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Landing School Commended by Board of Education

The Glen Cove School District honored Landing Elementary School and approved various payments and requests at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, held at the Glen Cove High School. Frank Bouza was the only absent trustee.

“We wish him well and hope to see him back at next week’s meeting,” Board President Ida McQuair said of Trustee Bouza.

At the start of the meeting, the board recognized the administration, staff and students of Landing Elementary School for being the recipient of a National Blue Ribbon School Award. The school is one of two elementary schools on Long Island and 304 schools nationwide to receive this designation. Dr. Michael Israel, principal of Landing School, was presented with a certificate.

“This is symbolic of the rest of the district, and the best is yet to come for these children,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Joseph A. Laria said.

Dr. Israel explained that the school was asked to participate by the Department of Education, and had to submit an application, show a lot of data and demonstrate a high level of school improvement. He said the staff all worked hard and the efforts were made schoolwide. He has been invited to Washington, DC to receive special recognition in mid-November.

The board approved the fifth payment for the high school windows and doors in the amount of $95,950 for work completed. The remaining balance to finish is $71,895.75. Payments for a high school kitchen exhaust hood/fire suppression system and for the new Thayer House boiler were also approved.     

Two teacher requests for overnight field trips were on the agenda, including the high school DECA trip to the North Atlantic/Southern Regional Conference in November.

“The cost to the district for this trip is not listed. I have asked for a form to be completed for all trips – we need a more consistent policy for approval,” Trustee Joel Sunshine said.

“This will be the last time you will have to make that request,” Dr. Laria assured him.

Additionally, the board approved the payment of tax certiorari claims, which Deputy Superintendent Kevin Wurtz explained were payments unique to Glen Cove. He said the costs are shared with the city and they always negotiate so that they are spread out over two payments, with no interest.

During the public comment period, a resident remarked, “I don’t see why this community is not in revolt over these payments.”

“You bring up a good point,” Ms. McQuair said. “We have ideas that we are not prepared to discuss at this time.”

Dr. Laria, during his Superintendent’s Report, spoke of the conditions and sentiments regarding public education around the country.

“Education reform is not question of desire but of absolute necessity,” he said. It is a matter of national security; we are falling behind China, Japan and other countries. This is not about teacher bashing as some make it out to be; it is about leadership. We need a continuity of leadership, a continuity of purpose.”

He also mentioned that some time this school year he would like to conduct an educational forum in the community that would be conducted in a civil manner.

“I welcome dialogue and debate but I will not tolerate division,” he said.

Trustee Dave Huggins gave an update on the Website Committee, stating that a new site is in the works that they hope to have up and running by January.

“It will be for the community, teachers, students – very interactive and user-friendly for the entire population of Glen Cove,” he said.

“Will the PTA be able to post principal-approved fliers on the Web site,” asked Janice LaRocca, PTA president of Deasy School.

“That is the goal of the program, to reduce paperwork and the cost of paper; we are still working to fine tune, but yes, the PTA will have access to the site for postings.”