HOWLAND SCHOOLS Administrators discuss improvements needed

The school district is preparing to place a levy on the ballot in November.
HOWLAND -- After a five-hour brainstorming session, Howland school administrators came up with tentative lists of how they would like to spend money they do not yet have.
The unifying themes: improving school security; fixing deteriorating heating and electrical systems; offering more programs for struggling students; and more administrative support for programs for children with special needs.
These will be taken into account as the district crafts a levy for the November ballot, said Ray Tisone, chairman of the board of education.
"The hope is that after this meeting today, we can put together a list of what schools need improvement and where we need to go," he said before the meeting's start.
Levy defeat: Voters defeated the district's last attempt to get a permanent improvement levy by about 100 votes in November, he said.
At the meeting, school principals described heating units that had become too old to find replacement parts, worn kindergarten tables, a failing electrical system at the high school and demands for services for special-needs children that overtaxed the administrative staff.
A series of audits of security at various school buildings also pinpointed a number of shortcomings. Principals asked for cameras to monitor parking lots, an intercom or telephone system to connect classrooms to the main office and physical improvements to allow them to restrict the number of school entrances.
"The big concern was security," said Tom Krispinsky, the district treasurer.
Principals of the two primary schools also expressed the desire for add more kindergarten classrooms onto their building, in anticipation of the switch to all-day kindergarten.
"All-day kindergarten is eventually going to be mandated," Tisone said. "We just don't know when."

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