School day extended for Brocton first-graders

BROCTON – First-grade students at Brocton Central School will now be required to stay an additional hour each school day for the upcoming year.

The Brocton Board of Education, during Wednesday’s meeting, approved a one-hour increase in each instruction day for all first-grade classes beginning Sept. 2, with a dismissal time of 3:30 p.m. Superintendent John Hertlein explained the time extension is mainly due to heightened requirements with the state-mandated Common Core curriculum.

“Our kindergarten and first-grade students are just putting in 25 hours a week, and it’s clear we need to move our first grade up to at least five more hours,” he said. “We’ve met with the faculty and they said they can handle it. We sent some feelers out to parents and they were OK with it, too. Our board actually brought it up and so I looked into it and it became reality (Wednesday).”

Hertlein added school officials will look into extending the instruction time for kindergarten students next year; kindergarten’s hours are remaining the same (25 hours a week) for the time being, though.

Also during the meeting, Board President Douglas Walter, First Vice President Michael Riforgiato and Second Vice President Todd McFadden were elected to continue on in their corresponding roles for the 2014-2015 school year. Each officer ran uncontested and was elected unanimously by the board.

“I am looking forward to working with the school board again for another exciting and, I think, productive year in Brocton,” Walter commented after being elected president again. “Things are looking up and I’m looking forward to the kids coming back in September.”

The following upcoming meeting dates for the 2014-15 school year were approved: July 30; Aug. 20; Sept. 10, 24; Oct. 8, 22; Nov. 12; Dec. 10; Jan. 14, 28; Feb. 11, 25; March 18; April 15, 29; May 12 (annual meeting), 19 (vote), 20; June 10 and 24.

The board accepted a resignation due to personal reasons from social studies teacher Joseph Cardinale, who spent one year employed by the district.

Hertlein introduced Spanish teacher Michelle Swanson as the new Brocton Teachers’ Association president, taking over for Karen MacIntyre, who retired.

A tentative collective bargaining agreement with the Secretarial Association was accepted, effective through June 2016.

Therapy Connections was accepted as the lowest of three bidders for occupational therapy services for the 2014-15 school year at a cost of $45,000.

Hertlein announced the Blue Devils “B” Drum and Bugle Corps of California has requested the use of Brocton’s gymnasium and football field on Aug. 4 and 5 to practice and sleep. They will be gearing up for the world competition in Indianapolis after the Drums Along the Waterfront competition at the University at Buffalo.

The school district will not charge for the stay, citing entertainment for the community as payment enough. The drum and bugle corps informed Brocton it would pay for utility costs associated with the stay, however.

Comments on this article may be sent to gfox@observertoday.com