Falconer School Board Examines Emergency Response Plan

FALCONER – There was some discussion at a recent Falconer Central School Board of Education meeting regarding how to improve responses by the transportation department in emergency situations.

A couple of weeks ago a storm flooded parts of Falconer and Ellicott, raising the Chadakoin River to record levels. This led to some trouble for the buses that morning when they tried to pick the students up from school. As school bus drivers scrambled to figure out where passable roads were, parents called the bus garage asking where buses were and if they should drive their children to school. Scott Peterson, head of the transportation department at Falconer, said he didn’t want to tell the parents to bring their children to school in case of an accident.

“I would be on the phone talking about a situation … the other line is ringing, and I can see the voicemails popping up,” Peterson said as he explained the situation in the garage that day.

“I understand when things go south, they go south,” said Todd Beckerink, school board president. He said though he understood the frustration of the parents who are calling the school to learn what is going on and being unsure of the situation. On the same note, the board said the school learned as the day went on.

The board commended Peterson, though, saying the only time they receive complaints about transportation is when everything just falls apart due to the weather – which the transportation department doesn’t have control over.

Peterson also thanked the school board for the purchase of the new buses and informed the board of the new GPS system that was installed. In addition to being able to keep track of where the buses are, the transportation department can also keep track of how fast the buses are going.

In other news, the first Common Core exams – algebra and ELA – were being taken, and according to Jeff Jordan, high school principal, students and teachers say the questions are fair.

Bids for the H.C. Fenner Elementary School playground, which will be made out of heavy plastic to replace the current wooden one, are being accepted.

On June 19, merged meetings for football between Cassadaga and Falconer will begin.

The New York State School Boards Association sent a letter congratulating Falconer Central School’s Board of Education and the students on its passed school budget. The following policies were approved: alternative formats for instructional materials; school district standards and guidelines for Web page publishing; purchasing: competitive bidding and offering; family and medical leave act; diploma and/or credential options for students with disabilities; use of high school facilities, materials and equipment; and home tutoring.