South Country Central School District Board Notes July 2, 2019 - Reorganization and Business Meetings

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The Board of Education reorganized for the 2019-20 school year during its meeting in the administrative offices on July 2, 2019.  The Reorganization Meeting was called to order by the District Clerk who presided until Board officers were elected.  Newly elected trustees, Melissa Aruta, E. Anne Hayes and Clyde Parker, were sworn into office by District Clerk, Christine Flynn, who then called for nominations for Board President.   The Board nominated and elected Ms. Hayes as President and Jack Nix as Vice President, both of whom were sworn in by the District Clerk.  The District Clerk also administered the oath of faithful performance to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Giani.

The Board conducted its Business Meeting following the Reorganization Meeting,   During his report, Dr. Giani congratulated the Class of 2019, whose commencement exercises took place on June 27, 2019.  He also congratulated the eighth grade class, who moved up from Bellport Middle School on June 24, 2019. 

During the Trustee and Advisory Committee Report, both trustees Lisa Di Santo and Chris Picini thanked administrators for a smooth graduation ceremony and end to the 2018-19 school year. Trustee Melissa Aruta, President E. Anne Hayes and trustee Clyde Parker also thanked the community for the opportunity to serve the district’s students and the community by being elected to the Board of Education.

The Board unanimously approved a resolution to establish a sub-fund within the  Retirement Contribution Reserve Fund, established in 2009, to be known as the Teachers Retirement System District Retirement Contribution Reserve Sub-Fund. Monies for the sub-fund will be provided through budgetary appropriations or raised by taxes to finance retirement contributions to the New York State Retirement System and will not exceed 2% of the total annual compensation or salaries of teachers employed by the District who are members of the TRS, paid during the immediately preceding fiscal year.  

The Board determined which Trustees will serve as liaisons between the schools and the Board of Education. The list is as follows: Melissa Aruta – Frank P. Long Intermediate School; Lisa Di Santo – South Haven Early Childhood Center; E. Anne Hayes – Brookhaven Elementary School; Jack Nix – Kreamer Street Elementary School; Clyde Parker – Bellport Middle School; Chris Picini – Verne W. Critz Elementary School; and Cameron Trent – Bellport High School.

The Board approved proposals submitted in response to an RFP for a district grant to provide pre-kindergarten services to the community.  As recommended by the Superintendent, the pre-kindergarten services will include one full-day class at Head Start, two full-day classes provided by New Interdisciplinary School at South Haven, and two half-day classes at Bellport United Methodist Church. In addition, the District will operate four half-day classes and one full-day class at the new South Haven Early Childhood Center. The pre-kindergarten program will consist of four full-day classes (74 seats) and six half-day classes (108 seats) for a total of 182 seats. The District is also in the process of seeking a vendor to provide before-school and after-school childcare in one of the open classrooms located at South Haven Early Childhood Center. This could extend the day for half-day program children/families for a fee paid by the family.

The Trustees also determined who would serve as Board representatives on the following Board Advisory Committees: Strategic Planning - E. Anne Hayes, Jack Nix and Cameron Trent; Teaching and Learning – Melissa Aruta and Lisa Di Santo; Health and Safety – Lisa Di Santo, Jack Nix and Cameron Trent; Finance and Facilities – Clyde Parker and Chris Picini. 

Trustee Cameron Trent was also appointed to serve as the official South Country Central School District representative to the New York State Countywide Shared Services Initiative. Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone previously invited school districts to elect a representative to the countywide shared services tax savings plan panel, known as SuffolkShare, so that municipalities can save dollars through shared services and procurement of goods and best pricing.    

The Board also ratified the Bellport Teachers’ Association Affiliate contract for a four-year period.

The Board determined to hold its annual retreat on August 17, 2019.  The location of the retreat and whether to use a New York State School Boards Association representative to run the retreat and to speak on important policy and procedure will be decided at the next meeting.
The next Board of Education meeting will be held on July 24, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the District’s administrative offices.