The Glen Cove Board of Education met on Dec. 20 in Gribbin School to consider a rather short agenda. This meeting was the last for Superintendent Frank DeLuca. He is leaving the Glen Cove school district to assume another position in Westchester. The interim superintendent will be Dr. Elliot Garfinkel as Dr. Richard Lerer, a consultant retained by the board of education, assists in the search for a new superintendent. In order to help develop a profile for the type of superintendent the board should employ, on the morning of Jan. 6, 2000, Dr. Lerer will be meeting with school personnel and PTA leaders. A meeting for the Glen Cove community has been set for Jan. 6, 8 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. This will be a forum for Dr. Lerer to hear from residents regarding what they see as key issues facing the district which the new superintendent will have to address. Residents will also be able to state the level of experience and personal characteristics the new superintendent should possess. The board of education and district administration will not be attending this meeting, setting the stage for residents to speak freely regarding their concerns. This procedure marks a new concept for the Glen Cove school district. In the selection of Mr. DeLuca and his predecessor, Dr. Charles Murphy, there was little, if any, public participation in the process.
The assistant superintendent for business, Frank Fiumano, gave an update on the district's battle plan for whatever the Y2K experience may be. Mr. Fiumano said he and the Y2K committee have met at least eight times since the beginning of the year. All the buildings and their systems have been reviewed and tested for Y2K compliance. During the week of July 12, those systems not in compliance were brought to up to speed.
Mr. Fiumano said on Dec. 30, all systems will be shut down, heating systems will be turned to the manual mode and electrical panels will be disconnected. This will safeguard the computer equipment from a power surge in the event of a LIPA power outage and repair. Mr. Fiumano said LIPA has stated that there is a less than 1 percent chance of a power outage caused solely by Y2K issues. The district's maintenance, custodial and security staff will be issued walkie-talkies and on Dec. 31, just after midnight, they will tour the district's buildings to determine if there are power outages. On New Year's Day, 7 a.m., these same people will inspect all the buildings. On Jan. 2, they will reopen all electrical panels preparing for the arrival of the district's computer mavens. Several precautions are being taken by the district including an arrangement with a dry ice company regarding the storage of frozen foods that are part of the district's lunch program. There are extensive checklists for every building at the ready.
Following Mr. Fiumano's report, the board conducted the first reading of the district's web site policy. The policy includes guidelines and procedures, content standards, quality standards and provisions for parents to sign a waiver in the event their child's photo and name are used on the district's web site. Copies of the policy, which is still a working document, are available from Thayer House. In considering personnel issues, the board discovered that a high school English teacher the district had been courting has been hired by another district. The teacher is needed to address large class sizes, (at least 30), for 11th grade Regents English. One board member said the need is urgent considering the students are preparing to take the Regents exam in January and in June.
In response to a question regarding charter schools, board member Robert Lupinskie said the application for a charter school in Glen Cove was not moved along in the process by the Charter School Institute. Although the charter was not granted, the applicant, Dr. Ellen Tiegermann of the School for Language and Communication Development, (SLCD), in Glen Cove, has the right to resubmit for the 2001 school year. The Charter School at the Cove was to have been a K-12 school with 180 students and within the SLCD property. Mr. Lupinskie said the charter school application submitted in Great Neck was also denied. If it had been approved, it could have had an impact on the Glen Cove School district. The school was to have been 15 miles away making a Glen Cove student attending that school eligible for transportation to that location. Mr. Lupinskie, who is also the president of the Nassau/Suffolk School Board Association, said there are issues with the legislation allowing charter schools especially since there isn't a provision requiring a public hearing for the community within which a charter school is proposed. Board member Dr. Jeffrey Spector said another critical concern with charter schools is the financial impact generated by a child attending a charter school.
Prior to closing last Monday's school board meeting, Dan Cox thanked Mr. DeLuca for his efforts on behalf of the children in the school district considering Mr. DeLuca came on board after the departure of a controversial superintendent.