Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 27 August 2010 00:00
The Glen Cove School District Board of Education met Monday night at Robert M. Finley Middle School to discuss policies, personnel matters and other business. Trustees Frank Bouza and Grady Farnan were absent from this meeting.
Matters of business included the establishment of five Ad Hoc Committees in the areas of Finance, Facilities, Public Relations, Board Policy and Curriculum and Instruction, with members appointed to serve on specific committees. The board approved the first reading of a policy regarding Medicaid false claims, fraud prevention and detection. Several personnel actions were taken, including the hiring of a new administrator, which created some discussion among the board members.
Trustee Joel Sunshine said, “The proper procedure of this district puts the board in charge of policy and programs. The superintendent brought two candidates to us to interview and made a clear distinction of recommending candidate A over candidate B. The majority wants candidate B and will defer to the judgment of the superintendent when choosing personnel.”
“We followed district procedure,” said Trustee Gail Nedbor-Gross.
“The board members took it upon ourselves to do our own research about these candidates because we’ve followed the recommendations of past superintendents and the track record has not been real good,” responded Trustee Dave Huggins.
“Under New York State Law, the superintendent is required to make recommendations to the Board. The superintendent proposes the candidates and the board has the right to vote its conscience. Rest assured that both candidates were highly qualified,” Superintendent Dr. Joseph A. Laria said.
The majority approved the hiring of the candidate, with Mr. Sunshine opposing.
The board passed an agreement with the American Red Cross for use of school buildings, grounds and equipment for emergency shelters, approved the first payment in the amount of $28,595 to Maccarone Plumbing, Inc. for the installation of a new boiler in Thayer House, approved the fourth payment in the amount of $87,400 to Sigma Builders for work related to the High School windows and doors, and appointed BJLJ Engineers and Architects PC for architectural services for the 2010-11 school year.
Dr. Laria said they have addressed the issue of class sizes by adding a new first grade section at Deasy School, and the district is moving as quickly as they can to fill all vacant positions before school begins.
He mentioned they are in the process of changing a policy that currently allows unannounced visits to classrooms by administrators.
“No one should be allowed to sit in on a class unannounced from beginning to end and write up an evaluation of it. In other districts I’ve been involved with, this is just unheard of,” he said.
Ms. Nedbor-Gross wanted to make sure everything was on track for the opening of the school year, and asked if it was possible to make the schools “green” by substituting cardboard for the Styrofoam trays.
Kevin Wurtz, assistant to the superintendent for business, responded that the cost of cafeteria supplies is “exorbitant” so they try to cut costs wherever possible, but he would look into the possibility.
During the public comment period, local business owner Richard Smith mentioned that the district has had “terrible experience” with BJLJ over the last several years and that they should do more research before hiring them for future projects. He also took issue with the new electronic message board in front of the middle school. “There were 11 messages on the board today and they don’t last long enough to read them. It needs to be slower, it needs to be stationary and it needs to have colors that you can read.”
“The old sign stayed the same for a month at a time. This is a new endeavor and we’re still working out the kinks but I think we’re moving in the right direction and should thank the PTA for getting it,” Mr. Huggins said.
A parent of a seventh-grader told the board that some of the teachers’ Websites had not been updated in two years, which was disappointing to her child, who wanted to get to know the teachers before starting school.
Dr. Laria said he would address the matter.