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Huntington School Board Notes

During their meeting this past Monday night, Huntington School Board members listened to a presentation by Trustee Jennifer Hebert of the final report of the district's Long Range Facilities Planning Committee, which was formed in June 2010 to address space issues in the district.

Mrs. Hebert was appointed to the committee a year before she was elected to the school board and finished her work with the committee before taking office this past July.

The committee, which included 32 voting members, looked at various possible grade level configurations with a focus on which one made the best use of the district's educational and financial resources and facilities.

The committee met seven times between June 2010 and June 2011. Since the committee was formed, the state has capped annual property tax increases at two percent and the district has eliminated more than 90 faculty and staff positions in the 2011/12 budget. These were among the financial considerations weighed by the committee as it deliberated.

During the course of its meetings, the committee considered 41 possible grade level configurations, including the creation of a kindergarten center, construction of a new elementary school building and reacquisition of the former Robert K. Toaz Junior High School.

Using evaluation criteria that included educational impact, spatial needs, fiscal constraints and community concerns, committee members analyzed each possible configuration.

The committee narrowed the 41 options to three, before overwhelming endorsing a plan that would create four primary buildings housing grades K-3, placing all fourth and fifth graders at Jack Abrams School, sending all sixth graders to Woodhull School, which would also house central administration offices, and keeping grades 7-8 at J. Taylor Finley Middle School and grades 9-12 at Huntington High School.

The recommended option, formally known as "A3," carries an estimated price tag of $9 million, which represents costs associated with building alterations and construction of additional space.

Mrs. Hebert said the committee was extremely diverse and included some of the district's educational professionals. She thanked members for their service.

J. Taylor Finley Middle School Principal John Amato presented a report on the External School Curriculum Audit for his building. The presentation included the audit's findings, recommendations and the action plan Finley faculty and staff will utilize moving forward.

Mr. Amato discussed Finley's performance on the state English Language Arts proficiency exam and how administrators and teachers plan to improve that performance this year and in the future.

Trustees also discussed the district's concussion management protocol and standard of care. Georgia D. McCarthy, director of interscholastic athletics, said the district will be assessing athletes to create baseline information as the new program gets underway.

Trustees also took the following actions:

• Approved a request by Huntington High School teacher aide Rhonda Nixon to return from a leave of absence.

• Approve a probationary appointment for Latin teacher John Sheffer.

• Approved full-time appointments for Linda Catalano (Huntington High School 10-month clerk typist) and Michael Rispoli (Jefferson School night custodian).

• Approved part-time appointments for Deborah Roday, Christina Plant and Laura Marziliano. The trio will work as three-hour monitors at Woodhull Intermediate School.

• Authorized Huntington High School student Nicholas Sherman to work as a lab assistant during the 2011/12 school year. He will be paid $7.25 per hour.

• Approved the recall of Nancie Corcoran, a Woodhull Intermediate School three-hour monitor. Her position has previously been declared "excess" by trustees.

• Approved extra-duty assignments for J. Taylor Finley Middle School teachers Matthew Perlongo, Michael Gavilan, Brian Reynolds and Travis Smith. They will work as supervisors of Finley cafeteria aides and be paid $29.89 per hour. Caterina Cain, Phillip Lowe, Carol Dow and Heidi Magerle will authorized to work as substitute supervisors. (Trustee Kim Brown voted no.)

• Approved an additional work assignment for Carol Dow, who will supervise detention at J. Taylor Finley Middle School. She will be paid $31.70 per hour.

• Authorized Phyllis Albini, Megan Bennett, Laura Costa, Paula Ferraiolo, Linda Kehn and Anna Naccarato to provide special education department "clerical support" for up to 25 days each at varying rates of respective pay during the 2011/12 school year. The cost of the work will be funded through special education grant 611.

• Authorized the following individuals to work as adult education program instructors: Michael Donnelly, Edward Enyart, Fernando Gomez, Richard Gress, Joanne Gurrieri, Kelly Hatzmann, Annie Hsiao, Olena Kropp, Linda Kundla, Beth Laraia, Bud Levy, Robert Mallon, Jenny Marcotte, Allison Matthews, Kieran Mock, Johnnie Morales, Anna Naccarato, Michael Posner, Robert Previto, Carlos Pumar, Martha Reilly, Linda Roth, Carmela Stone Klein, Jane Voorhees, Ellen Winter and Richard Wos. Each instructor will be paid $25 per hour.

• Approved salary schedule changes for teachers Nicole Cooper, Jennifer Irvolino, Denise Reinesch and Christyn Roseto.

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