Cazenovia Administrators and board members of the Cazenovia Central School District gathered for the first community forum of the 2012-13 school year at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 in the high school library.
About a half-dozen residents joined Superintendent Bob Dubik, Assistant Superintendent Bill Furlong, Board of Education President Fritz Koennecke and Board of Education Member Jan Woodworth to discuss district issues, and make clear what they want left out of budget talks.
“Before we get to planning for the upcoming budget, we want to know what is important to the community. Our aim is to improve,” Dubik said. “There will be multiple other opportunities to let us know.”
Dubik said this forum marked the ninth year CCSD has offered community members the opportunity to sit down with school officials and share input. Discussion topics included dismissal times for students who attend religious education classes once a week, the pending agreement with Hamilton Central School District to allow four students to play hockey on the Cazenovia varsity team, unfunded mandates, the new teacher evaluation system, the dangers of contact sports, the school’s new website and the continued support for agriculture programs.
The majority of residents in attendance were parents of high school hockey players, who were upset with the lack of communication between them, the varsity coach, the Cazenovia district and the Hamilton district. Having heard rumors that a number of Hamilton players would be welcomed to try out, the local parents were worried their children might be at the risk of getting cut.
Dubik and Koennecke said that only four athletes from Hamilton would be allowed to try out, and if named to the team, would each have to pay $1,100 to play. They said the board of education would further discuss the issue and come to a final decision at its Oct. 15 meeting.
While on the topic of sports, resident Donald Kruger brought up the issue of concussions and their long-term effects on young people. He suggested the district reevaluate the sports they offer and their safety precautions. Dubik said the district has concussion management programs in place at each school, as mandated by New York state.
More community forums will be held by the district as the year progresses and budget season nears. For more information, visit caz.cnyric.org or call 655-1317.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or email@example.com.