The Kingston City School District’s Board of Education held its annual reorganizational meeting July 6, electing a new president, Steven Spicer, and vice-president, Herb Lamb.
Spicer, who was reelected as a trustee in May, spoke about the commitment members of the School Board make beyond their presence at twice-monthly meetings.
“The elections are over, and we’re all here,” Spicer said. “This is the Board for the coming year. I want to thank you all, and I want to remind the community, sitting around this table, even though highly effective and well ready for what we’re about to do, are all volunteers…Even though you’re a volunteer, it’s practically a full time job with your trainings and your meetings. All of you who attend this or see it recorded see a Board meeting; coming to all of these Board meetings are many, many committee meetings that we all have to attend, and that’s where a lot of business goes through. So I want to thank you all for your service and for what we’re about to do; coming out of a school district and a nation of COVID, we’re about to put a lot of energy and time into continuing the work that we’ve begun.”
The meeting was the first for new trustee Marie Anderson, former principal at Kingston High School.
Also new to the district is Sharifa Carbon, who replaced retiring Allen Olsen as the district’s assistant superintendent for business. Carbon recently served in that capacity in the New Paltz Central School District, officially resigning in April after being placed on administrative leave.
Also discussed during the relatively brief meeting was summer school.
“We are looking at close to a thousand students on our campuses during the summer this year, which is really exciting,” said Superintendent Paul Padalino.
The students with disabilities summer school program is already underway at Ernest C. Myer Elementary School, with 145 students enrolled. Set to begin next week are the elementary summer school program, with 252 students at J.F.K. Elementary; the middle school program, with 220 students; the “Summer 9” program for 9th graders with the largest number ever at 70; and the high school summer school program for students between 10th and 12th grades with 172 students.
Padalino said the programming was an expansion of previous summer school programs, but that there are roughly 300 fewer students participating thus far. While there is space at the secondary level, the elementary summer school program is currently at capacity with a waiting list of 12 students.
“Elementary is up from last year,” Padalino said. “We are starting the secondary (program) a little later this year, so we may enroll some more students into that program.”
The districtwide safety plan was also discussed during the meeting, with its annual adoption required by September 1. Padalino covered minor changes to the current plan, which include the meeting schedule of the Districtwide Safety Committee; details of additional staff training around mental health, violence prevention and restorative practices; and an updates list of emergency responders for each of the district’s facilities.
The 60-page districtwide safety plan is available for review and comment on the KCSD website ahead of a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, August 31. The plan includes everything from crisis intervention to emergency response and management.
“The plan is designed to minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies, and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of incidences and emergencies,” said Padalino.
What the plan does not include is building-level emergency response details, which are required to be kept confidential as it includes sensitive information such as floor plans, blueprints and schematics.
To review the KCSD districtwide safety plan, see: https://www.kingstoncityschools.org/cms/lib/NY24000343/Centricity/Domain/8/DWSP%202022-2023.pdf
To leave comments about the plan, see: https://forms.office.com/r/FdrZqCit4B
The next meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3 at the Meagher Administration Building.