Silver Creek student, faculty trips approved

SILVER CREEK — Students and faculty at Silver Creek Central School will soon be hitting the road, as trips in the U.S. and abroad were approved at a recent board of education meeting.

The board authorized Superintendent Todd Crandall to attend the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools spring 2019 conference in Washington, D.C. from March 17 through 19. Unlike most school districts, Silver Creek Central School is considered a federally impacted district, as part of the school district — the Seneca Nation of Indians — is considered Federal property.

Approximately 50 percent of a school district’s budget is made up of state aid, and the remaining percentage is comprised of local taxes on homes and businesses. Because the federal government does not pay taxes on its own land, school districts like Silver Creek, Gowanda, Lake Shore and Salamanca have a reduced local tax revenue and depend on the Impact Aid program, which was created to ensure these federally-connected districts are not at a financial disadvantage.

This is the first year that Crandall will be attending the annual conference, and he is looking forward to the opportunity. In addition to networking with other administrators from schools across the country, Crandall will be attending education and training sessions throughout the weekend. “There will also be the opportunity to go to Capitol Hill — Congress — and meet with different representatives there to advocate because it’s important that we continue to receive this money to support our students,” Crandall told the OBSERVER.

While Crandall will be in Washington, D.C. attending the NAFIS conference, high school social studies students and teachers Jessica Kardashian and Kristen Foley will be there for the Holocaust Educational Program. The board of education was pleased to authorize this trip, which takes place from March 15-17. Crandall explained that the students in the Holocaust and human rights class will be joining students from other Chautauqua County school districts including Jamestown and Chautauqua Lake Central School, to learn about the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“This is a unique opportunity,” Crandall said. “We’re fortunate to be a part of it. It’s sponsored in part by the Chautauqua Institution, who have always been friends of education.”

Members of the class of 2019 will be enjoying their senior class trip to Cedar Point and Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, which the board of education also approved during the meeting. Students will be traveling under the supervision of class advisors Mark Baldelli and Paul Abate on May 22 and 23.

High school Spanish and Seneca students will have plenty of time to fundraise for their upcoming international trip, which the school board also authorized during the meeting. Under the supervision of teachers Anne Tahamont, Kardashian, Janelle Lesher and Albert VanDette, students will be traveling to Machu Picchu, Peru over spring break 2022.

In other board business, Crandall shared an update on the capital project. Phase I data cabling for new phone and security camera systems is progressing on schedule and is expected to be completed in June. “Phase II begins on April 15, and that includes roof work and outdoor site work,” Crandall explained.

“We plan that the completion of the roof work and parking lots will be done during the spring and summer. We anticipate when we open school this fall that the majority of that work will be done,” the superintendent added.

Crandall said that the remainder of the capital project plans have been submitted to the state for third party review, and he looks forward to Phase III projects going out to bid soon.

The next meeting of the Silver Creek Central School Board of Education is Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. in the board of education room.