01/26/15 8:00am
01/26/2015 8:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | The Greenport school board approved Superintendent Michael Comanda's retirement request at Wednesday night's meeting.

Michael Comanda, who retired as Greenport’s superintendent, will take over the New Suffolk budget this year. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

New Suffolk school board president Tony Dill confirmed this week he won’t prepare the next spending plan as he’s done in years past.

That’s because the district’s part-time superintendent, Michael Comanda, is now available to take over the process.  (more…)

04/10/14 9:57am
04/10/2014 9:57 AM
Superintendent Michael Comanda presents to the Greenport school board at its meeting Tuesday night. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Superintendent Michael Comanda presents to the Greenport school board at its meeting Tuesday night. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The Greenport school board unanimously approved a proposed $16.39 million budget for next school year, which comes in exactly $1 under the allowable state tax levy cap, at its meeting Wednesday night.  (more…)

03/20/14 10:00am
03/20/2014 10:00 AM
The Greenport school board held a budget workshop and its regular meeting Wednesday. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The Greenport school board held a budget workshop prior to its regular meeting Wednesday night. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Greenport School District Superintendent Michael Comanda has halted plans to place a referendum on the May budget vote ballot to fund pre-K and is adding the new program into his 2014-15 budget proposal instead.

(more…)

03/12/14 9:00am
03/12/2014 9:00 AM
(Credit: Carrie Miller)

(Credit: Carrie Miller)

Note: This story was update at noon Wednesday to reflect additional edits.

In an effort to provide New Suffolk Common School’s primary students with additional one-on-one help, the school board voted during its Tuesday night meeting to hire a part-time teaching assistant.

The board voted unanimously to hire Karen Costello, a state-certified teacher who previously served as a substitute teacher in the Greenport School District, to assist head teacher Holly Plymale with kindergarten and first-grade students, Superintendent Michael Comanda said. (more…)

02/13/14 10:00am
02/13/2014 10:00 AM
The Greenport school board discussed Wednesday creating a pre-K program for the 2014-15 school year.

The Greenport school board discussed Wednesday creating a pre-K program for the 2014-15 school year.

Greenport School District Superintendent Michael Comanda unveiled Wednesday more preliminary details about his proposed referendum to fund a pre-K program for the 2014-15 school year.

(more…)

02/08/14 8:00am
02/08/2014 8:00 AM

Barbaraellen Koch photo | David Corwin holds a plank taken from the ceiling in the Greenport High School cafeteria that his father, Barton B. Corwin, signed when the building was under construction in 1933. Building and grounds superintendent Marcus DaSilva (right) retrieved it for him during a recent construction project.

When Greenport School District’s director of operations, Marcus DaSilva, and his crews began tearing down the ceiling in the building’s cafeteria over Christmas break, they were expecting to find the same old building materials they’ve come across during other projects over the years.

Instead, they found a “true piece of Greenport’s history.” (more…)

01/18/14 8:00am
01/18/2014 8:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON | Greenport School District Superintendent Michael Comanda, left, and school board member Babette Cornine at Wednesday night's meeting.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON | Greenport School District Superintendent Michael Comanda, right, and school board member Babette Cornine at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Greenport school officials are looking into the feasibility of putting a proposal on the May school budget ballot to create a full-day pre-K program at the elementary school.

Superintendent Michael Comanda received positive feedback from the school board during its regular meeting Wednesday night after outlining his administration’s vision.

Although the district has previously worked with SCOPE and Head Start’s pre-K programs, Mr. Comanda described SCOPE as “cost prohibitive” to many residents and questioned the longevity of Head Start given it’s current financial woes.

“We believe that early intervention is beneficial and advantageous,” he said while pitching his pre-K idea to the board. “We would have internal control over what students are learning. It’s not to say other pre-K agencies lack that. We would have greater control for what it is students are getting and how it links to our kindergarten.”

Mr. Comanda is proposing to let the community weigh in on the idea by placing it as a separate proposition on the school budget ballot in May.

As for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to fund a universal pre-K program throughout New York’s public schools, Mr. Comanda said: “If that happens, great. That’s a bonus. If it doesn’t happen, then we put it to our community.”

Mr. Comanda also discussed changing the start dates for kindergarteners. The district currently allows students to enroll in kindergarten if they are age 5 by Dec. 1. Under his pre-K plan, students would be allowed to enter into kindergarten if they are age 5 by Sept. 1.

“I don’t think you could do one without the other,” he said about linking the implementation of a new pre-K program for 4-year-olds with rolling back the kindergarten start date. “I think it would be unfair to tell parents who are anticipating 4-year-olds coming to school in September, and now all of a sudden there’s no place for them [the following year].”

Mr. Comanda is expected to give a more in-depth presentation with financial details about his pre-K proposal at the next school board meeting on Feb. 12.

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