This question was originally answered on Sept. 9, 2011, but the answer bears repeating. Each question is forwarded to the administrator or
staff member who is most qualified to answer it. That person's answer is then posted online.
The last day for elementary school is Thursday, June 20. The last day for grades 7-8 is Tuesday, June 11. The last day of classes
for students in grades 9-12 is Friday, June 7. High school students then report to school only for their scheduled exams.
According to the Junior-Senior High School's
Code of Conduct (page 34), "To be eligible for Honor Roll, students must earn an 85
average for the marking period. For High Honor Roll a 90 average is required. Grades are not rounded; i.e. an 84.9 average does
not make the honor roll. All credit bearing courses, except Physical Education, are counted for honor roll. These honor rolls
are posted in the junior-senior high school and are published in the official school newspaper. Incomplete or failing marks in
pass/fail courses disqualify a student from Honor Roll. Also, students must be taking three classes in order to be on Honor Roll
students taking college courses need to meet with their counselor."
It will remain an emergency day that could be used in the event of a weather, community or building disaster. It will not be "given
back" as an extra vacation day.
The work covered under Ilion's current project is scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2013.
The building is approximately 252,000 sq. ft.
The end of the year calendar was modified to satisfy state requirements.
To date, we have used three out of four possible days.
Yes, school will be in session as normal.
Both schools have various keepsakes such as the Bomber Bear. Sometime in the future, the Ilion Board of Education will decide
what will happen to them.
The merger proposal laid out the steps necessary to meet the state’s requirement that all taxpayers in the merged district pay the same
true value tax rate (the dollars per thousand of a property's true or full value). To accomplish this, the 2013-14 proposed budget adds
2 percent to Ilion's 2012-13 true value tax rate (the resulting rate is estimated at $17.56 per thousand) and then lowers Mohawk's rate
to that level. On a home with a true value of $100,000, Ilion residents would see a $23 increase in their tax bills after the Basic STAR
exemption; and Mohawk would see a $253 decrease in their tax bills after the Basic STAR exemption. (Note: This is an estimate. Each
resident’s actual tax bill cannot be determined until the town assessors finalize their tax rolls and the state Office or Real Property
Services assigns equalization rates.)
This year's senior class has 104 students. How many graduate will be determined by the number who meet the state and local requirements for attendance,
distribution of classes taken and number of credits earned.
PDF of graduation requirements).
Current enrollment is 705 students in grades 7-12.
There are no immediate plans to pave the lower parking lot. At this time, the state will not reimburse the district for any paving
costs leaing local taxpayers to pay the full cost. Any decision to pave will rest with the new board of education.
The voter-approved capital project includes replacing the various sized steel lockers with durable, high impact plastic lockers. This will
create a consistent look throughout the building and standardize the locks and hardware.
Yes, the general contractor has taken all necessary steps to ensure student safety.
Any work being conducted by contractors during the school day such as installing ceramic tile or painting poses no risk to
students. On occasion, there may be construction such as removing the old trophy cases outside the small gym or replacing
the gym windows that requires contractors to cordon off areas to keep students away until work is completed. Other projects
that pose a possible safety risk are only performed over school breaks or weekends.
At the secondary level, a student may fail a course if he or she misses 14
or more classes of a half-year course or 28 or more classes of a full-year
course. A student who misses that many classes, regardless of the reason, misses important material being taught and
risks failing the course.
The last day of school, as well as all other predetermined school dates, can be found by clicking "Calendar" in the District
Links on the left of most school webpages. June 11 is the last of classes and June 20 is the last Regents
Day. The last day for teachers is June 21.
The automated telephone service was discontinued last year due to
budget cuts. District officials posted critical information on the
Ilion CSD website and Facebook page and notified local media.
New York State law specifally prohibits allocating seats to each community. There are no boundries within the new district; no
Ilion and Mohawk students or Ilion and Mohawk board members. Everyone belongs to the Ilion-Mohawk School District.
The two districts are getting together to determine a single process
for registration. Expect information in the next few weeks.
Although the new board of education could determine otherwise, the
merger plan included no plans for major upgrades to athletic
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES District Superintendent Mark Vivacqua will oversee all aspects of this election. The decision
to hold a "meet the candidates" event is entirely his. Neither Ilion nor Mohawk school district has the authority to sponsor a forum
on its own.
On Monday, Mar. 11, Herkimer BOCES District Superintendent will randomly draw the names of each candidate to determine the order
of placement on the ballot. Candidates may be present, but presence is not required and does not affect ballot order. The site for
the drawing has not yet been announced. After a candidate turns in his or her petition, it is up to the candidate to determine how
to campaign. Residents of the new school district then vote on Wednesday, Mar. 27.
There are no current plans to install metal detectors.
Under the current contract, employees contribute 10 percent of the health insurance premium for either the individual or family plan.
Retirees contribute 25 percent toward an individual plan and 40 percent toward a family plan. Either can be changed by negotiation.
Sadly, students abused the privilege.
Yes, the Mohawk district pays the full health insurance premium for three district employees under a pre-existing agreement.
The employees do, however, have a significantly higher drug co-pay than other employees.
Kick boxing is not a sanctioned high school sport in New York State.
Section III and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association set the beginning and end dates for each interscholastic
sports season for each competition level (modified and JV/Varsity) as well as the number of games in a season. A school district
may not lengthen a season or increase the number of games.
Each year, the Guidance Department looks at the number of students, the courses students need to satisfy their graduation requirements
in four years, the number of teachers available to teach those courses, the size of each section of a course, etc. Using that data,
the staff creates student schedules that provide each student what he or she needs given the school's resources. It would not be
reasonable to give every student classes with their friends or the "right" study hall without impacting other students' schedules.
In this Information Age, a printed textbook is so quickly outdated that U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has called for
schools to move away from printed textbooks as quickly as possible toward digital ones. Although we continue to use our existing
textbooks, they are no longer the lone teaching resource. Our teachers use relevant information from
textbooks and combine it with appropriate online or other printed materials to create their lessons. This ensures students are
learning the most current material aligning with the Common Core.
All questions are edited for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Some questions—either because of their content or their tone—
may be deemed inappropriate for this page (read the guidelines posted at the top of the Bomber Buzz page). Those questions are
often rephrased to address legitimate questions or concerns. If you have questions that you feel are not adequately answered, we
invite you to ask them of the appropriate school administrator or at a board of education meeting.
No. Fitness center employees only earn $10 per hour and pay for their own Red Cross safety training. As current employees,
they have already been fingerprinted and cleared to work with students. Outside employees would not save the district any money and
they would likely make the staffing process more difficult.
Under New York law, existing contracts dictate the rules for collective bargaining. Under Ilion's four contracts, negotiations must
be conducted in private and details of those negotiations remain confidential until both the district and the unions ratify the
agreements. That process cannot change without negotiating changes to existing contracts.
The board of education continues to plan for a future merger. Carrying a multi-year contract into a merged district would only make
future negotiations more complicated. The board opted instead to negotiate a one-year extension.
This question often arises when a board member has a spouse who is a district employee or the board member works for a company
submitting a bid for a district contract. The simple answer is, "No." Under New York law, a board member must publicly disclose
the relationship to the board and then is free to be a part of negotiations or to vote on the board action.
In response to its community's rejection of the proposed three-school merger, Herkimer may form a community group
to help explore the district's options absent a merger. Ilion's and Mohawk's boards of education, on the other hand, have committed to pursuing a two-school
merger. Looking for cost savings will be important even with a merger. Therefore, Mr. Tangorra is planning a community meeting later in the year to solicit community input.
Generally, one door by the library and one door by the nurse's office are unlocked. The crash bars leading back into the building
are always unlocked.
Under new federal nutrition guidelines, schools may no longer serve products made from processed white flour. This includes breads
and pastas. Learn more about changes in school meals as required under the
Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.
The people who headed the Zumba program are currently exploring the
New York State law requires schools to provide their students with safe transportation to and from school each day. Ilion's
transportation policy regarding buses, bus stops and distance students may walk to school, etc. is based on those regulations.
Under state law, the board of education cannot change the current policy without the approval of the Ilion school district
residents. Some busing such as transportation for sports and field trips, however, is not required under the law and could be
changed without a public vote.
Schools limit building access to protect students. Prior to the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999, most New York schools
had minimal security; doors were unlocked giving students and guests easy entry. In the years since, New York State has required
schools to take greater caution, which includes locking exterior doors and limiting building access to monitored entrances.
New York State high school athletics fall under the jurisdiction of the NYS Education Department (NYSED). Under NYSED, the New
York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) oversees the majority of interscholastic athletics in upstate
New York (separate groups oversee private and Catholic high schools in New York and high schools in New York City).
NYSPHSAA sets standards for coaches, sports rules, athlete eligibility, safety and championship play. NYSPHSAA organizes the
state into 11 geographic sections—similar to the way professional sports leagues create separate divisions to facilitate competition.
NYSPHSAA website for more information.
Negotiations are confidential under existing contracts. Bargaining units would have to vote to hold public negotiations.
No, the district pays benefits only for school district employees.
The district employs about 250 full and part time employees. Four unions represent four separate groups: teachers, administrators
some support staff (teaching aides and assistants, food service helpers), and remaining support staff (clerks, nurses, maintenance,
custodial and cafeteria workers). All four contracts expire June 30, 2013.
FOIL is an acronym that stands for Freedom Of Information Law. Under the Freedom of Information, an individual can request information
from any government agency such as a school. To make a FOIL request, contact the district office. Certain information is exempt such as information related to personnel records, imminent bids, negotiation,
ongoing legal proceedings, etc.
A FOIL request is generally unnecessary. A simple call to the district office can often provide the individual with the desired
information. (For more on FOIL, read the law.)
Any Ilion resident aged 18 years or older may run for the board of
Actually, for the 2012-13 school year, Ilion budgeted a total of $5,618,513 for employee benefits—$75,479 less than Holland Patent. According to the
2012 Holland Patent budget newsletter, the district spent at total
of $5,693,992 on employee benefits—$687,327 for administrative staff, $5,053,768 for instructional staff and $640,224 for support staff.
The largest part of this expense is for employee health insurance and payments into the NYS Teacher and Employee retirement programs.
Under New York law, all public employees are part of the state's retirement funds. Schools do not have the option of a private plan
such as a 401K.
Ilion, like all schools, is struggling to deal with ever increasing benefit costs for its current and retired employees.
When initially negotiated, these benefits were relatively low-cost; no one anticipated skyrocketing
health insurance premiums or a district retirement contribution that exceeds 10 percent of salaries. Many ask why the
district doesn't simply raise employee contributions or adjust salaries. The simple
answer is that these are part of employee contracts that were bargained in good faith. Any changes can only come through future
Yes. Under New York's Open Meeting Law, all board meetings must be open to the public. The law allows for limited exceptions such
as contract negotiations, certain budget planning, etc.
Most school created videos such as the Rachel's Challenge and the Spirit Week slide show are linked from our district and/or
school home pages. Links to our streamed videos can be found on our
Ilion Athletic Director Robert McCann reports that school districts abandoned this practice years ago. With the exception of the
case of a seriously injured player, coaches use an injury timeout to give their players a water break and speak to them to keep
them involved in the game and not be distracted by the other events on the field. The only area team that routinely "takes a knee"
is Holland Patent.
Principals at each building choose students and staff to be featured
on the website.
School board members serve as volunteers; there is no salary.
High School students, faculty, and staff are scheduled for lunch fifth period. Lunch begins with the bell at 11:05 a.m. and ends with
the bell at 11:50 a.m. Students then have three minutes to get to class. The lunch period is 45 minutes as it was last year. Students should
be in the building and ready to proceed to class at 11:50 a.m. The issue is not how long it takes to walk to class, but rather the fact that students
are leaving campus.
By accepting the privilege of leaving campus for lunch, students accept the responsibility to return to campus on time.
Unfortunately, yes, there is construction right now. For the next several days, if students feel they may not have enough time to leave campus for lunch
and return on time,
they still have the option of purchasing a school lunch or bringing a
lunch from home and eating in the cafeteria.
Similarly, when inclement weather arrives, drivers
will need to build in additional
time to scrape windshields and drive more slowly.
Our school year begins after Labor Day and ends with the New York State Regents exams. The way the calendar works out this year,
we don't have enough days to fit in our regular Conference Days. Instead, teachers will contact parents with any concerns or parents
may request an after school conference by contacting the teacher. If you have any questions about your child's education, please
contact your child's teacher. A great way to arrange a conference is to come to your school's open house. If you can't make it, please
contact your child's school.
Our goal is to create a safer learning environment. We found that too many of our students were not making the best use of time between
classes. We also learned that three minutes is more than enough time to get from one class to the next. The change reduces the idle time students
spend in the hallways and gives students more time in class. Our students have adjusted to the new schedule by returning from lunch promptly
and visiting their lockers less often.
A student can wait until next year to order a class ring.
The simple answer is no; the added revenue would not be enough to continue operating the district
According to District Business Manager Ken Long, "Under the new tax levy cap, the
district can increase the levy roughly 2 percent ($93,600). Our state aid increases, along with our
allowable tax levy increases would not cover the increases in our state mandated pension costs and health insurance,
let alone anything else. We carefully saved our money over the past 8-10 years but have had to spend that savings to maintain our programs.."
The district currently projects a minimum of a $2 million shortfall for 2013-14. To put that in perspective, the district
would have to cut approximately 25 teachers or raise taxes 42 percent to make up $2 million.
a PDF of the 2012-13 budget)
The board of education explored all of the "easy" answers and
discovered that this would not save enough money to allow Ilion to
continue operating as a single school. In fact, the district has
already made all of the cuts it can without beginning to reduce the
classes we offer, increase class size, and eliminate extracurricular
Copies of student performance on the New York State ELA and math assessments are currently being mailed.
Yes, there will be a Barringer Road open house. As soon as we receive their calendar, we will post the dates online.
Specifics regarding incentive aid and district finances begin on page 43 of the three-school reorganization study.
(View a PDF of the study)
Letters are being mailed Monday, Aug. 20.
No, they will attend the first regular day of school— Wednesday, Sept. 5.
No, the fitness center is not open over the summer. It will reopen on
Monday, September 10, 2012. The hours will be Sunday through Thursday,
You can view the
district calendar as a PDF file here. It
includes start and end dates, vacations and holidays.
Barringer will likely be at or near full capacity.
No, most intervention services (additional help for students to help students meet state standards) are funded by federal grants.
No, if the merger is approved, it becomes final. New York is interested in promoting consolidation as a more permanent solution to the
school funding problem. The state's goal is to make school districts more efficient. After spending almost $60 million on the merger
it is not likely the state would approve a move back to three separate school districts.
The merger study is a roadmap, not a "cast-in-stone" plan. As specifics arise, the board of education will have to reexamine the study
to make certain the plan realistically meets the various mandates.
Once we determine the final enrollment for the school year, it is possible that some Ilion elementary students will attend Fisher Elementary. This could be on a
volunteer basis or the new board of education could redraw the attendance zones to avoid overcrowding
at Barringer. Three additional facts to consider:
Remington is 2.1 miles from both Fisher and Barringer; anyone living east of Remington is actually closer to Fisher.
Due to traffic signals and traffic flow, it is faster to travel from Remington to Fisher than from Remington to Barringer.
If the board draws new attendance zones, elementary students from the neighborhood will still attend school with their
The districts' building surveys and the merger report show that Fisher and Remington are in similar condition.
The simple answer is that this would be simply sharing services and not merging. The state does not provide merger incentive aid for
shared services (other than BOCES services). Your question really asks why the districts would choose to merge when they could save money by
sharing administrators and other services.
The boards of education have already explored sharing services, but have discovered that the savings are too small to avoid the budget
problems that lie ahead.
Pop Warner football, like Little League or AYSO soccer, is a community program with no direct ties to the school districts. The
Pop Warner association would determine what changes—if any—it would make in the event of a merger.
No; Ilion does not provide administrators with vehicles for district or personal use. The district, however, purchases vehicles for use by
buildings and grounds and cafeteria staff when performing their school-related responsibilities. This may include picking up supplies or
delivering supplies, materials or equipment to various school sites. District policy prohibits the use of any school vehicle for personal
Summer school will be held mornings July 5-Aug. 14. Period 1 is 7:30-9:23 a.m. Period 2 is 9:28-11:21. Regents exams are August 16-17.
Parents and students will be notified as soon as final grades are determined. Visit our website for the latest information.
Eighth grade students will take the New York State Science Performance
exam on Wednesday, May 30th and the written exam on Monday, June 4th.
The Regents schedule is online and can be found
The local exam schedule will be posted soon.
Yes, but in doing so the student assumes the same responsibility as a parent. Students are excused from school only for clearly defined reasons such
as a medical or dental appointments. False statements will result in appropriate discipline as proscribed by district policy.
Attendance questions should be directed to our central office at 894-5000 ext. 55000.
New York State Education Department sets the rules for Advisory and
Statutory votes. NYSED prohibits requiring proof of residency (i.e.
driver license or bill with address). Had the process moved to a
Statuory vote, NYSED would have appointed a poll-watcher (generally a
board of education member) who could challenge a person's right to
vote prior to voting. Once a person votes, there can be no further
It is anticipated that 2012-2013 budget will include two fewer teaching positions than does the 2011-2012 budget.
Write a letter to Principal Rudd asking to meet with her to discuss
The shared sports question is a rumor; there are no plans to share
sports in the 2012-13 school year. Regarding Ilion sports—the budget
is currently under development. Cuts to sports are possible if the
board needs to further reduce expenses.
According to High School principal Ms. Rudd, there has not been
discussion of a lounge for juniors. Any interested students should
schedule a time to discuss the idea with Ms. Rudd.
Assuming that you are asking if we invite parents to school to see and participate in regular school day activities, the answer is not
at this time. Many parents are unable to participate in daytime
activities. For that reason, we host open houses so parents can visit
our schools, speak with our teachers and learn about their children's
education. If you have specific question or concerns, we invite you to
contact your school principal or your child's teacher.
This light-hearted activity was a Student Council fund-raiser to support our scholarship program. All students in our Junior-Senior
High School filled out a simple questionnaire asking questions such as how they would handle a conflict or how neatly they keep their lockers.
We crunch the data and turn out a report for each student listing classmates with whom
each student shares the most traits.
For $3, students could see the names of "compatible matches" in their grade, or for $5 see their matches in all grades. Note:
Seventh and eighth graders could only see the names of other seventh and eighth graders. Students in grades 9-12 could only see
names of other high school students.
Students are not required to purchase the results. And again, this is intended as a fun way to raise money for an important
Yes, all Junior-Senior High School teachers are expected to post
assignments on Parent Portal.
If one or more communities reject the advisory referendum (straw
vote), the process ends. The boards of education could then explore
merging two or three of the districts instead of all four, consider
merging with a
different district or explore establishing a regional high school. If
the boards chose to proceed with a two- or three-school merger, they
could use the data from the four-school study to create a new plan,
submit that plan to the NY State Education Department and proceed with
a new board vote, advisory referendum and statutory referendum. That
process would take several months and would delay the start of the
merged district until July 1, 2013.
The merger study recommends creating one upper elementary school, one
middle school and one high school to become more efficient in how we
use our resources and to improve what we offer our students. Staying
as we are is not an option for the following reasons:
The state approved a merger plan that
consolidates our individual schools to promote greater efficiency.
If the district fails to follow that plan (including merging the
individual schools), we would not receive the promised merger
Combining all similar age students in their
respective buildings avoids having duplicate staff, equipment and
teaching materials scattered across multiple buildings. It allows
the district to focus the curriculum on one age group and improve
student performance. It avoids having large classes in one
community's middle school and small classes in another.
The study reports that the district saves
money even with additional transportation costs. The study
intentionally overestimates transportation costs. The study
expects the actual cost would be lower than the estimate.
We trialed charging admission to select events last year. We
discovered that charging admission was not worth the cost of hiring
staff to take money and tickets. We also concluded that the taxpayers
should not have to pay when their tax dollars are already support the
absentee ballots are available here on the the website or by
contacting the district clerk Ken Long at 894-5000. Completed
applications must be received by Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 if the ballot
is to be mailed to the voter or Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 if the ballot
is to be issued to the voter in person.
We can only assume you are referencing a board of education meeting in
another school district. To date, no one has attended an Ilion board
of education meeting to ask about the merger. Additionally, Mr.
Tangorra held an open question and answer session on Jan. 5 where he
directly answered all questions.
Says Mr. Tangorra, "If you want the truth, all you have to do is ask
me. You may not like the answer, but it will be brutally honest."
The merger study portrays a district that could offer educational and
extracurricular programming that would rival that offered by some of
the more successful school districts in our region such as Whitesboro.
All elementary schools would use the same materials and follow the
same curriculum. This would ensure that every student is equally
prepared when he or she advances to the common grade 5-6 upper
elementary school. A side benefit would be that any child who moves
from one community to another would not have to worry about being
ahead or behind the new classmates.
We should feel confident that the board will adopt the majority of the
merger study. No one—with the possible exception of the school
superintendents—knows more about our school districts than the merger
consultants and the CAC. They spent 10 month examining every detail of
who we are as communities and what we do as schools. They spoke to our
districts' transportation directors to learn about buses, our
principals to learn about academic, our athletic directors to learn
about sports, our facilties directors to learn about our buildings,
teachers to learn about classrooms, business officials to learn about
In the end, no one has a more complete understanding of our schools.
to learn about our demographics, enrollments, facilities, academic and
extracurricular programs, transportation, staffing and finances. The
CAC members are our experts.
The new board of education would be foolish to ignore the best advice
of people who know so much about the merger.
Local voters have a responsibility to come out and elect board members
who will best represent the wishes of the community and to provide the
best possible educational opportunities for the community's children.
"Play for pay" is prohibited because it excludes students from
opportunities based on the ability to pay. (The law states that
every child is entitled to equal opportunity.) Parents could
certainly support booster club activities and fundraisers that benefit
a particular program. Parents could not contribute to the booster club
to ensure their particular sons' or daughter's spot on the team.
It will be up to the new board of education to establish the policy. The
merger study, however, suggested leaving the attendance zones unchanged
in the new district for the first year. Students currently attending school in their own
communities would not be required to switch schools. It is assumed the
new board would accept that recommendation—as long as there was adequate
space for all of the community's students in that particular elementary
school. The study also recommended allowing parents to request a
different elementary school as space allows.
All of the questions asked in the groups at the community forum are
posted in the recap of the meeting linked from the homepage of our
Click here to view the questions and answers.
Once the end of the marking period arrives, we temporarily close the
grades portion to enable teachers to make last minute corrections
prior to issuing report cards or progress reports. That should only
last a day or two. All teachers are encouraged to post assignments and
missing assignments online. If your child's teacher is not posting
assignments, please feel free to contact that teacher directly to get
the information you need.
Unfortunately, the live video streaming failed during the meeting and
the video did not save to the streaming site.
First, this question fails to acknowledge that a merged district
provides students with a better educational program at less cost than
the districts can separately. Without a merger, each district will no
longer be able to fund its programs and be forced to make drastic cuts
to everything from sports to kindergarten.
The proposed merger actually reduces administration costs by cutting
eight administrative positions and two business office positions.
Although a merger would not lower Ilion property taxes, it will
stabilize them avoiding any significant increases for the foreseeable
future. Should the state fail to pay the promised incentive aid, it
will likely make substantial cuts to the foundation aid on which the
district depends. A merged district would be more efficient and better
able to survive the level of reductions needed to balance its budget
than Ilion could alone.
We have been speaking with the other districts and are adding new
ideas and questions regularly. Not surprisingly, there are few
different comments or suggestions that were not raised in Ilion's
The merger study makes general recommendations without specifics
because the new board of education would make all final decisions.
Committees of principals, guidance counselors, and faculty would
likely meet to share their perceptions of student interest and the
availability of facilities, equipment and qualified coaches or staff.
The committees would make their recommendations to the board to
accept, modify or reject. It is impossible to guess the outcome of
The merger study recommends cutting two administrators, two business
officials, three cafeteria managers, three facilities directors, and
three transportation directors.
Passes and security cameras serve different purposes. Students carry
signed passes signed by teachers and staff as proof of permission to
be out of the classroom. The cameras monitor the halls for illegal,
unsafe or inappropriate activities.
In the Community Merger Discussion held on Tuesday, Dec. 6,
Superintendent Tangorra explained that cuts in state aid paired with a
tax levy cap will soon leave the district without funds to maintain
existing program. Depending on aid level, possible aid cuts and the
community's willingness to accept larger tax increases the district
will have to cut all non mandated programs including extracurricular
activities, athletics, elementary art and music, high school electives
and kindergarten. Current estimates indicate that could take place in
as little three years or as long as six.
In a story we ran at the beginning of the school year, we explained
that new state regulations now require we charge more for our lunches
based on the cost of preparing and serving the meal. Please
read that story for more information.
Beginning in elementary school, we work to teach respect through our
character education program. We work to ensure our staff members model
respect as they interact with students, fellow, staff, parents and
community members. Truthfully, most life lessons are learned in the
home. As hard as we work to teach and model respect, it is our parents
and guardians who have the greatest influence on our students'
In the past, communities often merged simply to get the merger
incentive aid and then applied that aid according to a basic
formula—1/3 to stabilize taxes, 1/3 for savings, and 1/3 for new
construction. Districts continued "business as usual" so that when the
aid ran out, the new district faced the same challenges the individual
districts faced prior to the merger.
The primary purpose of the four-school merger study is to determine if
the four schools together can provide greater educational
opportunities than they can separately. At the same time, can we lower
our costs by becoming more efficient? This study has identified ways
we can be deliver a better education AND save money. The State
Education Department agrees with findings and has moved this to
community conversations and probable community votes.
The district would continue its mission to educate our community's
students, but without the funding to maintain the program we currently
offer. Although we have some financial reserves, they will soon run
out. When they do, we will be forced to make very difficult decisions.
We will begin by cutting non mandated programs and services and
related staffing. This would include any or all of the following:
extracurricular clubs, interscholastic sports, elementary art and
music, secondary school electives, kindergarten, K-8 busing within two
miles of school, 9-12 busing within three miles of school, etc.
Schools cannot declare bankruptcy; they cannot ignore labor contracts;
they cannot ignore school law. According to the State Education
Department, if cutting non mandated programs does not close the budget
deficit, schools will be required take any legal steps necessary to
meet state standards and stay within the schools' approved budgets.
One representative said that for some districts, that might mean
doubling up classrooms or running split sessions—changes that would
leave our community's children at a great disadvantage when competing
for places in college or jobs in the workplace.
The choice of Dec. 6 was made realizing there would conflicts,
particularly with the many holiday events taking place in our schools
and community. Although other days may prove better for some
residents, those dates proved undesirable for others. Unfortunately,
the decision has already been made and the dates published via the
Internet and various media outlets. For those unable to attend, we
will video record the evening and post the video online. We encourage
you to contact our district office with specific questions.
We expect the project to be completed by the end of the school year.
Mr. Tangorra offers this response," I can not substitute my judgment
for that of the new board of education. Although there will be
greater program opportunities, the new board will make the ultimate
decisions as to where those will be."
Parking will obviously be limited by the space available. Any decision
to expand the parking area would rest with the new board of education.
This answer comes in two parts. First, in a reorganized district,
Remington would close for no other reason than it is the smaller of
Ilion's two elementary schools. Claims of contamination are completely
unfounded and played no role in this decision. Second, we began making
needed improvements to make Remington—before the merger discussion
started. As the merger process moved along, we discontinued certain
phases of the project, but opted to complete other phases necessary to
make the building fully functional and energy efficient. If the
community rejects the merger, we will have an up-to-date building for
our elementary school children. If the community approves the merger,
the improvements will make the building more desirable should we
choose to rent or sell it.
Your point is well-taken. All of the wonderful things that take place
in our schools only happen with the support of our residents and
taxpayers. Although taxpayers were included in the acknowledgements in
the evening program, we could have (and should have) done a better job
in our thanks. A belated, but very sincere, public thank you.
The merger study identified several opportunities and challenges
concerning sports. A new district could offer a wider range of sports
teams (i.e. lacrosse, ice hockey, swimming, skiing, etc.); expand
teams to include modified, freshman, JV and varsity squads based on
student interest; draw from a larger pool of talented coaches and
offer intramural sports. Among the challenges would be the heightened
level of competition for spots on teams—especially teams with small
rosters such as basketball. In addition to interest and natural
would need to show a commitment to practice, off-season training and
effort to ensure their participation. Those who might not make a team
may find new opportunities in other sports, intramural programs or
other expanded extracurricular programs.
The October 29 concert is not a traditional student concert. It celebrates the reopening of the high school's newly refurbished Burton T. Seymour Auditorium with a performance by Rob Evan, the lead singer with the world famous Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Mr. Evan is the prinicipal performer and will perform 16 numbers, some accompanied by our students. As with other extraordinary events such as All-County concerts, Area All State, and school musicals, the ticket price helps underwrite the cost the performance. Our limited seating and our experience with family caps prevent us from offering a family price.p>
The Community Advisory Committee opted to delay its final meeting
until September 29 to ensure it had needed property tax information
from each district. As soon as the consultants make the final versions
of the data shared at the meeting available, we will post it online.
Youth programs such as AYSO and CYO and school sports at the modified
level are instructional—building an athlete's physical skills and
understanding of the sport. For that reason, everyone generally
receives playing time. By the time an athlete reaches junior varsity
and varsity levels, however, the focus changes. There is greater
pressure on the athlete, the coaches, and the school to be successful.
Coaches determine playing time by evaluating an athlete's ability,
preparation in practice, commitment, and the immediate needs of the
team. That decision is strictly the coach's. There are no school
policies dictating how long an individual athlete plays.
This is a very sensitive issue for many parents and one we take very
seriously. If you have questions concerning your child's playing time,
please make an appointment to speak with the coach or Ilion Athletic
Director Bob McCann.
Unfortunately, plans are so far along that the dates cannot be
changed. Barringer Road Principal Mrs. LaPaglia and Junior-Senior High
Principal Ms. Rudd understand that the conflict poses a problem
for parents wishing to attend both events. The principals recommend
attending the Barringer Road open house at 6:30 p.m. then moving to
the Junior-Senior High by 7:15 p.m. This is not an ideal solution and
may not be possible for parents who arrive later at Barringer Road.
Please contact the main office at Barringer Road Elementary at
894-8420 or the Junior-Senior High at 895-7471 with any questions or
All sports schedules are posted on the
Digital Sports website. The online version lists all sports at all
levels. The Ilion Foundation also prints a sports calendar that it
will distribute at each building's open house. Any extra copies can be
found in each school office following the open houses.
Sale of anything on school property is limited to school fundraisers
and only if approved by the building principal. No other sales are
The fitness center will be open 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday as soon
as the district has arranged staffing for all nights.
The four basics are important, but the State Education Department
defines a well-rounded education as one that also includes technology, the
arts, home and careers, foreign language, and physical education. We
occasionally break students apart by ability where appropriate, but
as a rule, "sorting" students is not appropriate. For more
information concerning our education philosophy, please contact Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. at
Ilion will spend $3.39 million, not $6 million on all BOCES programs
in 2011-12. This includes vocational/technical tuition, handicapped
services, and district data processing and central business office
needs. BOCES is the most cost-effective model for providing these
services. Without BOCES, it would be far more expensive for the district to
develop and maintain these programs to serve small groups of students
or to meet our administrative needs. For more information concerning
BOCES and the services we purchase, please
contact Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. at
Under the negotiated contract, any staff (teachers or support) layoffs
must be based on seniority.
The requirements are listed on page 37 of the student handbook. (view
a PDF of the handbook)
No, there will be no new AP courses, but we have added
Pre-Calculus and Statistics to our College
Now classes. This year we are offering English Composition, English
Literature, American History I & II, Anatomy & Physiology, Geology,
Spanish 4, Introduction to Drama Study, and Music in Our Lives.
College Now allows students to earn high school and college credit
through Herkimer County Community College.
Fiscal realities may force the district to consider closing an
elementary school in the future, but there are no current plans to do
Regardless of political beliefs, the
fact is that the property tax cap will have an
adverse effect on poor school districts and municipalities. As
advocates for this community's children and their educations, we would
be negligent if we did not fully disclose the tax cap's negative
impacts on Ilion Central School's educational and extracurricular
The nine-period schedule allows much more flexibility when scheduling
classes. It also aligns the junior high and senior high school
schedules enabling some of our teachers to teach both junior and
senior high students.
yearbook pictures must be submitted by October 21. Photos can be black
and white or color, and must be a vertical pose. Digital images are
prefered. Ms. DeRocco will take senior yearbook portraits for anyone
who is not able to do so on their own. Contact her at the high school or via email
at email@example.com to
Many people—not just seniors—lack the time, access, or comfort level
to rely only on the district websites for merger information.
To date, the information on the Ilion website generally summarizes the
individual merger study meetings. Those meetings addressed the "what
ifs" concerning single topics such as building use, transportation,
staffing, curriculum, sports and extracurricular activities, etc.
Once the merger study concludes and the consultants present the final
report to the boards of education, the district will have a clearer
picture of how a merged district might look. At that time, the
district will communicate that information to parents, students,
staff, and residents using a wide range of communications tools
including the district website, email, social media (such as FaceBook
and Twitter), traditional media (newspapers, television, and radio),
direct mail to residents, public meetings, and presentations to
school, social and civic groups.
Yes, the district offers sports physicals prior to each fall, winter,
and spring season. Licensed medical personnel visit the school on an
announced date to perform physicals at no cost to the student. Students may opt
to have their physicals performed by their personal physicians, but at
the students' families expense. For further questions, please contact
Athletic Direction Bob McCann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students will receive paper copies of their schedules during homeroom
on the first day of school. Parents may access the schedules online
via the district's
This comment raises two issues. First, that those who pay full price
subsidize those who receive free or reduced price meals. This is a
common misunderstanding. Free and reduced meals have no impact on our
meal prices. Under the National School Lunch Program, the federal
government reimburses school districts for free and reduced meals.
Second, our prices are not high. Our meals must meet specific
nutritional guidelines for protein, vitamins, calories, fats, sodium,
whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. By purchasing in bulk and
participating in the federal government's surplus food program, we are
able to charge $1.50 for elementary school lunches and $2.25 for
junior-senior high school lunches—less than the normal cost of the
The merger study is ongoing. The Community Advisory Committee has met
nine times with the study consultants to review everything from
student enrollment to buildings and staffing to curriculum. The next
meeting tackles questions of school finances. The study will wrap up
in September with a final report due to the boards of education in
October. District residents will have the chance to learn about the
results at public meetings to be held in each community. If all four
boards vote to move forward, each district will hold an Advisory
Referendum (straw vote). If all four communities pass the referendum,
the NYS Commissioner of Education will arrange a Final Referendum. If
all four communities pass the final referendum, the merger becomes
official. Stay on top of the merger by visiting our
Merger Study page.
No sports were cut from this year's program.
Parent Portal will be available for viewing student schedules on the
afternoon of September 2, 2011.
Orientation ends at noon, so there will be no lunch served. For the
full schedule of events,
The cost of printing and mailing the calendar continues to rise. Under
growing financial pressure, the district made the difficult decision
to discontinue a printed calendar. That same information is available
Click here to view the calendar.
Students are encouraged to carry items to school in a backpack. During
the school day however, bulky backpacks tend to block classroom aisles
and must be left in lockers. Students have five minutes between
classes to go to their lockers to get their books and materials for
the next class. They may carry these items in small string bags and
tote bags that take up less space than full-sized backpacks.
Due to budget constraints, the following activities are discontinued:
Art Club, Bookstore, Newspaper, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Math Club,
Mock Trial, Odyssey of the Mind, and Safety Patrol.
The purpose of the new system is to ensure the safety of employees at
all hours and to improve building security. The system avoids having
people alone in the building and minimizes the risk of unauthorized
access due to a lost key. The plan is to begin with limited access and
grow the scope as needed as time passes. The system will not be in
place until after employees have the opportunity to learn more at
Superintendent's Conference Day on September 1.
Yes, we had an excellent pool of candidates. We hired Samantha Hecht.
She will begin September 1.