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Busing, School Safety, and STEM School at Jack Abrams

Huntington School District 3 Board members kept busy during their public meeting this past Monday night, listening to presentations on school safety and security and the district’s mileage limits for the bus transportation of students.

District officials recently conducted a top-to-bottom review of security in every school building. The review utilized the services of a Suffolk Police officer. Superintendent James W. Polansky explained some of the review’s findings and what the district intends to do as it moves forward.

With the district’s bus contract expiring at the end of the school year, trustees have expressed interest in holding down future costs. An analysis of the district’s current transportation limits and how they are aligned with state law was provided during the meeting.

Trustees also discussed possible changes to the district’s previously adopted 2013/14 school year calendar. The calendar might need to be modified as a result of scheduling conflicts created by a recent decision announced by the State Education Department.

Mr. Polansky also provided an update on the STEM Magnet school initiative for Jack Abrams School, which has drawn interest from about 215 parents. The superintendent has been meeting with elementary grade level faculty members about the possibility of establishing a STEM school.

Finally, trustees wrapped up their discussions by considering what to do with the modular classroom complex at Woodhull Intermediate School. The district is in the final year of leasing the structure. It will have to decide whether to have the rooms removed from the grounds, continue leasing it for a period that can run up to 60 months or to buy the structure.

Trustees also took the following actions:

• Authorized school psychologist Nancy DeVito to be reimbursed for her district related travel between buildings.

• Appointed Thomas Massone as a long-term substitute science teacher at J. Taylor Finley Middle School, effective January 8 through approximately January 25.

• Appointed Peggy Gallagher as a long-term substitute librarian at Woodhull Intermediate School, effective October 23 through approximately February 11.

• Appointed John Patrick Murphy as a long-term substitute music teacher at Southdown and Washington Primary Schools, effective February 25 through approximately April 18.

• Appointed Robin Murphy as a business manager, effective February 4. She replaces Eugene O’Hara who retired.

• Appointed Karen Welsh O’Neill as a 12-month senior clerk typist in the J. Taylor Finley Middle School special education office, effective February 11.

• Approved a special education services contract with the Harborfields Central School District to provide for the education of a school age student residing in Harborfields and being educated in the Huntington School District.

• Approved a contract with Music Idol Entertainment of Baiting Hollow, New York.

• Approved extra-duty assignments for Camille Tedeschi (freshman class advisor), Erik Bruckbauer (freshman class advisor), Patricia Dillon (sophomore class advisor), Gina Colica (junior class advisor), Victoria Lombardi (junior class advisor), Lauren Desiderio (senior class advisor) and Donna Nugent (senior class advisor).

• Approved additional work for science teachers Dame Forbes and Edward Florea to conduct a chemical inventory at Huntington High School during the 2012/13 school year.

• Approved a consultant services contract with Education, Inc. of Plymouth, Massachusetts to provide tutoring services for hospitalized students at the rate of $49 per hour.

• Appointed Matthew Harris as a substitute stage manager for the 2012/13 school year.

• Approved senior accountant Eugene O’Hara to work up to 15 days assisting with the transition for the district’s new business manager.

• Authorized Francisco Pereira and Jerome Merkerson to serve as supervisors at athletic events. They will be paid $31.70 per hour when they work.

• Authorized teacher Robert Barca to provide high school Regents scoring services. He will be paid $48.97 per hour for up to seven hours of work.

• Approved Claudia Mingin and Christine Lofaro to serve as substitute teachers in the early morning reading program. They will be paid $48.97 per hour when they work. The program is funded through a special state legislative grant.

• Authorized Caroline Rivas to work as an aide in the K-2 Saturday Academy and approved teachers Angela Berner, Donna Marie O’Shaughnessy, Vivian Joseph, Claudia Gonzalez Butler, Karen Melara and Luz Marotta to hold K-2 Saturday Academy related parent meetings. Ms. Riva will be paid at the rate of $20 per hour for up to three hours per session. The teachers will be paid $48.97 per hour each for up to 16 hours of meetings. The program is funded through a Title III grant.

• Approved retired nurses Marlene McKenna and Connie DeGrassi to provide screenings during the district’s kindergarten registration sessions. They will be paid $35.11 per hour each for up to six days of work.

• Authorized the addition of Penny Brown, Jacqueline Germain, Peter Palacio and Cynthia Vitulli to the district’s substitute teacher aide list. They will be paid $9 per hour when their services are needed.

• Authorized the addition of Adrian Jarvis and Zonia Ortez to the district’s substitute food service worker list. They will be paid $9 per hour when their services are needed.

• Authorized the addition of John Patrick Murphy to the district’s substitute teacher list. He will be paid $90 per day when his services are needed.

• Approved a New York State geographic information systems cooperative data sharing agreement.

Source: Public Information Office

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2 comments to Busing, School Safety, and STEM School at Jack Abrams

  • mcr

    any chance we can make our students go to the schools closest to their houses? we would save millions if we abandoned bussing kids to and fro. in 2013, what is the need to play musical chairs with kids? if kids went to the schools closest to their houses, the parents could more properly evaluate whether their school taxes are being spent wisely at their local school? real ptas could be formed with parents that live near each other. why doesn’t saving fuel, being green, support local, community cohesiveness, etc. work in this instance?

  • My Town Too

    Since our primary buildings are located in the four corners of our district, the “neighborhood school” concept doesn’t work here anymore. In addition, the district must equalize the buildings as much as possible with the growing minority population in the Station area – federal court order from many years ago. There is also the need to try to keep class sizes similar across the district, as much as can be done within an attendance zone. You can’t have one building being so overwhelmed in numbers and others not, it isn’t fair educationally.

    As to the PTA’s – isn’t it better that we know each other no matter where we live in the district? Eventually our children will all be going to the same school, so why not get familiar with as many parents as possible early on? Neighborhood schools only further compartmentalizes us, causing divisiveness rather than cohesion.

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