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SCHOOL BOARD TO SCRUTINIZE FIELD-TRIP COSTS

The Cheektowaga School Board wants to keep a tight lid on field-trip costs.

As a result, a Cheektowaga Central committee that has been studying the issue will take another look at student field trips to decide what excursions may be the most beneficial for students and cost-effective for the district.

The School Board Monday night received an update on a district field-trip study, which began last year to develop standard field trips at each grade level and match trips with student curriculum, school officials said.

The committee needs feedback from the School Board to prepare field-trip recommendations for the 1998-99 school year, said Delia Bonenberger, the district's director of learning and technology. Trustees scoffed at the committee's field-trip wish list, which would cost about $64,000 and include, for example, sending grade school pupils on a trip to Toronto.

"We're worried about whether kids can go on field trips," said Trustee Leon Regent. "Are we running an activity school or are we running a school?"

Trustees instructed the committee to review and make field-trip suggestions based on the scaled-down cost projections -- $2,000 for Pine Hill Primary, $4,500 for Union East Elementary and $2,800 for the junior-senior high school.

The $9,300 total is about how much has been budgeted this year for field trips, Ms. Bonenberger said.

The junior-senior high school doesn't receive as much because most of those field trips are funded by school clubs, she added.

The field trip budget should not be increased, Trustee Richard Jachimiak said, and the schools shouldn't ask parents to chip in for trips.

"I feel some field trips do have educational value, but I agree I'd rather have the students in the classroom learning something else," Jachimiak said.

In other business, the School Board hired Jeffrey Addesa as a varsity track aide this spring for a $500 stipend.

School officials also indicated they probably will wait until next school year to hire security to patrol the junior-senior high school.

School officials wanted to hire security from 3 to 11 p.m. when many outside clubs and organizations are using the Union Road building.

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