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PARENT AIRS CONCERNS AT FORUM

The questions from one mother of a fifth-grader during a residents' forum at Tuesday's Lockport School Board meeting became the starting point for discussions about Regents exams, requirements for graduation and differences in how the same subjects are taught in the district's eight elementary schools.

Sharon Voelker said that parents need more information about the state's requirements and asked whether tutors will be needed at every grade level.

"What are you going to do about kids with different reading levels . . about those who study from different textbooks, depending on the school?" she asked.

Superintendent Christine A. Neal said that a three-hour convocation of the district's 500 teachers Friday centered on the state requirements.

She asked Mrs. Voelker to be on a special committee to explore her ideas, which could include written information sent to all parents and special broadcasts on the local cable television channel.

During the business session, the board:

Moved the public forum portion of regular board meetings to the beginning of each session, before the meeting is called to order.

Adopted a calendar for the 1998-99 school budget, with discussions to begin next month because of the state-mandated schedule for a May 19 public vote.

Received the 1996-97 audit report from John Schiavone of Lumsden & McCormick, who commented: "The general fund of the district continues to be sound."

He said general fund spending was down by $453,000, marking a "first" in his experience with the district. He credited the district's conservative financial management policy.

Accepted the donation of office furniture and drafting equipment worth $2,760 for the high school technology department from Peter B. Whitmore in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William W. Whitmore III.

Gave special recognition to John Mosklalik, principal of Washington Hunt Elementary School; PTA co-president Lisa Muto; Lockport Savings Bank; volunteers; and the three pupils who operate a bank branch at the school. The bank branch, run under the new Start Smart program, is complete with teller windows and deposit books. Teller Nicole Stranges, a fourth-grader, said the bank took in $100 in pupil deposits in the first three weeks.

Appointed six new staff members, including Kevin Duffy, school psychologist at $34,324 a year. Others appointed at $28,500 starting salaries were, Lana Riester and Eric Domroes, high school counselors; Loretta DiCarlo, preschool special education at Anna Merritt Elementary; Debra Diez, special education at Emmet Belknap Middle School; and Jeffrey Hulshoff, regular substitute high school social studies.

Granted tenure to special education teachers Ann Jackson and Linda Faust.

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