The Orchard Park School District is getting ready to propose a health and safety capital project calling for districtwide improvements, with a public vote expected this fall.
Jeffrey Petrus, assistant superintendent for business, said last week that plans are being “fine-tuned” for a project that would face a vote this fall. Details of what the district may be looking to include in the project have not been released to the public and are expected to be presented to the School Board in July.
“We’re still finalizing the list and dollar amount,” Petrus said, noting the board had not yet received details.
On another matter, Superintendent Matthew P. McGarrity told the board the district has been conducting assemblies for students in kindergarten through eighth grade during the last few weeks to address recent problems with young children and teens being approached by strangers during daytime hours.
The district has partnered with Orchard Park police to show students what to do when a stranger approaches and also how to assist police in solving such cases, McGarrity said.
In February and March, three such incidents were reported in the district, though no one was harmed. Two boys were approached by men under suspicious circumstances, and another man was reported walking near Windom Elementary School with his trousers unzipped. Police said the incidents were not believed to be related.
The board also learned that the district is competing as part of a three-district Western New York consortium for a $100,000 state education grant to help districts study eliminating or streamlining locally-created tests given to elementary students. The focus would be on any assessments and other teacher-created tests done within the district, not state assessments.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Lisa Krueger said Orchard Park will be joined by Williamsville and Lancaster in applying for the “Teaching Is the Core” grant. They will learn in August whether they are successful in securing the grant. If they are, Orchard Park’s portion would amount to $30,000 and would focus on kindergarten through fifth grade. Lancaster would get $30,000, and Williamsville would get $40,000.