07/10/2015 6:00 AM
From left, Doug Cooper, Jeff Smith, Laura Jens-Smith and Jerry Diffley. Ms. Jens-Smith was elected president at Thursday's Mattituck school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

From left, Doug Cooper, Jeff Smith, Laura Jens-Smith and Jerry Diffley. Ms. Jens-Smith was elected president at Thursday’s Mattituck school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The Mattituck school board has elected Laura Jens-Smith as its new president and long-time president Jerry Diffley is leaving after serving on the board for 16 years.

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03/10/15 1:16pm
03/10/2015 1:16 PM
Mattituck resident Warren Jackson voiced his concern to the town Planning Board Monday.  (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Mattituck resident Warren Jackson voiced his concern to the town Planning Board Monday. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

A proposal to build a cluster of residential homes in Mattituck was met with objection from dozens of neighbors who told Planning Board members Monday night the project is another example of “Mattituck becoming the Riverhead of the North Fork.”

During a public hearing in Southold Town Hall, residents told the board that negative environmental impacts and disruption to their small community are just a couple of reasons why they should vote down the Koehler Family Limited Partnership proposal.  (more…)

07/11/2014 3:00 PM
The Mattituck school board failed to elect a president at Thursday's reorganizational meeting. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

The Mattituck school board failed to elect a president at Thursday’s reorganizational meeting. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Update: Mattituck school board member Sarah Hassildine told The Suffolk Times on Friday that she supports current school board president Jerry Diffley and would have voted for him Thursday if she had been allowed to cast a vote.

She is expected to cast the deciding vote to re-elect him at the next meeting.

Original story: After a heated argument between board members over accusations of breaking the state’s open meetings law, the Mattituck Board of Education failed to elect a president at its annual reorganizational meeting Thursday night.  (more…)

07/09/2014 3:32 PM
Anne Smith is new superintendent for the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

Anne Smith is the new superintendent for the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

The Mattituck school board approved a contract to hire Anne Smith as the district’s first female superintendent during a special meeting last month, The Suffolk Times has learned.

The seven-member board held the meeting June 26 and unanimously approved a three-year agreement with Ms. Smith at a starting salary of $190,000, school board officials said Wednesday. That’s about $1,000 less than current Superintendent James McKenna was paid for this school year.

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02/27/14 12:10pm
02/27/2014 12:10 PM
Lisa Murray will not remain on the Greenport Board of Education through this school year. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Greenport school board member Lisa Murray has decided not to run for re-election. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Eight local school board incumbents are up for re-election this year. And so far, one is stepping down after her term, two have indicated they’re undecided on whether they’ll appear on the May 20 ballots, and another two are gearing up re-election runs. Three board members were unavailable for comment.

To gain a spot on the ballot, candidate petitions are due April 21, under state law.

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10/21/2013 5:05 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO |

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Mattituck-Cutchogue school board president Jerry Diffley, left, and Superintendent James McKenna during a budget workshop last spring. Mr. Diffley is up for re-election in May.

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District has released a budget-planning timeline for the 2014-15 school year.

Internal meetings are being held through Nov. 29 to discuss next school year’s priorities and district employees are expected to submit their requests to the administration office by Dec. 13, according to the timeline.

Administrators have until Jan. 14 to submit their final recommendations to Superintendent James McKenna, who is expected to present his preliminary spending plan to the school board on March 5.

There are two preliminary budget workshops scheduled: March 6 and March 13. (If necessary, a third date has also been scheduled for April 3).

The deadline for the school board to adopt its budget is April 10. The spending plan will then be made available to the public by May 6.

The final budget hearing is set for May 13 — one week before the vote.

As for the school board race, president Jerry Diffley and vice president Charles Anderson are up for re-election. Board of Education candidate petitions are due April 21.

Jeff Smith won a seat on the board during last May’s write-in race after Janique Nine decided not to seek re-election.

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09/26/12 5:00pm
09/26/2012 5:00 PM

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | District representatives who spoke at the Sept. 20 school board meeting said administrators will have to spend much more time doing teacher observations this year.

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District is struggling this year to live up to new state-mandated standards for teacher evaluations.

District representatives who spoke at the Sept. 20 school board meeting said administrators will have to spend much more time doing teacher observations this year due to new teacher annual professional performance reviews, known as APPR, which impose far more stringent measures of whether teachers are effectively doing their jobs.

The district is also creating and implementing new tests, known as student growth assessments, which students will take at the beginning and end of the school year, to measure the improvement in their ability to grasp the material over the course of the year. Teachers are to be graded by the state on their students’ ability to learn the material in the classroom. Mattituck and other districts were charged by the state with coming up with their own methods to measure student improvement over the course of the school year.

School districts throughout the state spent most of last school year fighting the requirements, which officials said were bound to be a drain on their districts’ financial and human resources.

Superintendent Jim McKenna said principals and assistant principals at district schools will need to spend eight to 10 weeks of the 40-week school year observing teachers and writing up reports to send to the state.

“We know it’s going to be a drain. We’re trying to stick with it,” he said.

Mattituck High School principal Shawn Petretti told the board that his school plans to spend $2,000 on Scantron forms alone for the new student growth assessments.

He said teachers have already begun giving the tests, which are designed to show how much the students learn over the course of the year. Ideally, he said, their scores would improve 30 percent between September and June.

“This way, every teacher gets a true rating on student growth,” he said.

The assessments must be scored by other teachers within the district.

Mr. Petretti added that the district is still trying to figure out how to create assessments for performance-based subjects like art and music.

“This is pie-in-the-sky stuff in Albany,” he said.

Board members said they agree with the administration that the new regulations are onerous.

“The amount of time and the amount of effort and money we and other districts are spending on this just seems a little ridiculous,” said board president Jerry Diffley.

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FILE PHOTO | Jerry Diffley, left, will remain president of the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education for this coming school year.

The annual changing of the guard at the Southold and Mattituck school boards didn’t involve much change, as both boards re-elected their presidents and vice presidents last week.

Jerry Diffley was unanimously re-elected president and Charles Anderson was unanimously re-elected vice president of the Mattituck Board of Education Thursday night.

Paulette Ofrias was unanimously re-elected president and Judi Fouchet was unanimously re-elected vice president of the Southold Board of Education Wednesday night.

“I think we’re a great board. I think we work great together,” Ms. Fouchet said after the vote.

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