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The Board of Education has decided to look into creating a track-and-field program for seventh- and eighth-grade students in the middle school.

Kurt Wormbrodt, varsity track coach, described the program during the preview meeting Thursday night in School 4 on Central Avenue.

"A survey showed 47 boys and 15 girls are interested," he said. "A league of 15 Chautauqua County schools has been formed, but we're too late for meets for this year."

"The boys and girls have basketball, but that's it," said Tom Boris, principal of the middle school. "We need to get them at the middle school and let them play (sports)."

The board will need to look at the money involved, including coaching stipends, said board President Robert Barlette.

In other business, the board:

Discussed an extended school day program for the middle school and an after-school program for the high school. Staffing for both programs is expected to be approved during Tuesday's monthly meeting. Grants will pay for both programs.

Middle school students who need remedial course work or to improve their study skills will be selected by the teaching staff for the program, Boris said. Parents also can request that their children be placed in the program. Parental approval is required before any student enters the program.

"We want to see 100 students, but last year we had 50 to 60," he said.

Heard an explanation of the audit of the 1999-2000 school year from accountant LouAnn Laurito-Bahgat.

She said the undistributed fund balance is about $1.4 million, which is higher than the 2 percent permitted by the state.

The district also has $880,000 in an account to refund taxes to companies that have challenged their assessments. The state-mandated three-year limitation on this account has expired, she said. She suggested that a new account be opened using the same amount because of an assessment challenge from a "major taxpayer."

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency is the lead agency in negotiations for a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement for the NRG electric generating station, the largest taxpayer in the district.

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