Recently, the issue of the District’s practices with regard to religious education release time has been the focus of discussion at community forums, Board of Education meetings, and possibly dinner tables in the Cazenovia community. Important questions have been posed about a number of aspects of this practice.
Questions about the release time’s basis in law, the District’s policy, and about transportation for students to and from the site of the religious education program can be answered through an examination of the documents referenced below (last updated December 5, 2014):
- Commissioner’s Regulation NYCRR 109.2
- BOE Policy #5182
- St. James Church v. Board of Education Cazenovia Central School District, 12/23/94
- Release Time Q&A (updated December 5, 2014)
Additional important questions have been raised about what instruction and learning is taking place in our buildings for students that do not participate in religious education. Perceptions of how this time is used vary greatly depending upon the perspective and knowledge of the speaker. In an effort to clarify and improve what instruction and learning are taking place during this time, a committee of Board members, administrators, teachers, and concerned parents is being formed. This committee will study this issue in the coming weeks to see how this time is truly being used and to make recommendations on how this time might be used even more effectively.
Committee Meeting Report
The first meeting of the Religious Release Time (RRT) Study Group was held on December 17, 2014 in the District Office. The goal of this study group will be to make recommendations to the District Policy Committee to ensure the value of release time is upheld across the district.
Committee members include:
- Matt Reilly, Superintendent of Schools
- Leigh Baldwin, Board of Education Member
- Cindy Bell-Tobey, Board of Education Member
- Kathy Hahn, Board of Education Member
- Kelli Johnson, Community Member
- Erin Frisbie, Community Member
- Jennifer McGee, Community Member
- Alexander McGee, Community Member
- Rebecca Mcilheny, Community Member
- MaryAnn MacIntosh, Burton Street Principal
- Maureen Carroll, K-12 Physical Education teacher & Department Chair
- Jean Regan, Middle School Principal
- Amy Conley, Fifth Grade teacher
- Eric Knuth, High School Principal
- Ron Luteran, Secondary Math teacher & Department Chair
- Renee Burnett, Curriculum Coordinator
Below are meeting minutes:
Students attend a recent book study in the High School Library led by Library Media Specialist, Ms. Emily Whalen, during Activity Period. Some students from Cazenovia elect to attend Religious Education programming at local churches during activity period.
By working together as a community we improve the experiences of our students!
Superintendent of Schools