KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane school board held a reception this week to recognize the teachers and administrators granted tenure. The board also heard a presentation from 8th graders who just returned from a whirlwind trip to Washington, DC, where they were escorted onto the floor of the House of Representatives by Congressmen Chris Gibson.
After that, the board used its November 15 workshop meeting to discuss whether to offer residents the option of paying their school taxes in three installments over several months. The board also talked about the study under way of a possible merger with the neighboring Schodack district and how to present data to the public in budget forums, which will start in January. The full schedule of the forums is on the district website, www.ichabodcrane.org.
Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick said the first forum will most likely be about results from a transportation study the district is conducting. The study will talk about the feasibility of going to a one-bell bus system. Adopting a one-bell system would mean the school day starts and ends at the same for all students, with only one bus run each morning and evening; the current practice is to stagger bus schedule so that older and younger students do not ride the bus at the same time.
Mr. Bordick said the transportation study should be completed by the board’s next meeting Tuesday, December 6. The board will also discuss a two-bell system instead of the three-bell system now used.
Board member Thomas Neufeld said he had been looking into information about the district offering residents the option to pay their school taxes in installments. Mr. Neufeld said that the county and some of towns and villages in the district already offer this service to taxpayers.
But several board members and Mr. Bordick worried that installment payments would create an added expense for the district. The superintendent said setting up the plan could cost around $25,000 because the district would need to hire someone part time to handle the payments. He also said it could throw off borrowing processes the district goes through with banks before taxes are collected. And, he said, many of the tax payments to the district already come through escrow accounts, which means the bank handles payments for taxpayers.
Board member John Chandler worried the majority of taxpayers would take this option and it would be too much for district to organize. “It would be a fine thing to do if we could find a third party,” he said of arranging for taxpayers to work with private banks on a payment plan.
Mr. Neufeld said it was something he hoped they could offer to residents on fixed incomes or to those who need to time to pay their bills. He stressed that other municipalities already offer payment plans for taxes. He plans to gather more information for later board workshop meetings.
The merger study continues between Schodack and ICC. Mr. Bordick said the committee looking into the study will be meeting again in December and the report should go to the state for review in January.
“We are in conversation if this goes to a straw vote,” Mr. Bordick said of his talks with Schodack administrators about the first of six public votes that would have to be held before the two school districts could merge. No decisions have been made on merging the districts, but Mr. Bordick said school officials want to be ready to present the idea to the public.
The districts are looking at consolidating special education programs now at Questar III as well as some administrative duties. The next meeting of the committee will be posted on the website and will be hosted by ICC.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ICC teachers earn tenure
KINDERHOOK — The Ichabod Crane Central School District teachers who received tenure and were honored at the November 15 Board of Education meeting are:
Elizabeth Cousineau, Amanda DeAloe, Cori Drummond, Meredith Freebern, Ingrid Monaghan, Justin Pangie, Maureen Sgambelluri and Timothy Stewart.
David Manarel, Mary Middleton, Jacob Pateraude, Patricia Rathke, Dara Rexhouse and Kim Zorki.
Elementary, Primary School
Jessica Gardella, Elizabeth Kelly, Susan Mallery, Lauren Miller, Kristin Saccento, Katherine Snyder, Joan White, Elizabeth Addison, Alanna Almstead, Kelly Bifano, Jaime Eastman, Kelley Fahey, Sandra Funk, Christianne Schertel, Erin Shull and Michele Webb.
Timothy Farley and Shannon Shine.