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At the last Herricks school board meeting, the board voted to get rid of the geese that are wrecking the playing fields and walking areas at all Herricks schools for once and for all.

To that end the board voted on a Geese Deterrence Contract, as per Nassau County Contract Purchasing Contract with the company entitled Geese Off, located in Patterson, New York.

The board signed a three-month contract at a cost of $26 per visit with an expected 14 to 18 visits a week with a total budget of $1,582 to $2,034 a month. After which, services will be provided on a month-to-month basis.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jack Bierwirth, explained that the company brings a border collie dog to schools and goes with them to each of the schools to rid the grounds of geese and because of its repeat performance day-after-day it works.

The district wanted to join with the Town of North Hempstead to solve this problem, but they have not responded.

Dr. Bierwirth also explained, "Part of the reason we have done this for three months is that it covered the spring sports and the law says that you cannot use the dogs in June because that is when the geese are laying their eggs. In June, you are allowed to put oil on the geese eggs to keep them from developing."

Bierwirth went on to say, "These are trained dogs and this company also got the Nassau County bid. This has worked in all of the areas that have used the dogs and in fact, the Town of North Hempstead has a Border Collie at Harbor Links Golf Course and it has rid the area of almost all of the geese and their droppings."

Buckley said, "Well, this is a good start."

School Board president Richard Buckley announced that a small group of residents attended the School Tax Rally last week. He said there was a great crowd and theme emerged as "Fair Share." He added, "Hopefully, the governor will listen to us."

He also announced that applications for bus transportation to private and parochial schools for the 2009-2010 school year must be received in the Herricks Transportation Office by Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

"Further, petitions for trustee on the Herricks Board of Education are available in the office of the District Clerk. April 20 is the last day to receive nominations from candidates by 5 p.m. in the District Clerk's office."

Buckley also commented on how wonderful Jazz Night was at the high school. He said, "The Jazz program at our high school is sailing along. It was really a nice touch to bring the Middle School Jazz band and they all did a number at the end and there had to be at least 100 kids on stage playing jazz and it was a terrific night."

He further went on to announce that Into The Woods would be opening and would continue through next weekend as well on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Dr. Deidre Hayes then announced that the Science Research teacher at the high school, Renee Barcian, has been named the Distinguished Teacher of 2009 by the Harvard Club of Long Island. She added, "She is one of only 10 teachers in all of the school districts to receive this award and she will receive her award at a Harvard Club luncheon on March 14."

Hayes continued, "Further, there was a meeting of the elementary sixth grade parents. They met with the math coordinators and it was a great turnout. The purpose of the program is to speak to parents about the math programs that are offered to students in the district and to outline all the various math programs for students as they enter high school. It answers many questions parents have as their children enter high school."

Dr. Bierwirth said, "I was walking past this meeting room at the Herricks Center, on my way out the other night and I noticed the chairs were all setup for a meeting. It was, a new program for us, a meeting of the pre-school elementary school, special education staff, administrators and parents of students identified as special ed students and I heard it went very, very well."

The board also approved the following contracts for the education of children with special needs:

All About Kids, AHRC, Anderson Center for Autism, Bilinguals, Brookville Centre for Childen's Services (This is a new name, the original name was Marcus Avenue Early Childhood Development Program), Center for Developmental Disabilities, Harmony Heights School, Interdisciplinary Center for Child Development, Mountain Lake Academy, Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism, NY Therapy Placement Services SEEDS of the Willistons, The Summit School, United Cerebral Palsy Association of NC, Variety Child Learning Center and Henry Viscardi School.

At the very high recommendation of Trustee Peter Grisafi, who reviewed the book, the board adopted Algebra 2 and Trigonometry (Mathematics) written by An Xavier Gantert and published by AMSCO, 2009, 1st edition, as the basic text for grades 9-11. Trustee Grisafi said that the nice feature to the book was that it also has an electronic text and the book along with the electronic text is only $37 for each book, It was remarked, by all members of the board, that these books are remarkably low in price.

Bierwirth handed out a flier outlining the MTA proposed payroll tax to the Nassau School districts in the amount of $11.6 million, which will cost the Herricks district an additional amount of $175,926. The flyer stated, "Governor Paterson is seeking a .33 percent new payroll tax on all employers within the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) region, including Nassau and Suffolk Counties. This is not an employee tax, but a direct tax on employers, including school districts. The cost above would be applied to the 2009-10 school budget should this measure succeed. We urge you to contact: Governor David Paterson, State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224. Let him know what this proposal will cost your school district and please copy state legislators on any correspondence."

There were no questions regarding the budget from any of the residents in the audience.

The entire budget will be discussed at the meeting of March 12 and that discussion will be covered in the March 19 issue of the llustrated News.


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