School board hears updates on BCHS, Clarksville

In his report to the board, Tebbano also proposed the return of a practice that would allow the district to report drug use by students on school grounds to colleges and universities.

“I find it hard to believe that Harvard or Yale would like that kind of student, and I think we need to start being vigilant in helping students make the decisions that are going to be necessary for them to improve their lives,” said Tebbano.

Some students in the audience disagreed with the idea, arguing that in some cases students make a single mistake and then make the right choices with the help of programs such as youth court, where students are given punishments by their peers and kept out of the formal criminal justice system. The board took no action on the proposal.

The board did grant district administrators permission to pursue an investigation into the costs of installing cameras at the school, as well as at the district’s operations and maintenance facility. Over the summer, thousands of dollars in damage was inflicted on district vehicles there.

“This high school is a very large complex. We’ve cut back on hall monitors and security. We have had some issues with vandalism, especially at the O & M center,” said Tebbano.

That plan, including potential costs, could be presented to the board as early as January.

Clarksville Elementary

Tebbano reported on the progress made in negotiations to turn Clarksville Elementary School in a substation for the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, though no decision was made. It had been thought a ruling might be seen at the Dec. 7 meeting, but a vote could come at the BOE’s last meeting of the calendar year.

“I’m confident we can put an agreement together for the board to review and approve at the Dec. 21 meeting,” said Tebbano.

The superintendent and Albany County Sheriff-elect Craig Apple met for the first time face-to-face on Dec. 1. Tebbano called it a constructive meeting.

Few details of the agreement have been disclosed, but both sides have said that one stipulation could include policing by the Sheriff’s Office at Bethlehem High School during the final weeks of the academic year. The district has previously entered into an agreement with Bethlehem police for those services. Apple said the “in-kind services” would save the district money while making the agreement more palatable for the county.

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