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Shared football program takes the first step in North Collins

North Collins High School Principal Annie Metcalf has reported that 20 North Collins students in grades six – 11 attended an orientation meeting at Eden High School, as the two schools will begin a joint football initiative.

The session offered potential North Collins players information about Eden’s program and the chance to ask questions prior to tryouts, later this year.

With both school boards’ having signed the agreement, the trial program will give North Collins boys the opportunity to play football, a sport not currently offered at their school.

Metcalf also reported that Joshua Fera and Rebeka Yoder will perform as part of this year’s all-county chorus, gaining spots from an audition field of 4,000 hopefuls.

Board Member Martin Niefergold said that the April 30 nomination deadline for the district’s sports hall of fame is fast approaching. Nomination forms are available on the district’s website.

District Interim Superintendent Joan Thomas said that she is giving increased attention to the 41 homeschooled students in the district, and she said that her goal is to ensure that full compliance with state regulations is met.

Turning to its budget building process, the board informally approved adding several items from an options list presented by Thomas. Those include continuing with the restructured business office for savings of $114,138; removing salaries for federal grant expectations, $300,000; and an increase use of the debt service reserve for an additional $300,000.

Business Office Manager Crystal Cocca suggested that the board leave $25,000 in the business office line, to provide for consultative services, should they be needed. Cocca added that, in the event of a reduction in federal grant funding, the district would be liable for program costs, with no budget line to cover them.

Board Member David Gier asked Cocca to draft up a budget with the suggested changes, but added, “Until we get an idea of what the state is doing, we’re at a standstill.”

Thomas offered hope of an increase in state aid, with current efforts in Albany looking at a 10 percent return of gap elimination adjustment funding to districts.

Thomas suggested that the board defer any plans to offer early retirement options, this year, citing the low number of staff that would be eligible, giving the district very little in financial relief. The plan would have been geared toward employees 55 years of age and older, who have at least 15 years of service with the district.

The board also learned that projected enrollment in the district next year should be equal to this year’s.

In other board news:

– The board approved the temporary appointment of Ryan Hayes as director of physical education.

– Kristina Brinkel and Valerie Stonitsch were approved as substitute teachers. Mitchell Wiliams was named a boys varsity baseball unpaid, volunteer assistant.

– The board granted Timothy Flannagan’s request to use the turf field for a soccer camp for boys and girls entering fourth – seventh grades, Aug. 11 – 15.

– Donations from the elementary school parent-teacher association were accepted in the amount of $329, to purchase a roller and tray kit from AccuCut®, and $300 for the rental of two bounce houses for the elementary field day.

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