SPRING VALLEY — Hall High School students facing behavioral challenges will not be sent out of district next year.
During Wednesday’s meeting, the Hall Board of Education voted to create a behavioral disorder program to be housed at Hall. Currently students with behavior issues are sent to the B.E.S.T. program, located at Cherry Grade School.
“We have been working with staff members from the BMP Special Education Cooperative, and we have a plan in place for implementation in August 2017,” said Hall Superintendent Mike Struna.
Last year Hall sent three students to the Cherry program for approximately $90,000. In January, the board decided to move forward with the creation of a program. By housing the program at Hall, Principal Jesse Brandt explained extra help can be given to other students who are on the edge of expulsion; the program can also help get students who are deficient in credits caught up.
Brandt projected five Hall students would have been sent to B.E.S.T. next year which would cost at least $120,000. Brandt plans on using two classrooms and hiring a behavioral disorder teacher which will actually be a cost savings to the district.
Other benefits of housing the program at Hall include being able to use the program for more students: students not having such a long bus ride; and students being able to become part of Hall High School with the ability to participate in activities with peers.
Struna said if the program is successful next year, then the district may be able to open it up to out-of-district students in the future.
In other business:
• The board heard an update from Struna on the state budget and the effect it is having on Hall. Struna reviewed the historical revenue and expenditure data which shows the district spending $1.1 million less than in 2010, even though there are 50 more students now. Per student spending has decreased from $16,623 in 2010 to an estimated $12,000 this year.
• The Tax Freeze Enterprise Zone (TFEZ) Extension was discussed. Struna said the current TFEZ agreement is set to expire on June 30, which means businesses currently in the TFEZ zone that have not been in the zone for the past 10 years will have to begin paying property taxes this year, if taxing bodies do not adopt the extension. The TFEZ has been extended until Dec. 31, 2031, so approval by Hall High School means any businesses that move into the TFEZ within the next 14 years will get 10 years of property tax exemption. The board approved the TFEZ extension agreement as presented.
• Gene Azarskis of the Hall Bowling Booster Club presented the board a check for $3,000 to help continue the bowling program. Azarskis said the club held a 50/50 drawing which made a $2,250 profit and also had sponsors purchase space on a banner that is hanging in the bowling alley which earned the club an additional $2,000. The club paid the fees for the bowling team to attend several tournaments this year.
• The board also accepted a donation of $176 from Heartland Bank. This money was for free throws made during boys’ and girls’ basketball games. The board recognized Heartland Bank has donated approximately $3,500 to Hall High School during the past five years for the touchdown and free throw programs, as well as their pride debit cards.
• The following non-tenured teachers were hired for the 2017-18 school year: Giovanni Alfano, Brandon Czubachowski, Elissa Dolan, Annie Frasco, Hugo Heredia, Brian Holman, Susan Lucas, Theresa Sartain, Robert Whitcher and Dawn Williams.
Joe Furlan, Steve Smith and Nick Guerrini were hired as assistant football coaches for 2017-18 season. Ann Maller, Patti Lunn, Mike Filippini and Nick Nack were hired as summer school staff.
The board accepted with regret the resignation of Rob Malerk as assistant girls’ basketball coach.
• A special board meeting is scheduled for April 27 for the purpose of seating and reorganization of the new board after the election.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting is at 6 p.m. April 19 in the library.
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