Featured Story
04/23/16 9:00am

David Gamberg Southold School District

After announcing in November that David Gamberg would continue as the shared superintendent of both Southold and Greenport school districts after his initial contract ends this June, a three-year contract was approved by the Greenport Board of Education on Tuesday and the Southold Board of Education the following night.

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Featured Story
11/12/15 2:47pm

David Gamberg

The Greenport and Southold school boards struck a unique deal in September 2013 to share a superintendent, something unseen in the 120 other kindergarten through 12th-grade districts on Long Island. READ

01/21/15 9:56pm
01/21/2015 9:56 PM
Diane O’Neill enters court in RIverhead last Wednesday. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Diane O’Neill enters court in Riverhead last Wednesday. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

The Southold High School math teacher arrested on a drunken driving charge after she fatally struck a pedestrian in Jamesport last week has retired.

The Southold Board of Education unanimously approved Diane O’Neill’s retirement without discussion in a resolution listing several other personnel items at its meeting Wednesday night.

Police said Ms. O’Neill, 65, of Farmingville was driving her 2007 Mercedes-Benz westbound on Main Road near Herricks Lane shortly after 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 13 when she struck George Kurovics, a 90-year-old beloved barber and war veteran from Jamesport.

His family believes Mr. Kurovics had stopped after he spotted one of the family’s cats dead on the roadside.

Superintendent David Gamberg said after the meeting that Ms. O’Neill, who’s worked in the district for 21 years, is eligible for her benefits and will be granted them.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation,” he said, when asked for comment. “My heart goes out to everyone involved.”

Ms. O’Neill was arraigned last Wednesday and released on $10,000 bail. She’s due back in court next month.

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05/21/14 2:00pm
05/21/2014 2:00 PM
Southold Superintendent David Gamberg, right, and Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Southold Superintendent David Gamberg, right, and Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Both the Greenport and Southold school boards are set to approve a shared-superintendent contract that’s expected to save each district more than $100,000.  (more…)

05/08/14 12:43am
Southold school board member Scott DeSimone, left, with board vice president Judi Fouchet.

Southold school board member Scott DeSimone, left, with board vice president Judi Fouchet.

And then there were none.

No incumbent school board members are facing a challenge in the five Southold Town school districts this year after Southold Board of Education trustee Scott DeSimone withdrew his petition for candidacy this week.  (more…)

05/22/13 2:43pm
FILE PHOTO | Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda, left, and Southold Superintendent David Gamberg recently announced a joint agreement to hire a technology director.

FILE PHOTO | Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda, left, and Southold Superintendent David Gamberg recently announced a joint agreement to share a technology director.

The Southold Board of Education is expected to discuss its transportation contract and a shared-service agreement with Greenport at tonight’s regular school board meeting.

There’s a resolution on the agenda to approve a contract extension with Sunrise Busses for the 2013-14 school year. The proposal includes a 2 percent increase or the consumer price index, whichever is lower.

The board is also likely to vote on a joint agreement with Greenport schools to share a new technology director for at least the next three years.

The Greenport school board approved the agreement during its May 14 meeting to appoint Ryan Case to the post, which takes effect July 1.

The public portion of tonight’s Southold school board meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Read more in the May 30 issue of The Suffolk Times.

Southold school board meeting agenda, May 22, 2013

04/17/13 1:00pm
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Southold school board president Paulette Ofrias, left, and Superintendent David Gamberg at Wednesday night’s budget workshop

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Tonight’s Southold school board meeting is at 7:30 p.m.

The Southold Board of Education is expected to adopt Superintendent David Gamberg’s proposed $28 million budget at tonight’s 7:30 p.m. meeting.

His spending plan is about a $1 million increase compared to the current school year’s budget.

The school board has also reached a tentative retirement incentive agreement with the Southold Faculty Association not to exceed $580,000, according to tonight’s agenda. Many school districts strapped for cash have offered retirement incentives because replacing employees with new hires is a cost-effective move.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Check back later for an update.

Southold school board meeting agenda, April 17, 2013

03/13/13 5:00pm
SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | Tonight's Southold Board of Education meeting is at 7:30 p.m.

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | Tonight’s Southold Board of Education meeting is at 7:30 p.m.

Southold School District Superintendent David Gamberg is expected to give a presentation on his 2013-14 preliminary spending plan at tonight’s 7:30 p.m. school board meeting.

According to the agenda, Mr. Gamberg will go over the district’s budget process, revenue, expenditures and give a review about the state-mandated tax levy cap.

Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, Southold would receive about $1.4 million in state aid, down nearly 12 percent compared to the current school year.

During last month’s Longwood Regional Legislative Breakfast in Middle Island, local elected officials told a group of Long Island educators they believe the majority of cuts in the governor’s preliminary spending plan will be restored.

The state Legislature is expected to approve its budget by April 1.

In May, the district’s $27 million budget carrying a 2.93 percent increase in the tax levy passed by a 534 to 289 vote.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda.

Southold school board meeting agenda, March 13, 2013

11/25/12 5:00pm

BETH YOUNG FILE PHOTO | Southold Superintendent David Gamberg teaches kids how to do flower arranging at a celebration of the school’s garden next spring. Mr. Gamberg says his district is working to keep the focus on these types of integrated classes even as New York State imposes more and more tests.

Southold school officials estimate the district will spend more than $165,000 next year to institute a new state-mandated teacher evaluation program, and school board members wonder if it’s worth the extra money the federal government is offering for its implementation.

This year the state has set a series of rigorous new standards for teacher assessments, known as the Annual Professional Performance Review, which requires more tests to measure student progress throughout the year. Those tests are then used to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers.

Southold Superintendent David Gamberg said at a school board work session Nov. 14 that the new tests will cost about $20,000, plus another $145,000 to train teachers and administrators over the course of the school year.

The new requirements are part of the federal Race to the Top program, the successor to the No Child Left Behind program. Race to the Top awarded $700 million to New York State in exchange for creating new teacher assessments.

But school districts throughout the state and the North Fork complain that very little of that money is making its way out of the bureaucracy in Albany to individual school systems.

In his presentation, Mr. Gamberg cited a recent SUNY/New Paltz study that compared the program to the Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes’ huge World War II-era wooden airplane, which turned out to have no practical use.

“It’s one of the most cumbersome plans you can create on this planet,” said the superintendent. “There are serious challenges to the federal program’s validity and the research on which it is based. This is a grand and costly experiment that has the potential to take public education in the wrong direction.”

Among the issues with the new requirements, he said, is the fact that schools must create their own assessments for subjective study areas such as art and music, in which students are not often tested.

Board members, unanimously opposed to the new requirements, wondered aloud what would happen if the district decided to “go renegade” and not institute the new program.

“If enough people refuse to comply, how will these laws be enforced?” asked board member John Crean.

Board president Paulette Ofrias asked Mr. Gamberg to discuss the district’s responsibility with state Senate education committee chairman John Flanagan.

“Ask the senator what would happen if Southold goes renegade,” Ms. Ofrias said. “I think we need to find out what the consequences are.”

“The entire Board of Education wants to know,” added vice president Judi Fouchet. “Every single one of us feels this.”

Ms. Fouchet added that it sometimes takes students longer than one school year to absorb subject matter, making it difficult to evaluate whether their teachers have been effective.

“What if they’re working on something in May and it shows up the following October?” she asked. “Their own individual development is so critical to how they learn.”

Mr. Gamberg said the district has complied fully with the new regulations so far, but “we are going to keep our priorities straight. We’re not abandoning robotics or the school garden. Those are the types of things that are on the chopping block” in other districts, in order to pay for the new tests, he said.

“Not all has been negative,” he added. “In the process of having teachers collaborate, there are good healthy discussions about education.”

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10/03/11 12:14pm
10/03/2011 12:14 PM

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | The Southold Board of Education is considering policies on what programs home-schooled students can participate in.

What programs should a school district offer to students who are home-schooled? That’s a debate members of the Southold Board of Education will be having since its policy committee decided against making any recommendation to the board on the issue.

Committee member Scott DeSimone said he thinks the full board needs to discuss what extra-curricular activities it wants to make available to home-schooled students. State law prohibits allowing home-schooled students to participate in inter-scholastic activities. But it has nothing to say about participation in clubs or other activities, board president Paulette Ofrias said.

“There’s just some blurred lines that have to be addressed,” board member Judi Fouchet said. Among them is what rules of behavior that apply to in-school students would be applied to home-schooled students, she said. For example, in-school students must maintain good grades.

Before moving forward with the discussion, she asked Superintendent David Gamberg to speak with his administrative team and offer the board some guidance.

He said he would do so and would look into practices in other school districts.

“It’s an area that’s a little bit out of our control, but we try to vet it,” he said of students who are home-schooled.