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Bronxville Board of Education Adopts Budget for Tax Levy Increase for 2019-20 Fiscal Year PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter


Mar. 27, 2019:  The Bronxville Board of Education, at its regular meeting on March 21, adopted a $49,506,642 budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The school district looks to raise approximately $43.5 million through the property tax levy.

Although school districts must operate within the statutory two percent allowable tax levy cap, factors such as inflation and the growth factor in tax assessment rolls enter the calculation. Factoring in those items, Bronxville’s allowable tax levy cap for 2019-2020 is 3.4 percent. The adopted budget is approximately $335,000 below that allowable cap and proposes a 2.64 percent increase in the tax levy.

As in prior years, the board has elected to appropriate $500,000 of its fund balance to offset the tax levy increase. According to Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business, yearly operating surpluses have funded the tax levy offset. Carlin expects to realize the same level of budget surplus in the current year.

Other sources of revenue expected to fund the budget include New York State Education Department State Aid, special education tuition, regular education tuition, interest, and sales taxes.

“Our budget history, particularly over the last ten years, has been flat,” Carlin said. “If we had a good reason, we would probably go to the voters for a 60 percent override [of the tax levy cap], but we like to avoid that if we can.” He added that, for this budget, that won’t be necessary.

Carlin noted that enrollment has remained fairly stable over the last four years and that trends are indicating a slight decrease. In the four years leading to 2015, the district experienced an approximate 12 percent increase in enrollment.

The 2019-2020 budget includes a net gain of two staff positions. Positions to be added are an elementary school social and emotional learning teacher, as required by a new statute, a middle school science teacher, and a high school social studies teacher. The district plans to reduce eight-tenths of one clerical position. Salaries and benefits make up almost 75 percent of the budget.

New to the adopted budget are the addition of a full-time security professional with funding help from Southern Westchester BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services), an upgrade to the school’s public address system expected to cost $378,000, a school-wide synchronized clock system and a classroom messaging system all intended to increase and enhance security throughout the school campus. Currently, security services are provided through a contract with Securitas. “There is no real security professional,” Carlin stated. “Security has been divided between members of the administration and none of us are trained as professionals.”

The adopted budget will go before Bronxville voters for approval on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Pictured here:  Bronxville School Board of Trustees.

Photo by N. Bower

 
Mr. Agnello: An Everyday Hero Helps a Family Affected by the Fire PDF Print Email

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By Ellie Clifford, Bronxville School 8th-Grader


Mar. 20, 2019:   I was doing my homework at the Bronxville Field Club on Tuesday evening, March 12, when I started to smell smoke. I went outside to try to figure out what was happening and saw helicopters in the sky. A staff member then told me that there was a fire in town. My mother, brothers, and I hopped in the car and headed to town. 

As we got out of the car near the hospital, we saw how big this fire was and how much of an impact it made. There were fire engines and hoses everywhere and thick smoke in the air. We had to cover our faces to avoid breathing in the smoke.

Meanwhile, at about the same time, Mr. Agnello, a guidance counselor at the Bronxville School, was having a similar experience. He was in his office at school and smelled smoke. He originally thought it was his radiator but, when he opened his window, he realized it was from outside. He looked out on Pondfield Road and as he told me, “You could hardly see across the street.”

Mr. Agnello then decided to go to Gino’s for something to eat. There were fire engines all down the street and smoke was billowing out of the top of a building. 

As Mr. Agnello was eating dinner, he noticed a family sitting next to him that was displaced by the fire. The family included a mom, a dad, and two daughters. He later learned that the daughters were age 20 and 12 and that the family had lost all of their possessions in the fire. The possessions were either burned or destroyed by water.

While at Gino’s, Mr. Agnello overheard the family talking anxiously about their situation and what they were going to do, including staying in a shelter. He saw that the younger daughter was upset by the idea of the shelter. Mr. Agnello understood because he stayed in a shelter during Hurricane Irene. As he said, “The Red Cross does a great job, but shelters are not a great place for kids.”

Then Mr. Agnello did something extraordinary. He decided he wanted to help this family and other families. So he made a phone call to the Hyatt Hotel in Cross County and booked eight rooms. As he said, “I decided if there were any families with kids or senior citizens, I would make the offer to give them a hotel room to stay.”

This family was very grateful for the offer and stayed at the hotel from the night of the fire until Sunday morning. Ms. Brogan, a teacher at the Bronxville School, also helped organize a clothing drive for them and delivered the clothes to them yesterday, March 17.

It’s really wonderful that Mr. Agnello took the time to do something for a family that he had never met. 

If you would like to help these families, Mr. Agnello mentioned that Ladles of Love in Bronxville and a church in Yonkers are collecting donations from the Red Cross and are helping distribute them.

Pictured here:  Mr. Agnello.

Photo by B. Clifford

Editor's note: The author is the daughter of a staff member of MyhometownBronxville.

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 



 
BHS Freshmen and Sophomores Advance to NYS History Day Competition in Cooperstown PDF Print Email

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Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax for The Bronxville School


Mar. 20, 2019:  A group of Bronxville High School freshmen and sophomores earned the top prizes at the 2019 Lower Hudson Valley Regional National History Day Competition, which was held on March 9 at St. Thomas Aquinas College.

The students, who have been conducting extensive historical research on a topic of their choice during the last several months, competed against students from seven other area schools. Their authentic work focused on this year’s National History Day theme of Triumph and Tragedy in History and is displayed in one of five ways--paper, website, documentary, performance, or exhibit.

“We are extremely proud of the historical research that students pursued around this theme,” said teacher Christina Reidel, who oversees the program with Dana Landesman. “We are grateful to our colleagues and administration for supporting this important work.”

At the regional competition, a total of 54 students from Bronxville High School were interviewed by professors and scholars and articulated what they had discovered through their historical research. Of them, 41 students received top honors, but only first- and second-place finalists advanced to the New York State National History Day competition, which will be held on April 29 in Cooperstown, New York.

The district congratulates the following students, who earned awards in these categories:

Performance (individual)
Lucy Clark – First place
Maggie Lockwood – Second place

Performances (group)
Patrick Bird and Izaak Thoms – Second place

Research Paper
Meg Outcalt – Second place

Website (individual)
Lainey Neild – Second place

Website (group)
George Dhar, Ingemar Hentschel, Kamil Mutlucan, Tora Ozawa, and AJ Radik – First place
TJ Curran, Ben Davis, Earl Gretzinger, George McCormick, and Connor Randall – Second place

Documentary (individual)
Peter Coquillette – Second place
Annabelle Krause – Third place

Documentary (group)
Katherine Hennessy, Isabella Horvers, and Megan Krestinski – Second place
Tim Atkeson, Spencer Dessart, Liam Hearty, Billy Rizzo, and JP Swenson – Third place

Exhibit (individual)
Amir Yaghoobi – First place
Theodora Reichel – Second place
Ashley Goldbaum – Third place

Exhibit (group)
Eliza Brennan, Elizabeth Burnell, Rory Denning, Maya Madhaven, and Sydney Tuck – First place
Lilly Jebejian and Alice Vranka – Second place
Caroline McGrath, Caroline Palermo, Evelyn Roberts, Avery Widen, and Kelly Wield – Third place

Pictured here: Bronxville High School freshmen and sophomores who earned top prizes at the 2019 Lower Hudson Valley Regional National History Day Competition.

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 

 
NPC Receives Applications for School Board Trustee and Invites Bronxville Community to Contribute Insights PDF Print Email

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By Susan Meaney, Member, Bronxville's Committee for Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees


Mar. 6, 2019:  Bronxville's Committee for Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees (“NPC”) has received three applications from individuals who seek to be nominated as candidates for school board trustee of the Bronxville School, all of whom are current school board trustees seeking a second term: Jack BierwirthThomas Curran, and Arleen Thomas.

The NPC invites members of the community to submit insights regarding the candidates to  CLOAKING  or to contact their NPC district representative listed on www.bronxvillenpc.com.  These insights will be confidential and will be shared only within the NPC to help with our deliberations. Please submit insights by 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 23.

The NPC was formed in 1936 to foster the election of trustees of the Bronxville School on a non-partisan basis. The NPC, which consists of three elected representatives from each of Bronxville's seven election districts, solicits qualified residents who are interested in serving as school trustee and nominates a slate of candidates to run in the school district election each May. 


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Bronxville Elementary School Students Examine Bronx River Water for Sediments PDF Print Email

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Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School


Mar. 6, 2019:  Bronxville Elementary School fourth-grade students, who have been studying what makes a healthy watershed as part of their science classes, recently analyzed water samples from the Bronx River to test for the presence of sediments.

Before observing the water samples, which were collected by their teachers in the fall, the students made a hypothesis. They supported their hypothesis with evidence from what they had learned about sediment pollution. As part of the project, the students analyzed a 50-milliliter water sample before letting it evaporate from an evaporation tray. Using hand lenses and microscopes, they observed the sediments left in the evaporation tray and recorded the data.

“Results showed a presence of different types of sediments, and the students were excited to find a few living creatures were in the water samples,” science teacher Susan Monaco said.

The students will continue to test samples of water from the Bronx River in the winter and spring to determine if the time of year affects the types and amount of sediments found in the water. As part of the ongoing scientific learning experience, they will visit Scout Field in March to make observations and explain how sediments find their way to the river and what types of natural and manmade sediments might be present at Scout Field.  

“This project gives the students the opportunity to apply the science skills they use in class to an authentic scientific research project, and it empowers them to use their skills as young scientists to make a difference in their community,” Monaco said.

Monaco said the experience has allowed the students to further build their confidence, motivation, and interest in science. 

“They are excited about using their skills to investigate a real-life problem, and they understand their research is important,” she said.

The high-powered microscopes, which the students have been using to conduct their investigation, were provided to the elementary science department through a generous grant from The Bronxville School Foundation.

Pictured here: Using a microscope, a Bronxville Elementary School fourth-grader observes the sediments left in the evaporation tray.

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 

 
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