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Sewanhaka Budget Set For Vote

The Sewanhaka Central High School District School Board adopted the 2014-15 proposed budget last week. The proposed budget total for the 2014-15 school year is $175.3 million, a budget increase of $3.52 million from last year. The tax levy increase is set at 2.1 percent. The budget vote will take place on May 20.

 

The current projection for state aid in 2014-15 is $29.2 million in the state legislative budget, a slight increase from last year ($27.8 million).

 

“There was a budget-to-budget state aid increase of 5.2 percent,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said.

 

In order to remain within the tax levy limit, the school district had to make cuts. A $2.9 million reduction which meant cuts to school staff, including 13 teachers, one assistant principal and 12 teaching assistants.

 

The reduction of teachers due to retirement, attrition and other factors totaled $1.17 million. The assistant principal, salary, benefits, teacher retirements and FICA totaled $215,376. Cutting teaching assistants totaled $611,095 and a reduction in two clerical positions

added up to $59,314.

 

“It is disheartening to think that in the next couple of weeks I’ll be sitting with some of our teachers and telling them they will not be coming back,” said Dr. Ferrie.

 

Other items that will be cut or trimmed include overnight, weekend and holiday security workers, transitional content classes at H. Frank Carey High School, the graphic design program including teaches and software expenditures.

 

“We predicted this three years ago that in a tax cap environment there would come a time where things would get worse,” said Ferrie. “If it continues this way next year we’ll not only have to cut staff but student programs as well, something we’ve avoided doing the last three years.”

 

On a positive note, some program enhancements include creating a new twilight GED Program overseen by Nassau BOCES, reintroducing a limited program for adult education during spring 2015 at no cost to the district and initiating a pilot co-teaching program in seventh grade at Floral Park Memorial and Carey high schools. This will also be at no additional cost to the district, says Ferrie. 

 

Lawrence Livi, graphic design art teacher at Sewanhaka High School, said the reduction and eventual phasing out of the graphic design program is “very unfortunate for the students at Sewanhaka.”

 

He explained that the program teaches students to create and design in a special way and that it uses live work to sharpen student’s skills for the real world.

 

“Graphic design has a 60-year history at Sewanhaka and it would be a shame if it is no longer a resource for Sewanhaka students,” said Livi.

 

The next school board meeting will be on Tuesday, April 22 at Sewanhaka High School.

News

Two Long Island childhood friends, Scott Reich and Michael Winik, recently left their respective careers as an attorney and investment banker to pursue their dream of starting a business together, the online food market OurHarvest in New Hyde Park. 

 

OurHarvest’s next scheduled pick-up is on Aug. 9 at Notre Dame Parish, 1 Aberdeen Rd., New Hyde Park. OurHarvest also has locations in Huntington, Roslyn, Hicksville, and Port Washington, with additional locations slated to open this year.

15 Below, an alternative rock band composed of Sewanhaka High School students, rocked the William Gill Theatre in New Hyde Park Village Hall on Wednesday, July 23. The band had the crowd tossing up beach balls to energetic beats and swaying their iPhones along to slower tunes. 

 

“They were very good tonight,” said Darren Derick Polanco. “I always come to their shows.”


Sports

 Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park recently received belt promotions after successfully completing a series of extensive exams.

 

“Our goal at Charles Water Karate & Fitness is to facilitate mental growth enabling our students to reach their highest potential as human beings,” says Charles Water, owner and director of the school.

“Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others.”

Runners and walkers from New Hyde Park are invited to join in the fun on one of the most unusual 5K courses on Long Island at the Saturday, Aug. 9 Sands Point Sprint.

 

 The run presents the Long Island running community with an opportunity to traverse a unique combination of paved paths and runner-friendly woodland trails at the Sands Point Preserve. 

 

The August 2013 edition of the Sands Point Sprint attracted 313 finishers, including top New Hyde Park finishers Michael Ringel, who scored first in the 11-14 age group and Dave Frisone, who earned first place honors in the 65-69 age group. Race organizers are looking for both Ringel and Frisone, and a host of other New Hyde Park runners, to be back next week.


Calendar

Literary Club - July 30

Boot Camp - August 2

Six Gun Concert - August 3 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com