Annual maintenance and policy review focus of New Sweden School Board meeting

12 years ago

By Lisa Wilcox
Staff Writer

NEW SWEDEN — Minor maintenance issues and policy review were the focus of the New Sweden School Board’s monthly meeting held on Sept. 13.

After routine review of the school’s financial statement and approval of the minutes from last month’s meeting, Principal Laurie Spooner delivered her report, in which she advised that the after-school care program they implemented at the beginning of the school year was going strong.

According to Spooner, there are eight students enrolled in the program on a regular basis and they seem to be enjoying it a great deal. The children have been participating in activities such as nature walks and have been getting help with their homework. Many toys and games were donated by the school’s staff to help keep the students occupied during their time in after-school care. Laurie Molton, who has extensive day-care and teaching experience, was hired as the program’s facilitator. Spooner said Molton has transitioned easily into the position and is doing a great job.

The board then engaged in a second reading of policies regarding students’ use of the school’s Internet and dress codes. After review of some of the wording of both policies, they agreed to some minor changes and will conduct a third and final reading at the next meeting.

The decision to add another step on the school secretary’s pay scale was then reviewed and approved. The board felt an addition of a 25-year step was necessary, as the current scale ended at 15 years and the school’s secretary, Kitty Doar, has exceeded that timeframe.

Board Chair Debbie Eustis-Grandy then brought up the topic of consolidating the New Sweden and Woodland schools. She advised that she and School Union 122’s Interim Superintendent Roland Caron met with members of Woodland’s school board regarding the issue and Woodland is still a bit leery of going ahead with the consolidation, but is at least willing to discuss it. Eustis-Grandy mentioned that the two boards are looking at organizing a brainstorming retreat so that everyone can provide some input on the concept. They would also like to include representatives from Westmanland and possibly Stockholm in the retreat.

“It will be a chance for everyone to get to know one another. It would be in everyone’s best interest to know who sits across the table from them,” Caron commented about the usefulness of the retreat.

Discussion then turned to some maintenance issues concerning the school building and grounds that should be addressed over the course of the year and what to do with the school’s 1998 bus that is no longer running. Its parts can be salvaged to use on their 2003 bus if necessary, but the quandary is where to store the 1998. It was ultimately decided that the bus would be kept at the school and maintenance work would be completed as needed and budget allowed.

The next school board meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the New Sweden school.