School Board Reviews Capital Improvement Work

The storage building in the athletic complex at Westfield Academy and Central School is one of two that are planned to be razed. Submitted photo

WESTFIELD — Westfield Academy and Central School Board members recently discussed the district’s capital improvement project.

District Superintendent Michael Cipolla said the team met last week and discussed several possible projects.

“The capital project came in well under bid,” he said. “We’re utilizing the building condition survey to prioritize addition improvements.”

Cipolla said the team discussed installing netting on the underside of the canopy in front of the building to deter birds from nesting there.

“There is a fairly high success rate with the use of the netting,” he said.

The team also talked about replacing water fountains with water bottle stations. Another topic discussed was carpet replacement which, Cipolla noted, is badly needed.

Cipolla also reminded the board that two buildings in the athletic complex will be demolished. The decision to raze the press box and the storage building was made several months ago when it was determined that the cost of repairing the structures was prohibitively high.

The school board also approved a resolution recently permitting students to go without masks when outside. Before passing the resolution, Cipolla told board members that earlier in the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts could allow students to remove masks outdoors. He noted that guidance on mask use indoors remains the same. The decision to allow no masks outside for children aligns New York state’s guidance with CDC regulations on mask use outdoors, he said.

Cipolla also told the board that statistics indicate that the risk of transmission by children is very low and, at the present time, the state has a low positivity rate.

“We are moving in the right direction,” he said. “It’s a positive move and we should embrace it.”

Meanwhile, Elementary Principal Mary Rockey told board members that in order for a child to attend summer school, there must be evidence of academic regression. She said that 87 students are eligible for summer school.

“We anticipate 80 in attendance; four out of district and 76 at WACS,” she said.

Summer school will operate very much like it did last year, Rockey said.

“It’s valuable for most children,” she said. “I’ll let you know the final numbers when we have them.”

Certified teachers Victoria Snyder, Christopher Kelley, Kimberly Alonge and Lon Knappenberger, were approved by board members for the summer School Program for sixth through eighth grades. The board also approved bus drivers and bus monitors for the Extended School Year Program, July 6 through August 18, 2021.

In other business, director of curriculum Molly Anderson told the board that she and the teachers have been trying to find a bridging curriculum for fourth and fifth grade students for ELA. She said they found a pilot program which they believe will work well.

Anderson said she has received many suggestions from teachers regarding their preferences for professional development. Based on these recommendations, summer offerings for teachers will include the mechanics of early handwriting, grade level alignment, department alignment, goal-setting and independent curriculum development.


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