Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00
At the last meeting of the New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School Board, Dr. Raymond Bredur was appointed by the board as Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
At the outset of the meeting Board President Ernie Gentile called for any comments from the public.
A resident asked if the inquiry she had made at the last meeting regarding the moving of Special Education students from place to place had been resolved.
Board President Ernest Gentile said that would be addressed in a forthcoming work session after September 1, when newly appointed Director of Pupil Personnel Services would take over and would have a chance to access the problem. Dr. Bredur, who was in the audience, waved a greeting to all in attendance.
The resident also wanted to know if the work session would be open to the public and she was told it would be. She added, “It isn’t fair that this district has a Math Enrichment Program with two teachers that travel from building-to-building to accommodate that program and yet the children in the Special Education program have to travel to different locations to be accommodated, when the Special Education children would benefit more if they didn’t have to move.”
Once again, President Gentile said that problem would be resolved at a forthcoming work session.
Another resident came to the microphone and wanted to know the status of the mold problem on the top floor of the Manor Oaks School and she was told that the leak has been fixed and a mold test that was conducted was negative.
The resident wanted to know if she could have a copy of that report and was told that she should contact the Manor Oaks school and request a copy of the report and it would be made available to her.
The following is the report delivered by New Hyde Park/ Garden City Park Superintendent of Schools Robert Katulak:
“We have been working on the finalization of all students IEPs and the associated staff related to all programs. A district committee interviewed a number of candidates for the position of pupil personnel director and then the board of education interviewed the finalists and we are recommending the appointment this evening for a starting date early in September.
“We are reviewing and disaggregating the New York State Assessment data and will be creating a district-wide plan for improvement over the next few months. Our ELL and kindergarten readiness summer progress are both completed giving students in need of extra attention a head start for the New Year. The programs focused on readiness skills related to sight word vocabulary, comprehension skills, computation skills, thematic conceptual skills in the area of science and social studies. Our summer recreation program was also an excellent success providing over 200 students access to positive activities for a few hours each day. Our intensive special education summer program is continuing and will be completed as of August 15.
“As you may have read, the police made a recent arrest of a young man who vandalized some district property at Manor Oaks School. He will now face a court hearing and the judge will determine restitution to the district. Due to a close and collaborative partnership with the 3rd Precinct we were able to find the perpetrator and send a message to all residents that any crimes or damages to district property will not be tolerated.
“We are now in the process of finalizing all plans for our new teacher orientation and our superintendent’s conference days to be held on Aug. 31, and Sept. 1. We are moving forward in planning the necessary staff development and evaluation process aligned for compliance of 3012c law relating to the Annual Professional Performance Review Plan.
“Our buildings’ custodians and cleaners have been very busy this summer getting all the classrooms and meeting areas in tip-top shape for the first day of school on Sept. 6, with no summer help, that has been available in the past, but due to budgetary constraints, was not available this year.
“We hope everyone is thoroughly enjoying the last weeks of summer vacation.”
The board voted on the dates of religious holidays that will be observed by the students. Superintendent Katulak explained, “Every year the state asks for a list of possible religious holidays when students might be absent so that state aid calculations will not be penalized and once the holidays are recognized the district does not lose aid.”
Superintendent Katulak said, “Just another comment for the board and for the public we have approximately $20,000 unfunded mandate. Every district makes sure they collect an additional testing instrument. It is a way that they are then tied to teacher and principal performance. When the state originally went down this road it was a low-cost figure, so that figure could be anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 that we are required to use. Twenty percent will come from New York State testing that is not costing us anything right now. The district superintendent’s will be meeting with Senator Jack Martins and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel to discuss putting a stop to unfunded mandates. The governor, you may know, formed a commission to prevent unfunded mandates. So, all of a sudden, this is happening for next year. We will try to have both Senator Martins and Assemblywoman Schimel advocate on our behalf against what she said are unfunded mandates.”
Trustee Patricia Rudd urged all residents to please contact Senator Martins or Assemblywoman Schimel to advocate against these unfunded mandates.
President Gentile added, “Every school district is depending on us to get these unfunded mandates stopped.”
The board meeting ended and the next meeting is set for September 12 at 8 p.m. at the Manor Oaks School.