No More Adult Education Classes?
As early as this fall, the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board, as a cost-savings measure, could cancel adult education classes in B-W School District buildings.
"We don't cover expenses with (registration fees for) these courses," B-W Superintendent Dr. Randal A. Lutz said at a school board meeting on Wednesday night. "Bascially, the fees cover about half of the cost."
Lutz said that the school board could direct district administration to continue to offer adult classes status quo as a "service to the community" or adjust the level of service that the district offers, even if that means no service at all.
"The way it stands now, it would not be administration's recommendation to go into this and not cover cost," Lutz said, "unless that was the will of the board from a service point of view."
Lutz said that many of the adults that enroll in the district's adult education classes reside in Baldwin-Whitehall but not all of them.
Board member Larry Pantuso said that he would not support adult education classes that resulted in a net loss for the district.
"While I understand that we want to be good stewards of citizenship," Pantuso said, "we can't be all things to all people.
"I think, at the minimum, we should cover our costs. We do have a fiduciary responsibility to our taxpayers that I think that we need to uphold."
Fellow board member George L. Pry agreed.
"We're looking at 'pay-for-play' and all of the other issues that are facing the district. I have no intentions that the district make money on this, but I really don't think we should lose money."
Board member Nancy Sciulli DiNardo agreed that the adult classes should at least be revenue-neutral for the district, but Sciulli DiNardo said that classes already scheduled for the fall of 2012—starting this month, in fact—should be allowed to go on as planned.
"I wouldn't not do it this year if these people are expecting this to happen," she said.
The school board is expected to make a decision on this topic at its Oct. 10 meeting.
Baldwin High Junior Wants Student Pre-Med Club
Baldwin High School junior Jill McDonnell used public-comments time at Wednesday's meeting to ask school leaders to support the formation of a Pre-Med Club at Baldwin High.
McDonnell said that she already has secured a teaching sponsor for the club and has a list of around 150 students interested in joining it.
"Our goals would be to provide insight and experience to help students plan their futures in medicine," she said. "This is very important because I know the scenes portrayed in movies and TV aren't anything like they really are, but how would students know that?
"I've had the opportunity to be in the operating room for surgeries, and it's nothing like what it is on Grey's Anatomy.
"Students need the opportunity to find those things out, or else they'll never know if they really want to pursue that education.
"We don't want anyone to have to change their major and find out too late that that's really what they wanna do."
McDonnell envisions a Pre-Med Club at Baldwin as not just being for future doctors but for anyone considering a career in health care. The club would do charity work at local hospitals, pursue job shadowing opportunities and regularly invite guests from the medical field to talk with its members. It would also sponsor workshops for things like first aid and CPR certifications.
"You had me at 'hello,'" said Lutz, who scheduled a Thursday morning meeting with McDonnell to talk more about her idea.
B-W School Board Debates $80K Stage Rigging System
Click here for more B-W School Board news.
Sign up for the daily Baldwin-Whitehall newsletter.