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Members of the Orchard Park School Board Tuesday night discussed much-needed building repairs and how to finance them.

The board voted to spend $3,500 to hire Baer & Associates of Williamsville to review the proposal and estimate costs before taking the issue to the taxpayers.

During a previous meeting, board members agreed to a partial list of projects that would cost a total of $4,964,130. Tuesday night, they discussed other projects. All projects under consideration would cost a total of $9,926,565.

"I think we need to be confident this board, with the help of the public, can get this approved,"' said Trustee Benjamin Keller. "If we don't figure out how to fund it and it isn't approved, it isn't going to happen."

Because a previous bond issue on repairs and technology upgrade was rejected by a ratio of 2 1/2 to 1, board members are cautious about how many projects to undertake.

In other business, the board:

Voted to accept a proposal from Xerox to replace and service copying equipment for the next five years. The district will spend $450,000 to $500,000.

Heard a presentation on "looping" from James Bodziak, principal of Ellicott Elementary School, and Joan Thomas, principal of the Middle School. Looping allows teachers to stay with one class over two school years.

Looping, Bodziak said, improved children's academic performanced because there are fewer transitions, increased stability and consistency.

"Two things we don't have a lot of in education are money and time," Mrs. Thomas said. "This doesn't cost any money, and it's more efficient with time. The next year (the second year a teacher has the same class), instead of taking five weeks to get into the year, they can start right away, and they can go further."

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