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Car sparks new approach to driver’s ed

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CHATHAM – The Chatham School District may own a driver’s education car soon, Superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo announced at a board meeting on Tuesday, May 24. The district currently contracts with a driving school for the car and the instruction, though it pays insurance for the students to take the course.

Ms. Nuciforo said the school has been working with McKay Driving School for the driver’s education program, with students required to pay a fee for the class. She said Mr. McKay was restructuring his company and said he would donate the car the school is currently using to the school. She said the car would not add any expenses to the program, which costs over $300 a student, the amount students pay to take the course.

Board members discussed having the car approved by the state Education Department and the possibility of having to pay for a new car in the future. An instructor would be a part-time position with a stipend for a current teacher.

“I have every confidence that it will pass the inspection,” Ms. Nuciforo said of the car. She said that when the time comes that the car can no longer be used, the board will have to discuss buying a new one.

Also at last week’s meeting:

*The board formally accepted the $27 million budget that passed on May 17 at the annual vote. The voters also approved and the board accepted a bus purchase proposition for one new 66-passagner bus bought with funds already set aside by the district. And the board welcomed write-in candidate James Cartin to the board. James Totento and Francis Iaconetti also won reelection this month. James Marks, who was appointed to the board this year, won a seat on the board but will have to wait until the July organizational meeting to be sworn in.

*Now that voters have approved having a student representative on the board for next year, Taylor Wenk, the current student representative to the board, said the student government will conduct interviews with the final three student candidates and make a recommendation to the board.

*The board accepted the retirement of several senior staff members. Ms. Nuciforo said there was a lot of experience among them. They are: Susan Jackson, food service helper; Thomas Borgen, science teacher; Diane Trainor, special education teacher; Nancy Piaggione, teacher; Wendy Zwingelberg, school nurse; Camille Freedner, teaching assistant; and Harold “Bud” Piester, laborer. Sandra Lynn, a teacher, will retire in June of 2013. All the other retirements will be effective June 30.

*The board also heard from high school representatives that Science Department received its certification in Project Lead the Way and students can get college credit for taking the course.

*Kristen Clark of the Kid’s Club, an afterschool and summer childcare program that uses the school buildings, told the board the club is applying for a license from the state to take more students and expand the program to 5th and 6th graders.

Board member Melony Spock said she heard parents of older students express interest in the program. “I think it’s great that you’ve worked something out accommodate them,” she said.

The next board meeting is June 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the High School Library.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapapercom.

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