Oysterponds school board hires interim principal

12/15/2010 3:39 PM |

The Oysterponds Board of Education took the next step in its transition to a new administration Tuesday night, hiring Joan Frisicano, a former Sag Harbor educator, to serve as interim principal beginning Jan. 1. Last month, the board completed negotiations with Superintendent Stuart Rachlin, putting him on the path to early retirement.

Board president Deborah Dumont characterized Ms. Frisicano as a “veteran administrator” who is “very child-centered.” The selection process involved interviews with board members, faculty and parents, and finalists were required to write essays explaining how they would handle a specific disciplinary problem.

Ms. Frisicano is being hired as a per diem employee and will be paid $600 a day to function as both principal and special education director, receiving no benefits, until the board can select a new principal and a part-time superintendent. Dr. Rachlin has functioned as both superintendent and principal.

Dr. Rachlin will continue to work full time for the rest of December and then put in 20 hours a week, working Tuesdays and Thursdays and attending board meetings as necessary, through June 2011. His contract was originally due to expire at the end of June 2012.


Oysterponds is accepting Southold’s invitation to participate in discussions about school consolidation. The agreement doesn’t commit any board to a decision, but opens the way to begin a conversation and, possibly, a study on the pros and cons of some or all North Fork districts to consolidate in a number of possible scenarios.

One of those could include a consolidation of the Southold, Greenport and Oysterponds districts. Another could involve efforts already under way under the auspices of North Fork United Schools to consolidate some services. A third idea that could be discussed is the formation of a regional high school, while retaining current elementary schools.

Southold Superintendent David Gamberg sent letters to each of the other four school districts in the area on behalf of his Board of Education to determine if others were interested in talking about a study.

New Suffolk Board of Education members responded Tuesday night, saying they would be willing to discuss shared services, but not to pay for any study, and they aren’t interested in full consolidation.

New York State Education Department officials have been vocal about wanting to see consolidations of smaller districts and Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) has been a proponent of consolidation on the North Fork. That’s why Southold hopes the state might fund a study of consolidation.

Board members agreed to explore changing the pace of the school year by shortening the summer break and adding some two-week breaks during the term. Students would likely put in the same number of days in school. The aim would be to avoid a loss of learning momentum over a three-month summer break. The idea raises teacher contract issues and commitments they may have to summer jobs, board member Kathy Syron said. It also could pose “not insurmountable” problems of coordination with other districts, Dr. Rachlin said. With Oysterponds secondary students attending classes in Greenport, that could mean a family with children in each school could see a calendar for their elementary school children that differs greatly from the calendars for their junior and senior high school students.

Greenport isn’t interested in sharing an elementary school program with Oysterponds that would involve one school educating students from both districts in a multi-age classroom and the other district educating students from both districts in traditional single-grade classrooms.

Oysterponds board member Thom Gray introduced the possibility of shared programs at last month’s Greenport Board of Education meeting. But Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda told him after the meeting that Greenport was satisfied with its present approach to elementary education and had no interest in pursuing multi-age classrooms.

Oysterponds is exploring the concept, but board members are concerned about having to impose that approach on all students, pointing out that in other districts where it’s an option, parents can keep their children in traditional classrooms. Because Oysterponds has only one school, it would be all or nothing for the district’s students.

Who is choosing books and other materials for Oysterponds students? That’s what board member Walter Strohmeyer and Orient resident Jay McKasty want to know.

Mr. Strohmeyer questioned the book, “There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom” by Louis Sachlar, which deals with a child with serious behavioral problems and how to deal with them. He said the book is too explicit for elementary school children.

Mr. McKasty questioned whether some images on VHS tapes about various artists are appropriate for the students.

As in most school districts, books and materials are chosen by classroom teachers in conjunction with the superintendent. It was unclear whether that will change at Oysterponds.

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18 Comment

  • By state law teachers are employed from Sept. 1 to June 30.

  • Estimate of per diem for interim principal= $400. $600 is what she’s getting.

  • Strohmeyer is an ass. Find a new hobby man.

  • Are you going to change the Regents exam dates? Who will pay to put AC in the school buildings?

  • Ludicrous to talk about switching up the school year at this point. It’s like icing the cake before it’s out of the oven. Priorities, people!

  • Pardon me. Must be a misprint. $600 a day. …my my.

  • Oh I get it… just go posting comments on every thread with an HTML link to your blog, for increased SEO exposure…

    Ah, Google figured that out in 2003.

    Anyways, good luck with that.

  • nope wilton. didn’t do that. if there is a corresponding entry on my blog then i make the link but i don’t have to set out to do that nor do i.

  • Awesome. Rocky Point needs them badly too on Broadway, Hallock and King.

  • The residents of King Road do not want sidewalks, and for very good reasons. Broadway and Hallock would be fine, also Rocky Point Landing Road, north of the Fire House would be most welcome. Before encouraging your elected officials, talk to the residents of these roads who will be most affected, and who will have to live with this and find out how THEY feel.

  • The reason many Kings Road residents don’t want sidewalks is because they need those 3 parking spaces in front of their house for the tenants in their illegal apartments.

    We should be encouraging people to walk. Sidewalks encourage people to walk.

  • Who cares if King road wants them. Rocky Point needs them and they’ll be going along the main N-S arteries shortly.

    King rd and Downtown needs help.Sidewalks will do wonders for it in terms of safety for our kids, commerce and aesthetics.

    If youre going to continue to draw negative attention, you may want to use this time wisely and get those King rd properties up to code as you figure out where you want your curbcut to go because thankfully your “tenants”wont be parking on your front ” lawn” anymore.

    Now either put in a proper driveway, dont slum out your house …or move.
    Problem solved.

    We will not allow the ignorant minority to hold this town back any longer and were not going to be playing catch up with Sound Beach.

    Rocky Point is a great place to live and getting better as long as we get out of the way and allow it to be all that it can.

    I tip my hat to Bea and the Sound Beach Civic for leading by example.

    North Shore Beach needs to pull its head out of its butt or it will destroy Rocky Point.

  • The Only reason anyone wants sidewalks in RP is strickly for personal gain. Look beyond the initial push for ‘VOTE FOR ME’

  • That is rediculous. Where are all these renters? Most families have two cars because they need them. One for husband, one for wife. If they have adult children living with them who also drive, they need a car too. Many people have 17, 18 or 19 year old kids who need a car to get to work or college just like everyone else.
    Also, if the people in Sound Beach want sidewalks in front of their little commercial district and are getting them – good for them. We have sidewalks in front of our commercial district and that is fine. Now, if people would oly take care of them.

  • Good move.

    The two worst areas in RPSD are The Sound Beach Square and King Rd in Rocky Point.

    Sidewalks will do wonders for it.

  • So put in a proper driveway.

    No your front lawn doesn’t count.

  • You Must be joking , you want to talk giving sidewalks to a neighborhood no less for saftey purposes and improvement ? Lay a strip down Radio Ave in miller place were u have a 2 plus mile strech were cars move at a high speed and there is no where for the kids to ride there bikes or to get some exercise and take a run , without worrying about getting killed. Lets talk about making a good political move and share some of that money over to this end of the Rocky Point School District. As usual the TOB does thing half assed and paved Radio ave this past summer to shut people up ! where additional pavement was layed ontop of existing causing every driveway on entire block to be lower then street . So again TOB if you plan to do a job do it right !if you are going to make improvement be prepared to share it equally throughout.. thats what are high taxes should be put towards..and whatever glory grabing politcal wanna-be from the RP community who wants notary you should fight for all , and not make it look so obvious when you got your dead end street , and your sidewalks…Yea you know who u are!

  • So will getting rid of the illegal tanants that occupy the homes over there!

    just saying!