Southold to embrace social media

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Southold school board president
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Southold Superintendent David Gamberg, shown at last week’s budget meeting, said Tuesday he plans to use YouTube to post videos about budget information.

After discovering a stream of misinformation through social media leading up to Southold School District’s budget workshop last week, Superintendent David Gamberg decided to embrace the platform to better educate the community.

“You realize that people are gaining knowledge and inside information through that mechanism, so why not embrace it, and travel down that path,” Mr. Gamberg said at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Last Wednesday about 70 parents, district employees, students and graduates assembled in the high school auditorium to voice concerns over rumored budget cuts. Many of them had heard what turned out to be missinformation thorough social media.

The superintendent said he plans to post informative videos on YouTube about various aspects of the school budget.

“The whole idea is access to anyone,” Mr. Gamberg said. “Giving people opportunities to learn, and not just have to be here [at board meetings], to learn about the budget.”

The videos will be answering questions in terms of the budget process, the tax cap, and future projections, “where we see it’s going and why were doing certain things with our budget,” Mr. Gamberg said.

He expects to have the videos available sometime in early April.

“I will try to make it a little entertaining, not too dry,” Mr. Gamberg laughed. “It strikes me as the right time to be doing it, it’s timely.”

The board took the time to compliment the student body for its “poise and compassion” during last weeks budget meeting.

“Input is always huge,” said Judi Fouchet, school board vice president. “We love to hear from the students.”

The school board also changed the date of a required board meeting from May 1 to May 8 due to scheduling conflicts.

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