts, a through fare now know as Route 2. The board previously voted to name the athletic fields at the former Stephentown Elementary School in honor of one of the town’s most famous residents, baseball star Elroy Face. That ceremony has now been scheduled for October 28, in coordination with the district’s Fall Festival.
Board Member Sherry Bowman-Kluck also raised the issue of what she labeled as dangerous locations along the school’s cross country track. In particular, tree roots above the ground that present a serious tripping hazard. Building & Grounds Superintendent Cyril Grant said he is aware of it, and that the district has tried to mitigate that somewhat by placing stone dust around the roots. That however has been washing away. Mr. Grant said the he, Athletic Director Josh Weaver and Cross Country Coach Josh Santarcangelo plan to walk the course, and report back to the district as to what may be done, including possible changing the path the runners use.
Board Member Katie Snyder reported that negotiations to hire the architectural firm Synthesis from Schenectady have stalled up over a single word in the contract, “tort”. This involves a wrongful act or infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to a civil legal liability. Just who might be responsible for such a liability is the subject of the debate. Ms. Snyder hopes the matter will be ironed out soon. The district wants hire the firm to guide them in a capital project that involves the transportation facility, both schools and grounds.
Because of space concerns, the remainder of this report will appear in next week’s issue. 


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