School representatives from Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties had an opportunity last week to mingle at the 29th annual meeting of Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES.
The meeting at the LoGui-dice Educational Center allowed for board members and administrative staff of Erie 2 BOCES' component districts to experience firsthand some of the achievements of their students.
Preceding the official meeting was a social hour that featured a variety of foods prepared by students of the culinary arts program, as well as displays and demonstrations of projects undertaken by other departments, including cosmetology and technology.
The meeting itself provided an insight into BOCES' achievements over the past year. According to David O'Rourke, Erie 2 BOCES superintendent, the meeting is intended to provide a look at the past and a glimpse into the future.
"Our annual meeting gives us a chance to reflect on the year's accomplishments," he said. "Throughout this year, our board members and I have focused on outreach to our component school districts. A key emphasis in these visits has been our BOCES' purpose - to serve the children, parents, teachers, administration, boards and communities in our 27 component school districts."
He continued, "Our annual meeting is also an opportunity to look to the year ahead, to enhanced partnership with our component school districts, to collaborations that make our schools and communities stronger and to our shared aim to provide high quality education for students."
Among the more notable points of O'Rourke's presentation was the budget summary, which showed a current 2012-13 budget total of $69,016,685 and a proposed 2013-14 budget total of $66,438,197.
"School board members should note that the BOCES budget is a dynamic budget, representing additions and deletions of services requested by component districts throughout the school year," said O'Rourke. "Therefore, over the years, the current year's budget has always demonstrated a marked increase over the budget proposed at the BOCES annual meeting."
Also addressed at the meeting were the seats of six BOCES board of education members whose terms are set to expire this year. The applicants in consideration for these seats, many of whom are current members seeking re-election, were invited to address the meeting attendees in three-minute appeals.
Each component district's board of education will vote on the BOCES 2013-14 administrative budget on Tuesday, April 23, at a meeting to be held within each respective district. At these meetings, the boards will also cast their ballots in the election of five individuals to serve on the BOCES board of education for terms to expire in 2016, and one individual to serve a term expiring next year.