BOCES Superintendent visits Cassadaga Valley Central School

GERRY – The Cassadaga Valley Central School Board of Education met recently and hosted BOCES District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer Dr. David O’Rourke and Assistant Superintendent for Management Services, John O’Connor.

In his first year as District Superintendent, O’Rourke has visited all schools involved with BOCES in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

O’Rourke made it a point to communicate clearly with board members about their expectations for the upcoming school year, and how BOCES curriculum differs from non-technical schools. There are many unanswered questions about the adoption of new common core standards and its effect on students, as evidenced by recent state assessment scores. Similar to the driving force behind the adoption of the new common core, BOCES helps prepare students for college and career. But the schools must work together to gain better test results.

“Our visit is to primarily listen to component districts,” O’Rourke said, handing out a feedback survey to members of the board. “It’s key to remember that your students are our students.”

In personnel items, Anna Rusch was approved for the position of assistant coach for the girls’ soccer team for the upcoming school year. Karen Reynolds was approved as the Future Farmers of America adviser. Richard Kalfas will be the new assistant coach for the boys’ soccer team. Jeffrey Bellinger and Sandra John have both resigned as part time bus drivers.

A recommendation from the superintendent to approve the tax warrant for 2013-2014 in the amount of $5,097,960 was approved. The tax collection schedule for the 2013-2014 school year was also approved.

Cassadaga Valley’s Director of Athletics Mark Peterson was also present to talk about the school year’s sports schedules and how Cassadaga Valley will play new teams as part of a one year trial of a “new geographic assignment.” This will involve playing teams closer to home.

Peterson said, “It’s all about travel,” mentioning the winter weather as a hindrance when sports teams have to travel to schools such as Portville. “A one-hour trip can easily turn into a one-hour, 40-minute trip in the winter.”

Peterson mentioned that the new plan has been in discussion for three years with the Chautauqua County Athletic Association, going into effect this year. The football schedule is not included as part of the new plan. The Cougars will play their first home game on Saturday, September 21 against Chautauqua Lake.

Sally Lawson was in attendance to talk about the 75-year anniversary of the Cassadaga Valley Central School District and a three-day event to be held in October. The event will include an opening ceremony, a band and choral event, historical displays and a prom.

Board members complimented custodial staff on their efforts to prepare the building for the start of school on Sept. 4. School supply lists and schedules are expected to be available by Aug. 26.

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