Joe Guidice, from Kreisler Borg Florman the construction company doing the work on the elementary schools in the district spoke at the Oct. 16 board of education meeting about the delays that have been occurring primarily at Stewart School, but also to a degree at Stratford.
Guidice noted that although the delays are continuing their company is still optimistic that they will be able to turn over the additions at Stewart by mid-November. He added that there have been some minor delays at Stratford but they are further along than they are at Stewart.
If the additions are turned over to the district by mid-November, there will still be work that needs to be done on those areas in order to complete the project. Guidice noted that the construction would be substantially complete but there may be small things that can be done when the students are not in the classroom.
The board then discussed the plans for the middle school project, which they were going out to bid on the following day. They hope to start the new additions as soon as possible and then do the rest of the work during the summer in order to have the least impact on the educational process. The district is confident that the new additions will be up by September.
In other district news, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen Leitman, in response to concerns from parents that class sizes in the primary and elementary schools are too high, announced that at the Oct. 3 Policy Review meeting, they discussed class size and collected studies about the impact that class size has on education.
Leitman noted that what the studies say is that unless you reduce the class size to 15 students or less, there really is no impact. He added that they will look into class size at the primary schools further but they found that in the elementary schools the whole class is only together in the classroom for three out of eight periods of the day, so the class size in those other five periods is significantly less when students are in band, or some other special program.
Leitman said that he will be making some recommendations in Kindergarten and first grade, including possibly sharing aides to reduce the load on the teachers for larger classes. He added that in the future he will be making some specific recommendations for particular classrooms.
At the board of education meeting a parent questioned the safety of the water at Locust School and the middle school, where parents have been complaining about the groundwater. Tim Alneida, director of building and grounds for the district explained that what is happening is that rust is coming out in the water at Locust and Hemlock and most recently at the middle school.
Alneida explained that when the village began chlorinating its water supply it caused rust to form in the pipes and those pipes have begun scaling. The district has contacted the county and some possible solutions are being looked into. Bottled water is available for the students at the affected schools.