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Board Focuses On Report Cards, Budget

The annual school report cards and upcoming budget vote were the main topics at the Farmingdale School Board regular meeting on Wednesday, May 1. 

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Joan Ripley said that overall the school district was in good standing with regard to the 2011-12 State report card scores. She said that special education students saw the most improvement in testing scores, as compared to past years.


“We saw significant gains in our students with disabilities on the High School Regents Exams,” said Dr. Ripley. “This section of students scored much higher on the Comprehensive English Regents Exam and U.S History and Government Exam than in previous years.”


According to Dr. Ripley’s data, which can be found in a link at, 20 percent of Special Education students scored 85 or higher on the Comprehensive English Regents exam, which is up from only 12 percent of students the previous year.  


On the U.S History and Government Regents exam, 36 percent of special education students scored 85 or higher, compared to only 16 percent in the 2010-11 school year.


In total, 85 special education students took the High School level Comprehensive English Regents exam and 83 took the U.S History and Government exam.


Overall in the district, 494 general education students took the English Regents, with 46 percent scoring above 85, and 507 took the U.S History and Government Regents exam, with 6 percent scoring above 85. Dr. Ripley said that the district looks at overall scores in comparison to the rest of the state.


“It is hard to compare data on an annual basis because the state changes the report card scale every year,” said Ripley. “We know that by looking at these latest results the aggregate needs improvement but overall the district is in good standing.”


The upcoming budget vote was also on topic at the recent meeting. “We have already adopted the budget at our last meeting,” said School Superintendent John Lorentz. “We managed to stay under the tax levy cap for this fiscal year, coming in at 2.35 percent which is within the state’s tax levy limit of 2.96 percent.” 


Although there will be a final public hearing meeting on the upcoming budget  on Tuesday, May 14 at 8 p.m. at Howitt Middle School, the budget vote will take place in the gymnasium there on Tuesday, May 21 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Residents will vote on the budget proposal, the candidates and the propositions.


In addition, the district will hold a special public meeting to recognize some of the district’s staff and students on Wednesday, May 29.


The next regular board meeting will take pace on Wednesday, June 5. The public is encouraged to attend.