Rome school board resolves personnel, finance, policy business

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The Rome City School District convened its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m., where the Board focused on personnel issues and finance, including some changes to capital project work.

Where the overall labor shortage as the country emerges from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting hiring challenges across industries, including education, and Rome is no exception, an encouraging slate of new hires – where it would not have been remarkable “pre-COVID-19” – was evidence of some light at a tunnel’s end. A total of over 30 hires, ranging from hourly to part-time to full-time contract, with roles ranging from tutors for the after-school programs at Strough and Rome Free Academy, to winter sports personnel, to clerical and education support roles, to a new occupational therapist. They even hired a new bus driver.  

These hires were offset by the permanent loss of only two employees, both teachers. Catherine Wutsch, a teacher at Denti Elementary School, submitted her resignation, to be effective on Dec. 6. The Board expressed regret and gratitude in approving the retirement of Josephine Inserra, a school psychologist at Strough Middle School, effective March 1, 2022.

All resolutions in connection with People Operations were approved unanimously by members.
The next People Operations Committee meeting remains to be determined.

In beginning to prepare for the budget process, in anticipation of the elections slated for May of 2022 to adopt the district budget for the year beginning July 1, 2022, the board voted with no contest to formally adopt the 2022-23 Budget Calendar, as advanced by the Finance Committee.

In response to recommendations from LaBella Associates, DPC, the architects supervising work approved as part of the district’s 2019 Capital Improvement Project, the members approved “change orders” submitted by LaBella – reflecting changes to parameters originally submitted and approved - including CE-030(PCO-032) Replacement of the Diving Board Stand - $10,508 CE-033 (PCO-031) Painting at the Pool Area - $29,800 CE-029 Colorado Timing System - $43,625.25.   Both the Board President, John Nash, and Rome Superintendent of Schools, Peter Blake, will take “all actions necessary or convenient” to satisfy all contractual obligations and Change Order certification and filing requirements as dictated by New York State. 

The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 10 am.

As the Policy Committee continues its work and progress on revising the district’s Policy Manual, the Board voted unanimously to accept the second reading and adoption of three policies, including policy #1120 – School District Records, policy #1100 – Public Information Program, and policy #1130 – Media Relations: 

The next Policy Committee Meeting was held on Monday, Nov. 15.

The Facilities and Educational Programs Committees had no action or agenda items to resolve at this regular meeting. Their next committee meetings with be held, respectively, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 4:30 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 6, at 4:30 p.m.

All Board of Education committee meetings are open to the public and – unless otherwise noted – are held at the district offices, located at 409 Bell Road in Rome.

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