Repairs underway at Penn Yan Schools

Gwen Chamberlain

Contractors have begun work on repairs to areas damaged by the May flooding in Penn Yan Schools and on the property.

During a brief report at the Board of Education meeting Aug. 6, Interim Superintendent Howard Dennis and Cathy Milliman, assistant superintendent for business, reported that workers from City Hill Construction have begun work on the grounds. That work includes repairs to the driveway from Liberty Street to the bus garage, which has been closed since May 14. It also includes some preliminary work around the turf field in preparation for the turf field specialists who were expected to begin work either Aug. 8 or Aug. 11.

Work on the gymnasium floor in the middle school has also begun with the removal of the affected area. New material has been ordered, and restorative work should begin in September.

Milliman said she had just learned the district’s insurance company is issuing a check for $92,000. She also said school district officials met with representatives of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin the process to apply for funds.

Dennis and Milliman told the board members architects have completed a building survey and will report at the next meeting on recommendations for small, manageable projects to maintain facilities using existing reserves. If the board agrees with the proposed project(s), it will need to adopt a referendum, schedule public meetings and hearings and an election.

Other business on the board’s agenda Aug. 6 included:

• ATHLETIC CODE OF CONDUCT: The board approved revisions to the 2014-2015 Athletic Handbook. Athletic Director Tobin Tansey reviewed the revisions, explaining most changes were to clarify statements in the document. He said the Code of Conduct was reviewed by student athletes who made some suggestions. A code of conduct for spectators was added, and information about lines of communication was clarified.

• SPECIAL EDUCATION: Richard Shaver, director of Special Education, reported on the program’s statistics, and said the district will need an additional teaching assistant because of the increased number of students in programs. He said this year’s kindergarten class is larger than previous classes, and it includes 16 children who will require services.

Shaver reported on the district’s special education standings among 25 area schools. Penn Yan ranks in the lead of all the districts for the integration rate of special education students, and the cost per pupil for special education in Penn Yan is among the lowest in the area. At just under $30,000 per pupil, only seven other districts rank lower in cost.

He said the approximate cost of a teaching assistant is $40,000 per year while the cost to send one pupil to a BOCES program can fall between $63,000 and $72,000.

Later in the meeting, the board approved the creation of a teaching assistant position.

• DONATIONS: The board accepted donations, including $1,615.69 from Victor Intermediate School’s Student Council “Pennies for Penn Yan” campaign for the Penn Yan Elementary Student Council.