The Marathon Central School Board of Education (BOE) met in the school library to make several updates, hear about the summer program, and get a student’s perspective on the start of the school year.
Marathon’s next BOE meeting is slated for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
This was the first meeting for Marathon interim superintendent William Locke and new board member Derek Hartman. Hartman is joining the board after being voted in during the special election held on Aug. 17.
The board heard an update about the search for an appropriate candidate for a School Resource Officer (SRO), which has hit a roadblock. The potential candidates were to be provided by the Cortland County Sheriff’s office, but they are currently short-staffed and unable to spare an officer for that type of commitment. The district is suspending its search for at least the foreseeable future, and may revisit the topic when more resources are available.
Board Handbook Removed
The BOE voted to get rid of their Board of Education Handbook entirely, opting instead to follow policies and procedures which are currently in place. The reasoning behind the change was stated to be that policies cover everything that the handbook would, making it obsolete.
The district’s lead attorney has relocated to Florida, but remains with the law firm the district uses. The firm has given the district the option of remaining with that particular attorney, who has been their lead contact for several years, or being assigned to another partner within the firm who lives closer to the district. The BOE voted to go with a new lawyer with current ties to the community and ready access to any files or resources needed to serve the schools.
Patricia Trabucco presented on the summer school program, which she described as more of an enrichment program than a traditional mandatory summer school. The program hosted 120 students from UPK-6th grade, and with the help of federal funding was able to expand their days by 2 hours from previous years. This same funding is available to support the same amount of time next year, but years after that may need to return to the previous schedule. Due to the longer days, the program was also able to provide breakfast and lunches to students.
In addition to the usual reading and math instruction provided, students were also able to participate in STEM and Agricultural classes through Cornell Cooperative Extension. Students got in some physical activity as well, with swimming once a week at the YWCA. There was also instruction on fire safety, and a trip to the Broome County Fair.
Student Ex-Officio BOE Member Audrey Jasper provided some insight into the student experience of returning to school. Jasper expressed that schedules and supply lists had not yet been received, putting families in a time crunch to get their back-to-school shopping done. Those documents had been sent in the mail the day of the meeting, but the board noted the strain the timing would put on families and took it under advisement for the future.
Jasper also pointed out that although some Advanced Placement (AP) courses would have assignments due before regular classes begin, as of the day of the meeting students did not have access to their school laptops in order to receive and complete those assignments. The board took the opportunity to let her and other students know that they do currently have access to their lockers, where the laptops are waiting, which had not previously been communicated.
Classes will begin Tuesday, following Labor Day weekend.