School board addresses lockers, social issues

B y Jaime Thomas

Despite talk of poor results on some recent state tests, Granville school officials were unable to discuss the matter at a meeting Monday night.

“Some of the data is embargoed, and we can’t present it,” Superintendent Mark Bessen said, referring to mandates by the education commissioner of New York state. However, Bessen did say the commissioner said to expect this year to be a “benchmark year.”

“The commissioner warned it’ll be shocking statewide. We don’t know what the data is in our region, and we don’t know what the data is in our state. It’s going to be a shocker for a lot of people,” Bessen said.

Though the school board created a committee at last month’s meeting specifically to deal with low math test scores, they will discuss the issue further at a public workshop and meeting on Monday, Aug. 26, when the results will be available.

Lockers, social issues

School Board President John Shaw reported to the board that the building committee met and has so far received several “ballpark” figures for updating the boys locker room. In previous meetings Shaw said the boys destroyed the lockers, and other board members agreed to remedy the situation.

The board has to decide whether to opt for new lockers, which are so far estimated to cost over $50,000 or refurbished, which would be just over $16,000. The price for new lockers would also vary depending on what quality the district purchases.

Some board members said it made sense to replace the lockers if they are already spending the money, while others thought it made sense to get them refurbished, in case the whole process needs to take place again in several years.

In the end, the board requested samples be brought in for the next meeting.

Another new task force that did meet was a social issues committee.

“We looked at areas that are very concerning—feelings children had of not feeling connected, depression, substance abuse, harming themselves—we need to do a little more in the area of resiliency,” Bessen said, adding that the group talked with social workers and interns.

Appointments, resignations

Also during the meeting, the board made a number of appointments and accepted several resignations.

Upon the recommendation of Bessen, who said she excelled in her interview, the board approved Kristen Constantineau as new math teacher, with a salary of $47,449. And to replace Camille Harrelson, who recently became junior and high school principal, the board appointed Colleen Jennings as director of special education, with a salary of $78,000.

Other appointments included Victoria Ingelston as bus driver and monitor, Mike Lee as custodian, Daniel Ranney as a substitute teacher, Mike Lee as a bus driver and Barbara Black as a nurse. The soccer coaches were shifted around a bit, so Daniel Brayton will now coach boys junior varsity soccer instead of varsity, and Jay Condon will coach modified boys soccer instead of junior varsity.

Lance Jordan, a physical education teacher, and Kristyn Hammond and Lori DuFrain, special education teachers, resigned effective Aug. 31, as did teaching assistant Cynthia Roberts, effective Sept. 3.

The next board of education meeting will take place Monday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m.

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