02/25/13 10:11am
02/25/2013 10:11 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Greenport school board member Michael Mazzaferro said Dec. 19 he believes every school should have armed security.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Tonight’s Greenport school board meeting is at 7 p.m.

The Greenport Board of Education is expected to vote on a resolution tonight to grant elementary school principal Joseph Tsaveras tenure.

If approved, Mr. Tsaveras’ tenure will go into effect July 1. He has been the elementary school principal for three years.

In addition to discussing Mr. Tasaveras’ tenure, Superintendent Michael Comanda will likely update the school board on next year’s school calendar, the lockdown drill that took place on Jan. 30 and shared-service agreements with the Southold School District, according to the agenda.

Tonight’s meeting is at 7 p.m. in room 126.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Read more in the Feb. 28 issue of The Suffolk Times in both our print and electronic editions.

Greenport school board agenda, Feb. 25, 2013

02/05/12 12:32pm

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | A new art show at Brecknock Hall in Greenport features works by students and seniors.s.

A group art show featuring paintings, drawings and collages created by residents of Peconic Landing and students from Greenport School opened at Brecknock Hall in Greenport Friday.

It’s called “Art Through the Ages II” and  will be on view from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Feb. 12.

For information, email [email protected]

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05/27/11 2:32pm
05/27/2011 2:32 PM

Sirens, fire trucks, police cars all usually spell emergency, it was just a drill in Greenport Friday afternoon.

In Southold, students were released early to test arrangements for evacuating schools in an emergency.

Parents were notified of the drills in advance. The aim was also to give parents a chance to test any arrangements made should their children ever have to be released early in case of a real emergency.

12/20/10 10:06pm
12/20/2010 10:06 PM

Community residents will continue to be barred from using tennis courts and other facilities at Greenport School during the school day as a committee ponders the policy.

Board of Education members agreed at their Dec. 15 meeting to kick the matter to the district’s SAVE committee for a recommendation. The committee, formed under the guidelines of the federal Safe Schools Against Violence in Education program, will look at the policy as a student safety issue, according to Superintendent Michael Comanda, who suggested that the SAVE committee consider the matter.

Public use of the school athletic facilities became an issue in November when several residents complained about being banned from the tennis courts in line with a policy that had not been enforced before.

Former school board member Diane Peterson told the board at the meeting she considered the district’s primary responsibility was “to keep students safe” and asked the board not to allow the tennis courts or other facilities to be used by the public during school hours.

Mr. Comanda said he had polled educators in Suffolk County and around the state. Of 21 Suffolk County districts that responded to his inquiry, only one had a campus totally open to the public. However, many upstate schools do allow public use of school facilities during the day, he said.

“I thought that was interesting regionally,” Mr. Comanda said.

He also noted he had received a petition signed by Civil Service Employees Association members encouraging the district to enforce the policy banning public use of the campus during the school day. He said he’d received similar sentiments in a letter from a parent.

NO TALKS UNTIL DISPUTE’s RESOLVED
According to Mr. Comanda, there will be no discussion of cooperation on any programs between the Greenport and Oysterponds school districts until the state commissioner of education makes a ruling whether Oysterponds acted legally this summer in rolling back its contract agreement with Greenport.

The two districts had an original three-year agreement that was to run through June 2012 for Greenport to educate Oysterponds junior and senior high school students. A previous Oysterponds board, nearing the end of its term, extended that contract to June 2014.

But in July, three new board members took office in Oysterponds and voted 4-3 to cut back the two additional years and lop a year from the original contract. That means the contract with Greenport effectively will end in June 2011.

Greenport appealed the action and both districts have filed briefs with the state and await a decision from Albany.
In the interim, Greenport won’t discuss any contracts with Oysterponds, Mr. Comanda said.

Just the night before, Oysterponds Board of Education member Thom Gray reported that Greenport had no interest in his proposal Greenport send students into a multi-age classroom that Oysterponds would start; Oysterponds parents wanting a traditional single-grade classroom could send their children to be educated in Greenport, under his plan. He said Mr. Comanda had told him he was happy with Greenport’s current elementary school program and had no interest in exploring multi-age classrooms.

Mr. Comanda told The Suffolk Times he thought his conversation with Mr. Gray had been private, but reiterated that he wouldn’t enter into any discussion with Oysterponds about any new contracts until he had a resolution of the secondary school contract issue.

OPERATING ON A SHOESTRING
“The news isn’t great,” Mr. Comanda told board members about state aid for both the current school year and next year. He didn’t have exact numbers yet, but word was that at least 5 percent of anticipated state funds for the current school year won’t be forthcoming and districts can expect a 5 to 10 percent cutback in state aid for the 2011-12 school year, Mr. Comanda said.

That will mean not only careful budgeting for the next school year, but examining planned spending for the current year and making cuts of about $50,000 this year, he said.

He said he was examining the budget to see what costs have to be encumbered, such as salary and benefit payments, and where spending could be reduced in an already tight budget, he told school board members.

IMPASSIONED PLEA
The parent of a first-grader appealed to board members to add an extra division because the two existing first-grade classes have 25 and 26 students each. The parent, who asked that her name not be used, said she was considering leaving Greenport so her child could go to school in a district with fewer students.

“I don’t want to move,” she said, but children are jammed into a small space and teachers in the two classes are challenged trying to pay enough attention to each child’s needs. Even with the help of an aide, students may not get a good foundation for future learning, she said.

Mr. Comanda said there’s no money to create another first-grade class this year. But he asked the parent to bring the issue up during budget hearings, due to begin in Greenport March 9.

[email protected]

10/27/10 7:01pm
10/27/2010 7:01 PM

Students in the Mattituck and Greenport school districts will take part in a survey on diversity issues next month as the schools seek to understand how to best address the needs of their increasingly diverse populations.
Mattituck-Cutchogue Superintendant Jim McKenna announced the plan at a Mattituck school board meeting last Thursday, Oct. 21, as he discussed his district’s attempts to answer charges last year that the school was not doing as much as it should to accommodate people with different backgrounds.
The survey will be conducted by the Stony Brook School of Social Welfare in conjunction with Southold Town, he said, adding that the Southold School District declined to participate.
Nearly 90 percent of Mattituck’s students are white, according to the district’s research as part of the diversity initiative, Mr. McKenna said. The limited racial mix heightens the need to be sensitive to students who may lack role models with backgrounds similar to their own, he added.
The district began posting job openings on multicultural websites in February, and plans to make it a priority to recruit candidates from organizations ranging from the Long Island Latino Teachers Association to the Long Island Black Educators Association to the Shinnecock Nation, the Urban League and the National Coalition of Black Women, according to Mr. McKenna.
“This is something we’re particularly proud of. We’ve had our eyes open to a bigger pool of candidates,” said Mr. McKenna, who added that the district had so far hired one African-American student teacher from Dowling College through the expanded candidate search.
The district also has revised its mission statement to reflect its goal of inclusion, he reported. The statement is slated to be adopted at the school board’s Nov. 18 meeting. Being circulated both in Spanish and in English, it describes the district as “dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment where diversity, interdependence and self-discovery are valued.” It outlines four goals, including nurturing passion for life and learning, fostering collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, encouraging a range of perspectives and promoting and practicing personal integrity, according to Mr. McKenna.
The statement adds that “as a result, students develop academic excellence, confidence and resiliency to face future challenges in order to contribute to and inspire positive change in the local and global community.”
The district, Mr. McKenna reported, is participating in several local and county programs to promote diversity, including Southold Town’s Anti-Bias Day and Suffolk County Unity Day. The district also sent several students to the county’s African-American Advisory Board College and Career Fair in Hauppauge earlier this fall.
District administrators have been taking part in workshops run by Roberta Richin, executive director of the Council for Prejudice Reduction.
“She kept looking at it as getting kids to take a look at the bigger picture,” said Mr. McKenna. “You are a part of the world and the world is a part of you … A world-class school demonstrates a vision of the world.”
Also on Thursday, the school board appointed music teacher Jacob Fowle and English teacher Anne Gilvarry to be advisers for a school musical this winter. The district has not held a musical production for more than a decade.
[email protected]