B'ville: GPS for buses?

Budget proposals, including Global Positioning Systems for school buses, were presented to the Baldwinsville School Board of Education Monday.

Presentations were made concerning the 2008-09 budgets for several departments within the school district including the transportation department, OCM BOCES department and a report from Superintendent Jeanne Dangle regarding recent public input sessions.

The meeting opened with recognition of six elementary students whose artwork was exhibited at the convention of the New York State School Boards Association in New York City this past October. Dangle and Board President Kevin Bernstein congratulated the students and their art teachers.


The first presentation to the board was the annual presentation made by the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Boards of Cooperative Educational Services. Colleen Viggiano, assistant superintendent for student services at OCM BOCES, told the board that cooperative purchases made through her organization had saved the school district more than $245,000 during the 2006-07 school year.

Viggiano also explained some new programs at OCM BOCES. New vocational classes are being offered in the fields of laboratory technology and computer technology. The state department of labor has told BOCES that these fields will have many jobs available in the future, Viggiano said.

"We are trying to create programs that will engage our students but also get them jobs," she said.

Viggiano also described BOCES new Career Academy program to the board. Baldwinsville is one of four school districts participating in this program, which aims to teach the content of high school through the lens of career building.

Dangle said that currently 13 Baldwinsville students participate in the Career Academy, but she hopes to soon increase that number to around 25.

"We've been very fortunate that students from Baldwinsville are seeing success in this program," she said.

GPS units for buses

Nancy Westcott, director of transportation for the school district, presented the proposed 2008-09 transportation budget to the board. The proposed budget is $1,622,917, up $153,077 from the 2007-08 budget. Westcott said that approximately 60 percent of this increase is due to the increased cost of fuel, especially the diesel fuel which is used in the school buses.

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