South Country Central School District Board Notes January 22, 2020 Meeting and Budget Presentation Review

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The Board of Education meeting held on January 22 commenced with the commendation of Verne W. Critz Elementary School first grade teacher Carolyn Kelly, who received the Suffolk Region PTA’s Ted Brigham Teacher of the Year Award. Ms. Kelly was introduced by South Country PTA Council President Chris Maresco, who described Ms. Kelly as an educational professional who has helped to strengthen the bond and create a stronger relationship between home and school. Principal Mandy Mazziotti also described Ms. Kelly as an “educator who truly loves her job and the students” and a professional that “goes beyond being a teacher.” 

In promoting the health and safety of District students and staff and to protect the environment, the Board approved the creation of “No Idle Zones” at each of our schools. Drivers will be asked to shut their engines off if waiting for more than 10 seconds and, if running the engine is needed for temperature control, should restrict idling to no more than five minutes.  

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Management Services Christine Costa delivered the first 2020-2021 budget presentation of the year. The presentation outlined the budget process, the District’s reserves and its reserve history and discussed revenue options. 

During his superintendent’s report, Dr. Joseph Giani announced that in response to parent inquiry there are plans to start a sixth grade after-school program. The program will be held twice a week for students needing assistance in math, science, ELA and social studies. The program will begin next month and will be offered throughout next school year. Dr. Giani also announced that the Bellport High School varsity wrestling team won the League Dual Championship, which qualified the team to compete in the County Dual Title Championship, held on January 22.   

During the Trustee and Advisory Committee Reports and closing remarks, the trustees thanked the PTA for all of their efforts and programs in the schools. They also congratulated the teachers and students for recent concerts that were enjoyable and of professional quality. Kudos were also sent to the cast and crew of the middle school’s presentation of “Frozen Jr.” The trustees also reminded the community that Bellport High School will present “Beauty and the Beast.” Tickets can be reserved online at for performances on Friday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m., a matinee performance on Saturday, February 8, at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. The cast and crew will also hold a character brunch prior to the Saturday afternoon matinee performance for senior citizens at 12:30 p.m. 

For additional information on on the Jan. 22 meeting, please read the Board minutes once they have been adopted at the Feb. 12 meeting. During the next business meeting, the Board will also hold a budget presentation on the tax cap and the District’s expenses and revenues.