SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The Scarsdale Board of Education spent most of Monday evening discussing the priorities of the new Education Foundation as it held its first meeting of the 2012-13 school year.
School board members deliberated about how future funds in the not-for-profit corporation would be best used to benefit all 4,753 Scarsdale students. Donations will be used to enhance the district in three categories: research, development and innovation, technology and physical infrastructure.
“The foundation is an important project for the continued success of Scarsdale,” school board President Liz Guggenheimer said. “The hope of this whole project is to continue to enhance education for students, and to continue to be innovative and creative.”
Moving forward, the school board will work in coordination with Superintendent Michael McGill and the Education Foundation Steering Committee, headed by Ellen Miller-Wachtel.
On Monday, the board discussed possible uses for funds, using a list of possible projects created by McGill.
“This gives us a chance to move the dial in a big way and provide students opportunities we might not have been able to before,” board member Sunil Subbakrishna said. “If five students want to learn to speak Turkish or Portuguese, this may be a way to do that.”
Most of the talk centered on how the foundation could be used to benefit the Scarsdale Center for Innovation. Money could be used to fund projects or to get things done more quickly.
“The purpose of the Center for Innovation is to impact across all grades, so it should have a much broader reach than many projects,” board member Jonathon Lewis said.
Research and development is the best use of the foundation’s funds, Vice President Suzanne Seiden agreed.
“What if they come up with a great idea,” she asked. “They might be able to start right away rather than having to go through the process of getting money from the budget.”
Guggenheimer reminded the school board that the Steering Committee still has work to do and that this plan is still in the infancy stage.
“This is a multiyear enterprise that will be carried out over time,” she said. “We’re off to a great start, and hopefully we’ve given enough input to supplement or refine the working list. The next step is to share it with the Steering Committee.”