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Schools Look To Boost Security After Newtown

Farmingdale Schools Superintendent John Lorentz told a larger-than-usual crowd at a board meeting earlier this month that security has become his top priority since the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT.    

“We are reconsidering all of our security procedures with a very different mind then we’ve had in the past,” Lorentz said.

For starters, the district will be accepting bids from independent security specialist firms to advise the district and set forth a comprehensive security plan.

Other measures taken include the proposed hiring of six new security aides to be dispersed throughout the district. All those hired would be retired police or corrections officers.

The district has already revised policies in terms of building access. Visitors must now be buzzed into a school building by school personnel.  

The school will use its construction consultants to figure out ways to make buildings more secure with locks and communication devices. Also, school staff continue to be trained in terms of response and action in case of an emergency.

A variety of opinions were expressed by residents regarding the idea of hiring armed guards at schools.

“By arming a security officer, you’re saying that you’re not going to stand for anything and it’s going to be known to the public and it’s going be known to many of these criminals,” said Anthony DiPaolo.

“To take it to an extreme level of ridiculousness with having armed personnel in schools I grew up in... absolutely not,” said one parent.  

Some residents suggested that aides should be trained in self-defense, rather then armed with a weapon. Alexander Melton, a senior at the high school, said armed guards should be posted outside of the school, but not inside.  

In other district business, Assistant Superintendent Paul Defendini explained to residents the difference between the school district tax levy and the actual tax bill. While this year’s tax levy remains capped at 2 percent, there are other factors outside the district’s control that affect actual taxes paid.

This mainly includes the differences in the property assessment system for those living in Nassau and those residing in the Town of Babylon.

The facility advisory committee continues its meetings with architects to implement energy conservation measures in the district. The committee hopes that actual work will begin next fall.

The board is optimistic that state aid should be on track for next year, although the hit that state revenues have taken due to Hurricane Sandy could impact funds.

Later this month, the legislative action committee will be traveling to Albany to meet with assemblymen and state senators.

- Even as they try to make cuts, there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight in the BOCES budget, where the district is facing increases of around 5 percent in administrative costs, as well as increases in the actual charges for usage of classes.

The next public meeting of the Board of Education is Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. at Howitt Middle School.

News

During a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, President Shari Bardash-Eivers addressed a controversy that had erupted among parents in the district surrounding comments that were made online about student data mining. Initially proposed as a component of New York State’s Common Core Learning Standards, data mining is used to gather information on students through a company called InBloom. However, the proposal to allow data mining through the use of InBloom was defeated by state lawmakers. 

 

For Eivers, the controversy had come about after she had made comments on social media sites regarding parents who were opposed to student data mining. Many referred to her comments as “insensitive,” for use of the terms “paranoid” and “ignorant” whilst noting that the same parents opposed to data mining seemed to have no qualms about activities such as using Google or their credit cards online—acts which she said carry many of the same risks. 

On April 4, members of the Farmingdale Board of Fire Commissioners appointed three new Chiefs of the Farmingdale Fire Department. After 14 years of service with the department, the newly minted Chief Patrick Tortoso is ambitious about his new title. 

 

“I wouldn’t be here without my members' backing,” Tortoso said.

 

At the ceremony, Frank Romano, ex-Chief of the Farmingdale Fire Department, gave his final rundown of the 997 calls the department handled in 2013, before handing over the proverbial reigns to Tortoso. 

 

“You guys always did a standup job,” Romano said congratulating his commrades. “This has been a rewarding experience.” 


Sports

John Galanoudis of Farmingdale, a junior student at Molloy College, batted .462 for the week with a .562 on-base percentage and a .615 slugging clip to help Molloy to a 3-1 series win over St. Thomas Aquinas. He scored four times, had six hits including two doubles, and drove in three runs. Galanoudis also stole a base and walked once.

 

— Submitted By ECC Sports

 

Erin Donovan of Farmingdale, a sophomore at Farmingdale State College, finished 6th in the High Jump at the St. Joseph’s Invitational competition. Her mark of 4 feet, 8.25 inches moves her to No. 7 on the All-Time list. 

 

— Submitted by the Farmingdale State College Athletics Department


Farmingdale High School’s Lady Dalers have staked an early lead in Nassau County Girl’s Varsity Lacrosse Conference I, after winning each of their last three games this season. Starting the season on the road, the Lady Dalers would open with a non-league victory over Sacred Heart on March 20. The Lady Dalers would go on to win the exhibition match 10-8, thanks to Tara Wahl who scored six goals to put Farmingdale in the lead. On March 22, the Lady Dalers would compete in their first game of the regular season against

South Side High School. During the game Jill Alonso put up two goals and four assists, helping the team to secure its 13-4 road win. 


Calendar

School Board Budget Adoption - April 9

CSEA Training - April 11

Comedy Dinner - April 11


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