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State ed commissioner speaks to county school board members

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CANTON - The St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties School Boards Association and the St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties BOCES recently hosted Dr. John B. King, Jr., the commissioner of the New York State Education Department and the University of the State of New York, as their keynote speaker and presenter.

The St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties School Boards Association annually hosts a New School Board Members’ workshop to assist and inform newly elected school board members in what their role and duties are as a school board member.

This session’s purpose is to give new school board members an opportunity to obtain information regarding board protocol, fiscal management, legal requirements, rules of conduct, and other responsibilities. It also shows how the BOCES organization can assist the districts in instruction, sharing of services, career and technology opportunities for students, grants, special education, and many other opportunities available through the BOCES Co-service agreements utilizing state BOCES aid.

This year the association chose to take a slightly different approach to board member training – not only as an orientation for new board members, but an opportunity for veteran board members to avail themselves of an opportunity to receive a refresher course in boardsmanship.

Board members received first-hand information regarding the new evaluation system, which is a requirement of the Race to the Top program.

The SLLCSBA Association, in partnership with the district superintendent, invited several key people to address these issues, including Dr. King.

Also participating in this workshop: Andrew W. Silver, attorney, Canton, who provides legal services to many school districts in the county; Dana Smith, Area 6 director, Board of Directors, NYS School Boards Association; Sharon Andrews, president of the SLLCSBA; and James Lattimer, vice president, SLLCSBA.

Several school superintendents and approximately 90 board of education members attended this workshop. This function was the first such event hosted in the north country and in the new BOCES facilities at 40 W. Main Street, the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES new Educational Services Center.

District Superintendent Thomas R. Burns offered his thanks all those who participated in this event to help make it such a successful day for everyone, especially Commissioner King, Regent Dawson, Area 6 director, board members, superintendents, presenters – Marc Reitz, Andrew Silver, board member panelists, BOCES sStaff, and all others who helped to make this day so successful, with a special thanks to Hermon-DeKalb School Superintendent Ann Adams.

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