WACS approves final version of new policy manual

WESTFIELD – After years of hard work, the Westfield Academy and Central School District now has an up-to-date policy manual.

The Westfield Board of Education passed its final group of policies on April 8 thus ending a four-year long process.

Board Vice President Steve Cockram explained a complete re-write was decided upon at that time because the district’s policy manual became outdated due to a period of administrative turnover. The board worked with BOCES policies services, and Westfield’s policy committee, consisting of Joy Bodenmiller, Tony Pisicoli and Jeanne Habig, took what BOCES had and what Westfield had and came up with a draft manual, which the board has adopted in groups over the past year.

Westfield was recently given the final draft, but still found some policies had been added without the district’s knowledge or the board’s approval while other policies had been left out. Therefore, the board passed the amended policies with the revisions fixing typos, corrections, additional policies and missing policies before ultimately passing the entire manual.

Board President Jeffrey Greabell thanked Cockram for the “history lesson” as well as working on this “monumental task.”

“It is something we need to have and we need to have it done properly,” Greabell said. “This will allow us to revise in the future and be able to maintain some degree of knowledge as to what has been and what will continue to be revised.

Cockram thanked former board member Mark Winslow, who was in the audience, for his extra help in going through his old notes and coming in for several meetings to give his input.

Superintendent David Davison announced that in order to keep the district’s policies up to date going forward, it will become a regular part of the board’s agenda to have first readings at the first meeting of the month and second readings at the second meeting of the month.

During board member commentary, Cockram relayed a story about traveling to Hartford, Conn., to see the McClurg Street Band play at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference, which consists of musical progenies of the 11 northeastern states. The band, headed by WACS music teacher Kent Knappenberger, was picked as the group to represent New York State. When others at the conference asked Cockram about the band and the school it comes from, he got to say 15 percent of the high school population makes up the band and that the students were not from a private school.

He said the group really impressed a lot of people, some of whom asked for CDs and DVDs of the band and gave kudos to Knappenberg-er and the entire Westfield music department for doing a marvelous job. Greabell offered his congratulations to the members of the McClurg Street Band, both past and present.

“It is truly a unique organization and has provided enjoyment to an awful lot of folks, myself included, over the years,” Greabell said.

“We appreciate how well our students represent us,” board member Phyllis Hagen said.

In other business, the board passed the following new business items:

The Environmental Club’s trip to Niagara Falls on May 29, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 4;

The Superintendent’s Evaluation Model as discussed at the Sept. 10, 2012 Board of Education meeting retroactive to Sept. 10, 2012;

Custodian Diane Strain’s resignation for the purpose of retirement, effective April 20;

The abolishment of the 0.33 position in the Foreign Language tenure area of French effective July 1 with the determination that Ann Janik is the least senior in this area and be excessed as a 0.33 FTE at that time;

The abolishment of a 1.0 position in the elementary tenure area effective July 1 with the determination that Wade Dellow is the least senior in this area and be excessed as a 1.0 FTE at that time; and

Gordon Schutt’s ap-pointment as a cleaner, effective July 1, at the rate of $16.36 per hour as per the Instructional Support Staff Unit Agreement.

The board adjourned the meeting with no executive session. Board members Francine Brown, Marie Edwards and Edward LeBarron Jr., were absent from the meeting.