T he Whitehall School District is financially sound.
That was the message school officials delivered during Monday’s monthly Board of Education meeting. Prior to the meeting, members of the Finance and Audit Committee met and reviewed the findings from a recently completed audit that found the district to be compliant with all government regulations.
“The auditor couldn’t be complimentary enough of Ms. (Jodi) Bradshaw and Mr. (James) Watson and how they are handling the school’s finances and managing the budget,” George Armstrong reported to the board.
Despite the satisfactory report, the district will have Alan Prindle conduct an internal audit at the beginning of the New Year.
In other matters, high school Principal Kelly McHugh asked the board to consider Whitehall’s enrollment in a new BOCES Marine Academy.
The program which is set to begin next fall, and will be held at Ticonderoga High School would be a two year program aimed at providing instruction in the field of boat repair.
McHugh said Dean of Students Gregg Chappell attended an Open House event and came away very impressed with the program.
However, the program could potentially cost the district an additional $28,000 in transportation costs and Bradshaw said that because the program is offered through a different BOCES program and would represent a cross contract, the district would need to determine whether there was a difference in the cost of tuition.
McHugh said she brought the matter before the board because of the increased cost to the district.
Board President Mark Deluca said the board would consider the program but have a lot of other things to consider in light of escalating costs and a loss of federal and state funding.
Vice President Virginia Rivette asked the McHugh if it was possible to spread the cost of transportation among several school districts by pooling resources with Fort Ann and Granville, an option McHugh said she would explore.
McHugh also told the board that two dozen students are preparing for a trip to Costa Rica in late February or early March.
The trip would last several days and several chaperones would travel with the students.
“We’ve had great success the last few years with the trip,” said McHugh. “There’s a whole agenda, it’s a very organized trip.”
Armstrong asked the board if they would consider granting permission to Chris Gibson, Tony Jordan and Betty Little to use the school as a forum for a town hall meeting.
Armstrong said he has spoke with people in Gibson’s office and they are interested in holding an event in Whitehall and needed a location. The event would be held sometime next month.
Armstrong said he would try and determine an exact date and work with music teacher Chris Palmer to select a date that doesn’t interfere with any music and band performances that may be held in the auditorium.