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Eileen Werbitsky


Procedures at the Holland community pool, shared by residents and students, drew strong criticism from school attorneys, the state Education Department and insurance officials this week after it was discovered that student lifeguards have keys to the facility and that adults are not always on had to supervise the pool area.The problem came to light earlier this week when a…

A preliminary draft of the 2015-16 budget for the Holland Central School District revealed that the district has managed to turn around its tenuous financial picture at a time when bigger districts are struggling.Business Official/Treasurer Laura N. Bosinski said last week that the district is projecting a $17.5 million budget that reduces expenses by $40,000. And though r…

For months, the former Holland Middle School has been the hottest topic at Holland School Board meetings. Now it’s the one topic that neither the School Board nor superintendent can discuss at all.School Board President Taina Armstrong Hoffman said that a discussion item concerning the middle school was scrapped from the School Board meeting agenda last week on the advice …

Exit polls from the Holland Central School District’s $13 million capital project vote last week are still being tallied, but School Board President Taina Armstrong-Hoffman said the reasons for the lopsided defeat appear to be varied.Some residents thought the vote was rushed, she said, while others felt the cost of the $4 million athletic complex that was part of the plan…

Residents of the Holland Central School District on Tuesday resoundingly defeated a proposed $13 million capital project, 1,081 to 209.Elsewhere, residents of the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District approved an $18 million capital project, 146 to 18.In Holland, residents were considering maintenance and health-and-safety upgrades to the district’s elementary and junior-senio…

The Holland School Board tonight will continue to hammer out the details of a proposed $13 million capital project that includes a $2.2 million athletic complex. The bulk of the capital project is for items like masonry, plumbing and window replacements. But the athletic complex is drawing the most attention.Many see it as a sign the district and community are finally comi…

The Holland School Board will decide this month whether to begin charging groups who want to use the district’s facilities.“It would be great to let everyone use our facilities for free, but those days are gone,” Superintendent Cathy Fabiotos said at a recent board meeting. “We don’t want to gouge anyone. But to be fair to taxpayers, we should recoup our costs.”The discuss…

The East Aurora School Board agreed to send voters a $31.7 million spending plan for 2014-15, calling for a 2.91 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowed under the tax cap. Jobs and programs were cut to achieve the budget, including six teaching positions, one custodial job and one technical position, two aides and a part-time clerical staff. School Board Pre…

The Holland School Board, facing a negative tax cap, agreed in a 7-0 vote to seek a school tax levy increase of 2.5 percent, which will require 60 percent voter approval.The $17.6 million spending plan is $367,000 less than the current year’s budget.Superintendent Cathy Fabiotos said last Monday that the 1.22 percent negative cap put the district in “unchartered” territory…

In the fourth and likely final draft of the 2014-15 East Aurora school budget, Superintendent Brian Russ said the district was able to restore a number of items to the $31.1 million spending plan that carries a 2.91 percent tax levy increase.But the restorations are not enough to bring programs back to their previous levels, Russ told the School Board last week.Among the r…

The Holland School Board has tentatively agreed to exceed the tax cap for the 2014-15 school year and to present voters with a budget that calls for a 2.5 percent tax increase.For many districts, that kind of a hike would not require a supermajority of votes, but Holland’s tax cap formula does not allow for a tax hike.Business Official Laura Bosinski said that increase wou…

The Holland School Board has learned that calculations for the district’s tax cap resulted in a percentage so low, the actual tax cap number is minus 1.2 percent.However, because New York State doesn’t force a district to reduce taxes, Holland’s tax cap for 2014-15 will be zero, School Business Official Laura Bosinski said last Monday. The low number is the result, in part…

Facing a midyear shortfall of more than $400,000, East Aurora school officials have managed to fill the budgetary hole without making cuts to staff or programs.School Board President Daniel Brunson said Wednesday, “We dodged a bullet.”The district needed savings to cover an estimated shortfall of $360,000 discovered earlier this year as a result of an influx of students ne…

The cold reality of this winter and what it has meant to school districts, both educationally and financially, occupied the East Aurora School Board Wednesday.With just two snow days left on the books, Superintendent Brian Russ said that, as a precaution, he is canceling the scheduled superintendent’s day on March 14 and making it an instruction day for students.If the dis…

Despite being halfway through the second year of a reconfiguration that closed one of the Holland School District’s three buildings, the School Board spent much of Monday’s meeting revisiting that decision – one that is well over a year old and that has been put to a board vote twice.The debate began when resident Frank Kohlman asked the board to schedule a special communi…