Holley school officials eager to see governor’s aid projections, find more school bus drivers

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 12 January 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Kristina Gabalski – Fourth grade teacher Karin Richards, her student Landin Chaffee and Elementary School Assistant Principal Ashley John Grillo are pictured at Monday’s Board of Education meeting after Landin was recognized for his good character.

HOLLEY – Sharon Zacher, Holley Central School’s assistant superintendent for business, says school officials will be watching closely on Wednesday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes his State of the State address.

“We are anxiously awaiting it to get a handle on what will go between him and legislators,” she said in her report Monday evening during the regular meeting of the Holley Central School Board of Education.

Zacher additionally told board members she has begun work to determine where the tax cap will be for the district in the upcoming budget year. Due to “carry over,” Zacher said she anticipates the allowable increase in the levy could be up to 2.5 percent. The district will have to determine by March 1 if it will vote to override the tax cap, she said.

Board members and district officials will begin work on the preliminary budget for 2016-17 on Feb. 1.

Zacher mentioned to board members the district might want to consider participating in a survey being compiled by Transportation Advisory Services, a consulting firm, regarding the possible regional sharing of certain school transportation services.

Districts around the region are finding it “tough to get bus drivers,” Zacher noted. The survey might result in programs that would “help all districts having trouble … it’s something everybody is having an issue with,” she said. Substitute driver pools was an example cited by Zacher as a potential shared program.

“It can’t hurt to participate in the study,” District Superintendent Robert D’Angelo said.

The district would have to pay $1,600 to participate in the survey, but Zacher said there is aid available to help with the cost.

In other business, Board of Education members recognized fourth grader Landin Chaffee, 9, with the monthly Soaring to New Heights Award for “his tremendous character.”

Elementary School Assistant Principal Ashley John Grillo presented the award saying Landin heard about a child in the eastern part of New York State who had suffered the loss of her father and three siblings in a fire and was asking that people send her cards for Christmas.

“Landin started a discussion amongst his peers which lead to a class project to assist the child. He showed selfless compassion and true leadership,” Grillo said.

“The effort became contagious,” said Landin’s teacher, Karin Richards. “The entire fourth grade got involved.”