A wide range of skills and programs at Oakside Elementary School was highlighted Tuesday, Feb. 7, as the Peekskill Board of Education opened its workshop meeting with the latest presentation in its Talented Students series.
The PowerPoint show, introduced by a delegation of students, teachers and administrators, featured highlights of the current school year, including a talent show, dress for success and teaching through technology. Ironically, technology unexpectedly showed its downside when a computer glitch halted the presentation after nine minutes. It is expected to be rescheduled.
Principal Mary Foster invited school officials and members of the community to visit the school, on Decatur Avenue off Main Street, to see the youngsters’ accomplishments first hand.
In other action Tuesday:
- The district is looking at a $3 million gap between anticipated revenue and expenses as it prepares the first draft of a budget for the 2012-13 school year. Superintendent of Schools James Willis said the district is trying to close the gap without staff reductions through line-by-line cuts, tapping the fund balance and possibly bonding funds for tax certiorari cases.
- In the wake of a recommendation by transportation consultant Louis J. “Lou” Boffardi during the board’s Jan. 24 meeting, Gregory Sullivan, assistant superintendent for business, will contact Mile Square Transportation about the way the company bills the schools for its services.
- Sullivan told the board that refinancing district bonds at a lower interest rate would not be worth the expense of the process, since little bonded indebtedness is eligible for refinancing. He explained that bonds often are exempt from refinancing for a minimum time to make them more attractive to investors.
- Entergy, the company that operates the Indian Point nuclear power complex in Buchanan, presented a check for $30,000 for the Science in the 21st Century program, in which new technology enables students to study science in new ways. For example, instead of a teacher merely explaining how a green plant absorbs carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, a class can monitor varying carbon dioxide levels in a jar with a plant inside it.
- Board member Lisbeth Bock received an achievement award from the New York State School Boards Association for leadership development training.
- Peekskill resident George Ondeck, voicing during the hearing of citizens a desire for “quality education at reasonable cost,” urged the district to pursue in-house special education as a less costly alternative to sending students to programs outside the district.
- Ondeck criticized as “cruel and heartless” some suggestions during a Jan. 26 joint meeting of the board and the Peekskill Common Council to control the community’s Canada geese and their impact on fields and other public areas. Suggestions included “de-egging” nests and having a trained dog chase the geese. “People go to the waterfront to see waterfowl,” Ondeck said. “It’s wrong to fine people for feeding geese.”