Board Notes - Jan. 23 Business Meeting

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The Board of Education met for its second business meeting of the month on  Jan. 23, commencing the meeting with a moment of silence and reflection in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

In his report, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani regretfully announced that the New York State Department of Education has identified South Country as a Target District as a result of Brookhaven Elementary School and Bellport Middle School being identified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools. The contributing factor was low participation on the grade 3-8 State exams, which impacted overall student performance. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Marlon Small, Director of Elementary Education Amy Brennan, Brookhaven Elementary School Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond and Bellport Middle School Principal Dr. Jamal Colson attended a Target District orientation meeting on Jan. 10 in Albany. They learned that the State will conduct a needs assessment in March, and both buildings will be required to conduct a parent/teacher survey by year’s end. The result from the needs assessment and parent survey will be used to develop an improvement plan, to be submitted to the New York State Education Department by July 1.

The Board discussed renaming the South Haven School and decided doing so would not be in the best interest of the school district and community. Moving forward, the South Haven School will be referred to as South Haven Early Childhood Center. The Board also stated that although there has been discussion in the community regarding changing the name of the school district, the Board indicated it had no intention in considering a district name change at this time.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Management services Dr. Sammy Gergis reviewed the upcoming budget process and discussed the district’s long-term planning and reserves during his first of eight budget presentations. The administration and the Board will prepare a zero-based/program-planning budget which will assess the district’s goals and priorities, lay out recommendations and costs to reach objectives and require each facility and program to justify expenditures. A Budget Hearing will be held on May 8. The 2019-2020 Budget Vote and Election is May 21. In addition to the budget, the community will be asked to vote on a $2.2 million Capital Reserve for facility improvements. More information and the scope of the vote will be discussed at the Feb. 6 meeting.

The District has expanded its social media presence with Instagram. Please stay up-to-date on the latest by visiting the district’s Instagram @southcountrycsd.  

The next Board of Education will be held on Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.