Construction surprises at Indian Lake school meeting

— At this point some concern was raised by Board Vice President David Harrington regarding whether the additional asbestos abatement would jeopardize the funding of the generator (estimated at $115,000 installed), that is central to the project’s providing emergency shelter for the community. This question cannot be addressed until the additional abatement costs are unveiled.

Further surrounding the abatement and the start of school, the question of student safety was raised and Superintendent Mark Brand assured other members of the board that the air quality is being continuously monitored to address student safety. Also, partitions have been strategically constructed around the project to address safety of students.

During Principal David Snide’s report, he updated the Board on the field trips for the coming year. During this update, discussions began surrounding the value of such experiential education and the fact that a trend might ensue as teacher evaluations become more closely connected to the academic progress of their students. It was thought that such experiential education may meet with greater push-back on the part of teachers with demands that lost class time due to field trips be given an opportunity to be made up, as there may be a movement to maximize instructional time.

Snide also reviewed the overall student testing results with the Board. He covered the nuances of the scores and how they are used to customize instruction to the needs of students.

“We are making some gains versus other schools, but we are not getting our students all up into the 3s and 4s, and that is what we need to look at doing,” Snide said.

The principal closed by making the point that all the teachers work hard at getting all the students through to graduation and that this is something that deserves recognition.

Other business

Meade Hutchins addressed the Board with a recommendation that they consider updating the Aged Tax Exemption Limits by Income to be more in line with those of the town. He presented a printed comparison of the limits as they currently exist and highlighted the fact that the School District Exemption Limits were last visited in March 1995 vs. those of the town being last updated in March 2005.

Further, Hutchins reminded the Board that they could adopt such an update by resolution and the exemption limits could be on a sliding scale basis.

Voorhees was supported by a number of other Board members in wanting to get some consultation going with the community and some rationalization for any actions before they are taken.

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