The downward trend of Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s student enrollment is expected to continue this school year, according to superintendent Anne Smith.
There are 542 students enrolled at Cutchogue East Elementary School and another 653 students are at the high school, she said at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting, adding this year’s total of 1,195 students is a decrease of 30 students compared to last school year.
High school principal Shawn Petretti said the next three graduating classes will have about 100 students. This year’s senior class has about 124 students, he added.
Elementary school principal Kathy Devine said there are 66 students enrolled in kindergarten this year.
Dr. Smith said the district has experienced dwindling enrollment in recent years and is planning to research enrollment estimates to help plan future staffing needs.
Graduation date change
This year’s graduation will be held a week earlier in order to avoid a scheduling conflict with the Mattituck Lions Club’s annual Strawberry Festival.
Mr. Petretti said the district originally held graduation the last weekend in June, but after realizing it was a conflict for many students and families looking to attend college orientations, a decision was made to schedule it a week earlier.
However, this new date fell on Father’s Day weekend last year, which is when the Strawberry Festival is traditionally held.
Mr. Petretti said Lions Club members have asked that graduation be scheduled the week before the festival and a tentative date has been set for June 24.
The theme for the district’s professional development program this year will be “building energy” and a focus will be on collaboration, Dr. Smith said.
One way to accomplish this goal is by having teachers visit other classrooms more frequently, she said.
Dr. Smith added the district will also focus on finding new ways to use technology inside the classroom, including working with Nicholas Kardaras, author of Glow Kids, to create lesson plans.
Photo: From left, Mattituck school board president Laura Jens-Smith, superintendent Anne Smith and board member Barbara Talbot at Thursday’s meeting. (Credit: Nicole Smith)