Waverly Central School District officials accepted the Utica National Insurance Group's 2013 School Safety Excellence Award Wednesday.

The award, which the district has received each year since 2010, demonstrates that the district has provided a safe and healthy environment for its students and staff, said Bill Soprano of The Partners Insurance and Financial Services Agency.

The group gave the honor to 121 school districts statewide, according to a release from Utica National. The safety program evaluates districts in 19 categories.

Superintendent Joseph Yelich thanked staff for taking "wonderful care of our facilities" and recognized Chemung Elementary School principal Dave Mastrantuono for working with Utica National and with safety representatives from the local Board of Cooperative Educational Services to maintain safety standards.

In addition to a certificate, the district also received $500 toward furthering their safety efforts.

The board also approved the district's proposed 2013-14 budget to go to referendum in next month's school district election, scheduled for May 17. The $28,479,156 budget reflects an increase of about $920,000 from the 2012-13 spending plan.

Board president Joseph Picco commended the board for balancing its responsibility to taxpayers with its "pursuit of making education for our students very well-rounded." The Waverly district has managed to avoid the steep cuts nearby districts have been faced with in recent years, Picco said.

The 2013-14 budget, he said, is "not only effective for students, but very affordable for residents and taxpayers."

District officials will present the budget at a public budget hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. May 7 in the district office.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.