Possible teacher assistant cuts discussed in Indian Lake

— The possible cuts of teacher assistant positions was discussed at the April 17 Indian Lake Central School Board of Education meeting.

Jane Hinckley addressed the Board regarding the open consideration of the termination of teacher assistants. She made the points that teacher assistants are the most flexible members of the faculty, are professionally certified, are able to help across areas of study and often work with the most challenging of students.

“Given the present day rigors,” Hinckley said, “there is actually an increase in demand for them.”

The point was made that their absence will result in lower test scores.

School Board President Jon Voorhees responded by making the point that such considerations are not undertaken lightly and that the value of these professionals is absolutely recognized. Voorhees went on to highlight that next year’s enrollment will be 140 students, revenues will be flat and expenditures will be on the rise.

“We have made no decision yet,” said Voorhees, “but given these realities, the issue remains on the table. We are faced with many unpleasant decisions with the way budgets are based. We need to adapt to the times or face having our existence as a district threatened.”

Board Vice President David Harrington made the point that these realities make it necessary to look at staffing and scheduling for all positions and not just focus on teacher assistants.

Hinckley closed her appeal to the Board by saying that the objective is to hopefully make the decision process “more of a conversation than a directive.”

Black Fly Challenge

During the meeting, Indian Lake Activities Coordinator Vonnie Liddle and organizers of the Black Fly Challenge asked the School Board if they could use the school grounds and facilities for the finish of this year’s race on June 9. The finish line of the race is to be at the Indian Lake Central School. The use of the school lawn, parking lot, gym (in the case of inclement weather) lockers and showers was discussed in detail. These uses were afforded in the past, as the race switches start and finish each year between Indian Lake and Inlet.

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