SHERMAN - The Sherman Central School District's Board of Education has approved reaching out to Ripley Central School with the possibility of offering a tuition rate to its students.
Kaine Kelly, Sherman superintendent, asked the board for permission to begin discussions with Karen Krause, Ripley superintendent, about Ripley students having the option of attending Sherman. Ripley is considering the possibility of tuitioning its students in seventh through 12th grades to Chautauqua Lake Central School.
"Maybe it's something we can at least talk about," Kelly told the board.
Sherman's tuition rate for out-of-district students is a little more than $2,000 per student, he said. Last year, Sherman sent a letter to Ripley expressing interest in helping provide options to its financial worries. Ripley declined the offer, however.
"We hope also to clear up any misconceptions Ripley may have about what we have to offer," Kelly said.
In other business, the board approved making a commitment to an energy study by Building Control and Services Inc. of Tonawanda. BCS will conduct a comprehensive energy study throughout the school buildings during the next few months
Many of the energy-saving possibilities BCS will evaluate are ones which were part of the district's current building project, but did not receive satisfactory bids to complete. As a result, district officials are discussing combining the energy-saving measures into a state-funded energy efficiency project in which the state monitors and approves companies that can prove they will provide energy savings.
If the assessment can substantiate significant energy savings and the district agrees to proceed, BCS will be able to employ contractors who have already been approved through the school's current building project, Kelly said. In this case the cost of the study will become part of the energy plan. If the district decides not to continue, it will have to pay the projected cost of $15,160 for the study, Kelly said.
He said the district could pick and choose what aspects of the assessment it would wish to complete.
"It's kind of simple for us because half of this stuff was already in our project," Kelly said.
Phase II of the current building project has been completed except for a few areas of tiling, Kelly told the board. The construction caused no problems with the opening of the school year.
"The kids came back to a school that was put back together," he said.
Phase III, which involves work at the main entrance, is proceeding rapidly, Kelly said. He noted the outdoor staircase to the band room, which needed to be replaced, turned into a greater job than expected because the school's main water and sewer lines ran directly through the concrete of the stairs.
In a related matter, the school accepted the resignation of building project manager Eugene Ingersol, who is moving. The board agreed to complete the project using the managers from the architectural firm who designed the project.
Cafeteria manager June Barringer reported the district will work to become certified under new federal guidelines for school lunches. The guidelines include minimum and maximum calorie intakes per lunch, greater requirements of fruit and vegetable servings, use of low-fat and fat-free milk only and a requirement that cafeteria workers must ensure students take a vegetable or fruit. If certified, the district would receive reimbursement of 6 cents per lunch.