Cortland BOE listens in on library presentations; board finalizes May 17 propositions

(Photo from The Cortland Voice's photo files).

The Cortland Enlarged City School District (CECSD) Board of Education (BOE) held a meeting last week. 

The board heard presentations on the district libraries and voted to accept the results of the recent budget vote.

Growing Opportunity in Libraries 

The district’s libraries are making headway in expanding in a number of ways. The makerspace, which was established previously, but was unavailable for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be reopened and improved for next year. A survey of students revealed that they value this chance to be creative, and will use the library even more when it returns. 

Library materials have been the subject of diversity audits for a number of years to ensure that students are exposed to characters and authors from a variety of backgrounds, races, and experiences. The district has plans to continue to curate its materials to include a wider range of both characters and authors.  

Other goals include creating mission statements for the libraries in each school and establishing vertical alignment of curriculum through grade levels.

BOE accepts decision on voting propositions

The BOE formally accepted the final vote counts from May 17, which was “yes” on all five propositions. The 2022-2023 school budget, the purchase of buses, and an increase to the library tax were all approved, as well as the sale of the former Virgil school building. The board also looks forward to welcoming a new senior student member next year, as approved by voters. In addition to the new student member, Donald Chu and Joseph McMahon are also joining the board. Chu and McMahon will serve their terms until June 2025. 

The BOE would like to extend its thanks to the community of voters who turned out to make their voices heard this school year.

Celebrating the End of the School Year

The BOE heard about the success of the prom and afterparty. The presenter had chaperoned both events and thanked all of the students, parents and volunteers who all made it a safe and fun experience.

Also worth celebrating, an astounding 36 students from CECSD are accepting their associates degrees from Tompkins Cortland Community College before receiving their high school diplomas this month. Many more students are also graduating with college credit thanks to their hard work and the programs available through the district.

Work Continues

With the school year winding down, other work is picking up. Parking lot renovations at the Smith, Randall and (former) Parker school buildings are all ready to be underway. The library makerspace is also primed to be up and running before students return.

Also in process are revisions to the district safety plan, which will be ready for review by the BOE during its next meeting. Cortland trained 20 staff members during its latest round of CPR training, and has plans to include even more due to the level of interest.

The district is also working on its plan to begin making the switch to electric vehicles, which is scheduled to happen in 5 years with the help of federal funding. Planning will begin this summer. 

A Warm Welcome

The district had a visit from assemblymember Anna Kelles (D-Ithaca). Kelles was able to observe a rehearsal for the musical and learned about a modified version of dodgeball (though she declined to participate). The assemblymember also fielded questions from students, including questions about cryptocurrency.

The BOE also hopes to welcome several new staff members to the district, and brought up a number of openings which are still available to be filled. Positions include art teacher, instructional coach, speech pathologist, and several more. Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to visit the district website.