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District News

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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339

518.993.4000

 

 
 

Fort Plain continues to seek alternative means for funding

Fort Plain CSD receives a $35,613 grant to manage school records

Administrators were notified this week that Fort Plain Central School District has been awarded a $35,613 NYS Local Government Records Management grant. This grant will fund a more efficient way access to semi-active school files and a better way to handle requests for records.

Currently, the district’s storage space for physical records, both in personnel offices and in the archive room, is very limited. Only active (current year and one year prior) records can be stored in personnel offices. Semi-active records are located in a separate building, which makes retrieval time-consuming and inefficient. Inefficiencies also occur when records have to be retrieved because boxes are stacked five-high on top of each other in shelving units. Each time a records request is received, a district staff member can spend up to an hour moving and sorting through boxes to retrieve the requested document.

The district has successfully completed digitizing its inactive permanent records series, including former personnel, payroll records, graduates, tax rolls and Board of Education (BOE) minutes. These are housed on a secure server and can be easily accessed by personnel. However, Under this Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund Grant, Fort Plain proposes purchasing four lateral filing systems and one vault to store semi-active files—a process that will be less expensive than fully digitizing the files at this time, and will also prepare those files for future digitization. Two part-time records clerks also will be hired to organize semi-active records that have accumulated over the last several years, and organize new files. The district will provide the necessary training to staff in order to integrate best practices and meet state archives guidelines and regulations. In the end, district staff will work more efficiently than ever before, records will be readied for digitizing and constituents will be better served.

This most recent grant brings the total to more than $530,000 in funding awarded to Fort Plain CSD for the 2014-15 school year, so far. “During these difficult economic times, in small districts' such as Fort Plain, we cannot rely on our taxpayers and State Aide to provide the type of programs our students will need to become successful in this rapidly changing world economy,” said Douglas Burton, District Superintendent. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility as school administrators, teachers and school employees to seek and secure any additional funding, which our district may qualify to receive.”

Fort Plain’s Board of Education has assisted in this effort to acquire grants and donations, by participating in a shared grant writer service available through the Capital Region BOCES. The grant writer is able to work with staff to apply for competitive grants and seek out donation possibilities by providing expertise and time to write these applications while Fort Plain staff can continue the jobs they need to perform.

“It has been a very productive partnership, which is beneficial to the children of our community,” said Mr. Burton.