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Surprise! NYS Comes Through For Herricks

At the April 3 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education, it was revealed that New York State’s recently passed budget has allotted a larger-than-anticipated amount of aid for schools; this has resulted in an additional $360,000 for the district to use for its 2014-2015 budget.

 

According to Board of Education President James Gounaris, the 2014-2015 Herricks budget was already adopted, on March 20; after the surprise boost in state aid, the budget was adjusted and re-adopted at the April 3 meeting, with the additional funds allocated toward restoring some budgetary cuts made to the district in recent years.

 

“We’re going to use the additional money that we have to hire more staff,” he said. “The biggest concern to those of us on the school board has been trying to find a way to reduce our class sizes. We’re down over 100 positions in the past three years.” 

 

The Herricks 2014-2015 budget, adjusted for the additional $360,000 in funding from New York State, now comes in at $107,594,911; the Board of Trustees unanimously voted at the meeting to re-adopt the budget to reflect this new amount. However, these new numbers will not affect taxes in the Herricks district, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Helen Costigan.

 

“We’re putting the additional funds into our revenue file, so this will not affect the tax levy at all,” she said. “This extra money will bring our budget up to a 2.84 percent increase, but out levy remains at 1.84 percent. That doesn’t change.”

 

Trustee Brian Hassan gave a final update on the infamous InBloom, which had drawn the intense ire of parents and schools across the state when it emerged that the company would be sharing sensitive data about New York students with various third-party companies. After vigorous lobbying from educators and parents, the state put an end to the unpopular practice. 

 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth describing the program as “so poorly handled,” noted it was initially slated to be nationwide.

 

“New York was the only one left in InBloom, which was originally supposed to go across all 50 states,” he said. “However, you can’t have a national database with no states being a part of it, so it appears to be really dead, which is great.” The plan is effectively dead in the water after New York’s withdrawal, he said. 

 

“InBloom is no longer an issue for us as far as data-sharing with third-party vendors,” Hassan said. “This was the result of a lot of hard work by people, not just in Herricks, but across the state, and it’s nice to see that our voices have finally been heard.”

News

The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.

 

“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”

The Sept. 18 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education covered a range of issues, from the district’s overall performance to the sudden death of a student to fiscal and personnel issues—even to the loss of maple trees. 

 

National Ranking 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth announced that the district’s high school had achieved an impressive level of distinction in a recent national survey that measured scholastic achievement; in fact, a great deal of Long Island made the cut, he said.


Sports

Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season. 

 

Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central. 

 

“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”

The Sewanhaka Indians continue to let their presence be felt in Nassau Conference II. 

 

The Indians played their second game as members of the conference on Saturday, Sept. 21, against the Long Beach Marines, topping the south shore squad 51-30. 

 

On the opening drive, the Indians relied on running back Brenton Mighty’s legs to get them into the red zone. On first and goal from the 15-yard line, quarterback Elijah Tracey hit

Michael Parasconda on a screen pass for the first score. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - September 24

Silver Sneaker Fitness - September 25

Live Music - September 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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