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Session scheduled on reinstating modified sports

An informational meeting on the possibility of bringing back Akron Central School District's modified sports program with private donations will be held next week.

Athletic Director Joseph Caprio told the Board of Education on Wednesday that he has received inquiries about raising the funds needed to reinstate lacrosse and wrestling, adding that he believes there also is strong interest in bringing back field hockey.

Among items trimmed from the budget for the 2011-12 school year were 11 modified sports for a savings of roughly $36,000.

Reinstating those sports with private donations has been discussed by the board for about a month since Caprio first reported that one person approached him about donating money to bring back lacrosse.

District officials have made it clear that the school district would hire the coaches, who would decide the makeup of the teams, and various other district guidelines would apply to the sports, even though they are financed with private money.

At the suggestion of board Vice President Kevin Stone, Caprio said he would hold an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday in the high school auditorium to gauge community interest in reinstating all or part of the modified sports program. He presented the board with a list of estimated costs for the 11 sports -- roughly $3,500 each -- and what schools might still have openings on their play lists to include Akron.

Time is growing short for reinstatement of fall sports like soccer, field hockey and cross country because practice starts in August and coaches have to be hired. The board is looking at the possibility of a July deadline for fundraising efforts for those sports.

The deadline for raising money for winter and spring sports would likely be sometime in October.

In other business, the board approved a one-year amendment to contracts with four top administrators reflecting their giving up pay raises for the 2011-12 school year, saving the school district about $15,000.

The administrators are Superintendent Robin Zymroz, Business Administrator/Treasurer Cynthia Tretter, Director of Instruction and Student Services Scott Payne and the director of instructional technology.

The latter position is being vacated by Debra Eppolito, who has resigned effective July 29 after five years with the district. On Aug. 1, she is joining the Orchard Park School District in the same position and as chief information officer.

Board President Daniel Caprio said after the meeting that the board is still discussing whether that position will be filled.

The board also bade farewell to board member Francis Dahill, who did not seek re-election to a second term. He will be replaced at the July 6 reorganization meeting by Tracy M. Sturmer, a former clerk-typist for the district.

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