Fort Plain school district plans best targets for bullet aid

FORT PLAIN – During a recent Fort Plain Central School District Board of Education meeting, Superintendent David W. Ziskin discussed how a form of state aid will be used.

Ziskin mentioned $50,000 in bullet aid received from Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara’s office will go toward many improvements, both in infrastructure and instruction.

“Bullet aid will give us seed money for reimbursable expenses,” Ziskin said.

The aid will be used for a variety of work, including wireless network upgrades, 20 graphics tablets for art classes, 25 microscopes, and lighting for the bus garage.

“We’ve been financially strapped. The school district is heavily funded by state aid because we can’t raise enough money with a 2 percent tax cap in our area,” Ziskin said. “We must use the (bullet) aid strategically.”

The aid will also go toward a new system to keep track of students entering and exiting school buses. The system will use real-time Global Positioning System tablets on all buses.

“By next year, we hope to have available tablets where students can enter three-digit codes to track the number of students,” he said.

Ziskin said the use of bullet aid will provide the school district with enough wireless access points for 25 devices per classroom.

“We have limited wireless connections in our buildings,” Ziskin said. “We must prepare for the future.”

Business Manager Carl J. Rockefeller said it was an advantageous moment to use bullet aid for energy upgrades and technology, but was cautious.

“Right now, energy costs are down, but in five years, [the latest]m technology will be a doorstop,” he said.

Ziskin said contracting with Dr. Cheryl Dozier for 10 sessions in instructional strategies and observation stemmed from poor English language arts grades and the faculty’s desire for literacy support in their classrooms.

“Our literacy program is a great investment,” said Harry Hoag Elementary School Principal Lauren Crisman. “There are lots of grades practicing literacy, but there is no carry over across the grade levels.”

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