Marathon BOE discusses district’s safety plan; hears about outcomes report

(Photo Source: Chelsea Horak of The Cortland Voice).

The Marathon Central School District Board of Education (BOE) met at Appleby Elementary recently to have a public forum on the district safety plan and hear about the outcomes report for the K-12 Counseling and Guidance plan.

Marathon BOE’s next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Junior-Senior High School Library.

School Safety

The board presented the Comprehensive District Safety Plan for discussion, which includes emergency response procedures for situations including natural, technological, and biological hazards, and adversarial, incidental, and human-caused threats. The safety plan outlines the general responsibilities of all district members during an emergency, including specifics for students, parents, teachers, nurses, secretaries, custodians, cafeteria workers and others. 

New York State regulations require the plan to be reviewed annually and updated as needed.  Updates this year included revising the Safety Team and Chain of Command sections to reflect current members. The state also provides guidance on how many drills are conducted, including early dismissals and a recommended four lockdown drills a year. The plan can be viewed online via the district’s BoardDocs page.

Outcomes Report

The board also heard from Kathleen Hoyt, director of instruction for the district, who presented on the Annual Outcome Review. The review looks at factors including rates of chronic absenteeism, course failures, discipline reports, and graduation rate, as well as reporting on how the district did at meeting indicators for its counseling program.

Of the 317 students who attended the Jr/Sr High School last year, about 100 students generated over 400 referrals for discipline. Over 300 of those referrals came from the 7-8th grade levels. Dr. Hoyt pointed out that the last normal year of school that students in those grades’ levels experienced would have been fourth grade, noting that the pandemic has had an impact on social and emotional development on students everywhere. 

With a graduating class of 49 students in 2022, Marathon had a graduation rate of 85.7% in June when 42 students earned their diplomas. However, there are hopes to see that percentage go up as students complete summer school or finish their GED. As of the time the report was presented, 48/49 students had plans to complete their high school education. 

The counseling program saw improvements this year, with more indicators being met as Covid-related restrictions eased. The program focuses on preparing students for their future education and career goals, including social and emotional development. Activities such as college visits and career days had been canceled in previous years due to the pandemic, but have been able to resume or have virtual alternatives established.