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High-voltage issue: Forestville cautious in electric bus pursuit

OBSERVER file photo Pictured is an electric school bus from the Gates Chili Central School District in Rochester.

FORESTVILLE — Superintendent Dr. John O’Connor said the Forestville Central School District is “cautiously moving forward” with its process to adhere to New York state deadlines regarding the purchase and implementation of electric school buses.

As part of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, a deadline was established for all school districts in New York state to transition entirely to zero-emission school buses by 2035. In addition, any buses purchased must be zero-emission buses beginning in 2027. New York state is aiming to reduce greenhouse gasses by 40% as of 2030, with a target of an 85% reduction by 2050.

“We’re just trying to get information and see what the process will look like if we choose to — or the state chooses for us to — keep going in that direction,” Transportation Supervisor Kris Richter said. “It’s something we need to be responsible to look at in case these deadlines do stay in place. We need to be able to meet the deadlines and still be fiscally responsible to ourselves and to the taxpayers.”

he district is also preparing for the possibility of an on-site audit of the Transportation Department, which is a new process implemented by the state Education Department. Richter told the Board of Education that her department has been working “tirelessly” to be fully prepared for if and when the state does elect to audit the district.

Also of note in the district, Elementary Principal Shauna McMahon is working to combat chronic absenteeism by making home visits to ask parents and guardians how to assist in getting students to school. McMahon has made several visits to homes herself in her first year as the district’s principal.

The Board of Education also recently approved the hiring of Kaleb Hycner, Sarah Josephson, Zachary Waterman, and Christie Wilmore as substitute floater monitor aides. Josephson is also approved as an uncertified substitute teacher, while Wilmore is also approved as a food service helper and cleaner.

Jack Dugan Sr. and John Sliwa were approved as volunteer softball coaches. The district also approved to continue combining soccer programs for both boys and girls with Silver Creek, which serves as the host district.

The board also approved the following to serve as student teachers: Karen Carney, Elisa Pratt, Savanah Clear, Abby Ward, Bella Devitt, and Jared Laurito.

Also approved by the Board of Education was the selection of the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King, PLLC, to serve as legal counsel for the remainder of the 2023-24 school year, effective immediately. The Silver Creek Central School District also retains the same law firm on a similar basis.

The Board also submitted its nominations for the BOCES Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Robert Carpenter, Gregory Cole, Sylvester Cleary, and Nancy Renckens were selected as the board’s nominees.

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