New Suffolk school board discusses shared information tech position

01/11/2013 3:03 PM |

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | New Suffolk school board president Tony Dill, center, with trustees Brooke Dailey, left, and Joseph Polashock during Thursday’s Board of Director’s meeting.

New Suffolk school district superintendent Michael Comanda discussed plans to create an information technology position that would be shared between schools across the North Fork.

During the Board of Director’s monthly meeting at the schoolhouse Thursday, a handful of people listened as Mr. Comanda explained the planning process for the new shared service.

Although the job description is still being drafted, Mr. Comanda said the applicant would need to have a technology background and would be in charge of developing curriculum that would be integrated into different subjects areas and streamlined in each classroom.

“This isn’t a nuts-and-bolts, hardwired type of position,” he said. “We’re looking for an instructional leader who can lead our staff in using current technologies in the classroom … It’s exciting stuff.”

Mr. Comanda, who is also district superintendent at Greenport schools, said the service will be available to surrounding school districts.

So far, the Southold school district, which is where New Suffolk sends its secondary students, has agreed to join Greenport in creating the shared information technology position, Mr. Comanda said.

The Oysterponds school district has decided it may hire the information technologist as a consultant on an as-needed basis, Mr. Comanda said. The Mattituck-Cutchogue school district, which has a technology director, isn’t interested in the plan, he said.

During the public comment portion of Thursday’s meeting, parents asked Mr. Comanda if he could have the information technologist also develop some workshops for parents so they could learn how to help their children with homework using new devices, such as iPads.

Mr. Comanda agreed the suggestion was a good idea and said he would look into adding that as a requirement to the job description.

NORTH FORK SCHOOLS HOOKING UP TO FIBER OPTICS?

The Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, known as BOCES, is asking school districts from Riverhead to Orient to connect with a proposed fiber-optics cable, school board president Tony Dill said.

BOCES is seeking feedback from local school districts to find out if there’s an interest in hooking up to the new Internet service that Verizon would provide, he said.

Mr. Dill and Mr. Comanda said they don’t believe the move is feasible, for now.

“There is very little interest to do this along the North Fork,” Mr. Comanda said. “We’re not slow … Maybe 10 years from now you might need to take a look at this.”

BOCES is looking for Riverhead and Southold townships, as well as each North Fork school district, to fund the project, he said.

SEPTIC SYSTEM WOES

Following a septic system back-up situation at the schoolhouse this week, Mr. Dill said during Thursday’s meeting that the district may have to replace the system this spring.

The area has been temporarily fenced off because the cap on the septic tank isn’t secure, he said.

Mr. Dill said he’ll have an update on the sanitation situation by the next school board meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

jennifer@timesreview.com

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