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Board tackles subject of bullying

by Olivia
Mon, Nov 28th 2011 12:00 pm

by Kathleen Duff

The Grand Island Board of Education worked through a varied business agenda Monday evening, including hearing a presentation from the district's Bullying Committee.

Assistant Principal of Grand Island High School Jerry Parisi, was joined by Heather Maras, social worker at Huth and Kaegebein schools, and Michelle Paige, counselor at Veronica E. Connor Middle School, as they outlined the pre-K through grade 8 curriculum that targets the problem of bullying. Basically, lessons on bullying are "all scripted," Parisi said, to facilitate ease of presentation in the classroom. They are 40-minute lessons and involve some role-playing. Visual supports such as posters, which give students ways to cope with difficult situations, are an important part of the program.

All Grand Island schools are part of the Western New York Character Council and have been promoting "Viking Values" through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. The PBIS program has been in place for several years at all five district buildings. The goals are reduction of risky behaviors such as drug use and violence, learning to cope with stress and "engagement in achievement." The website for the Western New York Character Council is www.charactercouncilofwny.org.

In other business, Superintendent of Schools Robert Christmann commended retiring Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Karen Karmazin, for her 12 years of service to Grand Island schools. "We have a sense of loss within our professional organization," Christmann said. "Karen moved our district forward academically ... and always put the students' interests first. ... The loss is tremendous."

In addressing the board, Karmazin said that her tenure at Grand Island was "personally satisfying" and that progress made in development of new programs and in student achievement has been a "collaborative venture." The text of Karmazin's notification of retirement letter will appear in next week's Dispatch. She officially leaves her position on Dec. 7. Christmann told the board he would have recommendations for Karmazin's replacement at the next board meeting.

Also relating to retirements, Christmann said that the interviewing process to find a replacement for middle school Principal Bruce Benson is going well. Six candidates have been interviewed, with the resulting two finalists coming in for interviews next week.

In the Good News portion of the agenda, the board recognized the efforts of fourth-grade Huth Road teacher Jennifer Kropidlowski for her "sock drive" to benefit Buffalo City Mission. Also, Mary Jane Fonte's Life Skills class at the middle school raised funds to benefit the Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York.


In the Nov. 18 issue of the Island Dispatch, the Grand Island Board of Education report incorrectly cited the possible tax impact of Proposition 2 of the proposed district capital project. Proposition 2 is the smaller of the two projects. The correct possible tax impact of Proposition 2 is 2/10 of 1 percent. (See Page 2 for a tax impact chart.)

Grand Island Board Of Education
Capital Project, Financial Summary Information
Proposition 1: No Tax Increase
Proposition 2: Tax increase of 2/10 Of 1%
Sample Tax Impact of Proposition 2

Assessed House Value

Annual Total School Tax Increase


$2.13 Per Year


$4.26 Per Year


$6.39 Per Year


$8.52 Per Year

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