One week before the start of the 2022-23 school year, the Saugerties Central School District’s (SCSD) Board of Education held a special meeting to deal with a few last minute items.
The meeting, held on Tuesday, August 30, was brief, particularly the open session. In addition to approving one full-time general teaching and five part-time teaching assistant positions, and a more than $20,000 budget transfer from natural gas to fuel oil and propane, the School Board dealt with a trio of business office recommendations relating to district students.
Trustees approved an inter-municipal agreement with the Ellenville Central School District for the transportation of unhoused Saugerties students temporarily living in Ellenville. The arrangement, which did not specify the number of students or the per-student cost, was described by Superintendent Kirk Reinhardt as something that “happens between school districts all the time.”
Reinhardt said the cost is often determined by the number of students and the distance traveled, adding that the district is always treated fairly by Lezette Express, Inc., a Saugerties-based school bus company the SCSD works with for all student transportation needs.
Also approved at the meeting was a lease arrangement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ulster County, Inc. for the use of space for after-school programs at Cahill, Grant D. Morse and Charles M. Riccardi elementary schools. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Ulster County has a Saugerties location on Partition Street, a facility local only to kids at Cahill Elementary. Reinhardt said the lease agreement gives students in all three elementary schools after-school programs that don’t require them to leave campus.
“It’s great for parents,” Reinhardt said. “A lot of parents, they’re not done with work at three o’clock. So the fact that we can provide this space for the Boys & Girls Club, a great organization, is just wonderful.”
Reinhardt said parents interested in having their elementary school attend the Boys & Girls Club after-school program should reach out directly to the organization.
Finally, trustees approved a resolution extending the district’s agreement with Children’s Workshop of the Catskills for the 2022-23 school year. The group runs the district’s universal pre-kindergarten program, now housed at the former Mt. Marion Elementary School, and Reinhardt said it’s been a tremendous success.
“All 80 slots are full over at Mt. Marion, and we’re thrilled with that,” Reinhardt said. “It’s a partnership with a community entity that helps our families.”
Students returned to class for the 2022-23 school year on Tuesday, September 6. Reinhardt said educators and support staff are abuzz, particularly following a Superintendent’s Conference Day last week.
“I can’t thank our staff enough,” Reinhardt said. “We had the elementary teachers go right directly to their buildings. That way we could do our mandatory briefings and then they would have more of the time they really want to set up their rooms and be ready to go. I was able to go around (to different schools) and it was truly a sense of community building. The energy was just wonderful.”
Reinhardt said that with over three decades in education, he felt the SCSD is more excited than ever to welcome students back.
“The energy was positive and it was community building,” he said. “And it was about wanting to do what was best for our kids. I’m very excited.”
The next meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13.