03/31/15 8:00am
Shoreham-Wading River School District Superintendent Steven Cohen. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

Shoreham-Wading River School District Superintendent Steven Cohen. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

With reports trickling out of Albany that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reached a tentative deal with lawmakers over the state budget and education reforms, local educators are calling for an independent commission to help develop policy moving forward.

According to published reports, Mr. Cuomo has backed off his demand to tie 50 percent of teacher evaluations to state test scores — up from 20 percent — and instead will task the state education department with improving the way teachers are evaluated.

As part of the deal, teacher tenure would increase from three to four years and schools will see big increases in state aid. (more…)

03/29/15 12:05pm
Members of the Times Review staff after accepting the Newspaper of the Year award. (From left to right) Web editor Joe Werkmeister, account executive Liz Person, executive editor Grant Parpan, account executive Tina Volinski, Shelter Island Reporter editor Ambrose Clancy,  associate editor Jen Nuzzo, account executive Bill Peters, Suffolk Times and News-Review editor Michael White and publisher Andrew Olsen. (Credit: Terry McShane)

Members of the Times Review staff after accepting the Newspaper of the Year award. (From left to right) Web editor Joe Werkmeister, account executive Liz Person, executive editor Grant Parpan, account executive Tina Volinski, Shelter Island Reporter editor Ambrose Clancy, associate editor Jen Nuzzo, account executive Bill Peters, Suffolk Times and News-Review editor Michael White and publisher Andrew Olsen. (Credit: Terry McShane)

The Suffolk Times received top honors when the results of the New York Press Association’s 2014 Better Newspaper Contest were announced Saturday night.  (more…)

03/27/15 2:00pm
Christopher Gallagher retired in 2008 after serving as the Southold superintendent for eight years. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Christopher Gallagher retired in 2008 after serving as the Southold superintendent for eight years. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The New Suffolk school board plans to hire Christopher Gallagher as the district’s new superintendent, The Suffolk Times has learned.

Dr. Gallagher, who retired in 2008 after serving as Southold School District’s superintendent for eight years, said in an interview that he’ll be meeting with parents March 26 and is looking forward to working with teachers again.  (more…)

03/25/15 6:01pm

The state Senate passed new legislation Wednesday that aims to hold hit-and-run drivers more accountable, according to state Senator Ken LaValle’s office.

If passed by the Assembly and signed into law, Alix’s Law, named in memory of Alix Rice, who was killed at age 18 in Erie County by a drunk driver as she rode home on her skateboard, would close a loophole that critics say encourages drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol to flee an accident scene and sober up.

Current law requires drivers to report an accident only when they know an accident resulted in an injury or property damage. The new legislation would require all drivers  to stop and investigate after any crash to check for damage or injuries.

(more…)

Mattituck-Cutchogue School District tk, left, and school board trustee Bill Gatz at Thursday's meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Mattituck-Cutchogue School District Michael Engelhardt, left, and school board trustee Bill Gatz at Thursday’s meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District has found itself in an uncommon situation when it comes to preparing its spending plan for next year. Last May, voters approved a $39.6 million budget for the 2014-15 school year. In September, however, that budget was increased to $40,124,885 — without any impact on taxpayers.

(more…)

03/19/15 10:00am
Greenport School District Superintendent David Gamberg, right, at Monday's school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Greenport School District Superintendent David Gamberg, right, at Monday’s school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The superintendent of the Greenport and Southold school districts has issued a letter to parents outlining what they’ll need to do if they don’t want their children to take this year’s state assessments.

During the Greenport school board’s Monday night meeting, Superintendent David Gamberg said the letter aims to better organize and streamline paperwork for students refusing the test, a movement known as “opting out.”

Although he’s still working out details with administrators about what happens to students who refuse to take the exams on test days, Mr. Gamberg said students won’t be forced to “sit and stare,” which occurs when students who are not taking a test are made to just stare at a desk while the test is administered to others, rather than being allowed to read a book or move to another classroom.

(more…)

03/18/15 12:00pm
New Suffolk parent Mary Steinfeld expresses concern during the district's meeting Tuesday night.  (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

New Suffolk parent Mary Steinfeld expresses concern during the district’s meeting Tuesday night. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Facing a budget gap of nearly $160,000 for 2015-16 caused by a unique situation involving a teacher who decided to return to the tiny district from a special assignment, the New Suffolk Board of Education wants input from the community on how best to handle the looming shortfall.

About 40 residents packed the elementary school during a special meeting Tuesday night, during which school board president Tony Dill fielded questions and suggestions after outlining how the projected deficit developed.  (more…)

03/16/15 5:53pm
Congressman Lee Zeldin addressing supporters on Election Day. (Credit: John Griffin, file)

Congressman Lee Zeldin addressing supporters on Election Day. (Credit: John Griffin, file)

School districts could soon opt out of Common Core without sacrificing federal funding.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is sponsoring legislation to make sure school districts that decide to drop the standards won’t be punished by a cut in federal funds. Mr. Zeldin described the Common Core rollout as “rushed” and believes the state Department of Education failed to address concerns about the curriculum.

“The implementation was horrendous,” he said. “Nobody was talking to each other.” (more…)

03/14/15 2:00pm

Southold Elementary School will host a “Souper Bowls” fundraiser Sunday, March 29, from noon to 3 p.m. to benefit the school garden.

Participants are asked to their own bring bowls and spoons to enjoy unlimited helpings of soups prepared by local restaurants, including Founders Tavern, Noah’s and North Fork Table & Inn.

The event will also feature a bake sale, live music, basket auction and arts and crafts for kids. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children.