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District hopes to EXCEL

Superintendent Kathleen Spring is working to make sure the Mohonasen school district reaps the benefits of the state's Expanding our Children's Education and Learning, or EXCEL, program.

Spring told the board at the Monday, Nov. 20, meeting that she and Denise Swezey, school business director for the district, are looking into all the aspects of the state-funded program, which can help pay for certain types of school construction projects.

We are in the process of requesting funds under the EXCEL program while working with financial advisers to try and meet our top priorities, said Spring.

Districts must submit their plans to the state for approval before receiving any funds through the EXCEL program. An eligible EXCEL proposal can include improvements in technology, health " such as better ventilation, better school accessibility " such as handicap access, expansions resulting in smaller class sizes and ways to improve the use of energy.

"There are a lot of referendums in this project. With this aid we can look at improving our safety, security, reduce our class size number, along with many other positive changes as well," said Spring, who added that the district is still in the process of deciding what proposals they will bring to the state.

Board president Nancy Del Prado said the board is looking forward to seeing how this funding can improve the district.

"We are really excited about the possibilities with these funds. We look forward to seeing the progress resulting from this program," said Del Prado.

Most districts are eligible for aid except those with fewer than eight teachers and districts that contract for 100 percent of the cost of educating their students. The Board of Cooperative Edu-cational Services (BOCES), is not eligible to receive EXCEL aid, nor may districts use EXCEL aid to pay for their share of a BOCES capital project. Private schools, nonpublic schools and charter schools are also not eligible to receive EXCEL aid.""

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