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By Felice E. Krycia

SOUTHTOWNS CORRESPONDENT

The Lake Shore Board of Education this week discussed the need for a five-year plan for the district.

“We need to look to the future needs of the district,” board member Cindy Latimore said. “We can’t just keep doing this just year to year. We need to look ahead too.

“I would also like us to discuss our goals with the community. We need to know what they think is important to the school, the students and what are their priorities,” Latimore said. “Are we cutting what is important to them?”

She added that board members might be surprised to learn what the community’s priorities are.

Board member Carmen Garozzo said he felt the board needs to get to work on a long-range plan before its data on population projections, enrollment and tax revenue becomes too old.

“Unless you plan for the projection, you will only be reactive on a year-to-year basis,” he said.

Garozzo said he believes the five-year plan should be in place that would allow administrators to act accordingly.

Board member William Connors said he wants to hear the administration’s appraisal of what will be needed in the next five years before the plan is made.

“We need to prioritize what they are seeing as what is necessary,” he said.

Board Vice President Carla Thompson said she would also like to hear what administrators realistically foresee as the future of the district’s buildings in the next five years.

“A five-year-district outlook could be vastly different than what a five-year building outlook would be. You don’t want to set expectations that you cannot meet,” Garozzo said.

“If the district doesn’t have the facts and figures laid out for everyone to see, we have no direction. If we can’t lay out the direction to our administrators, what are we doing here?” he said.

Superintendent James Przepasniak said: “The administrators are very sensitive to the financial position and budgetary issues here in the district. Hopefully, we are over the hump of these terrible times, and we will see the state make up for the gap of elimination, like they did this past year. We hope we will not have to continue cutting programs, lay off staff or raise property taxes above the cap.”

Presentations from the different building administrators are being scheduled for board meetings throughout the school year.