Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 06 August 2010 00:00
At the outset of the meeting Herricks School Board Trustee Richard Buckley was sworn in by Herricks Schools Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth as school board vice-president. Buckley was previously school board president.
The Herricks School Board then voted to approve Arlene B. Crandall, of ABCD Consulting, Inc. in Medford, to work with teachers and the administration on developing and implementing the district’s RTI (Response to Intervention), The amount she will be paid is $990 per day for a total of seven days and the consulting fee will come from the stimulus funds.
Dr. Bierwirth explained that this was important because Ms. Crandall would be helping the teachers to fill out the very complicated and detailed forms correctly that make it possible for students to get the help they need as special needs students. He said in many cases the forms are not correct and the student is then in danger of losing much needed aid.
Dr. Bierwirth announced that the construction projects are on or ahead of schedule. He particularly mentioned the lights in the high school gym that have been changed from yellow lights to white lights and the new windows will be able to be opened. And, he said, “it looks amazing.” Further, he said the other gym would be done in August.
The Denton Avenue School will have new windows that will be slide windows and they should last 50 to 75 years and will not have the same safety problems.
The front of the Community Center will be able to see Herricks School where it was carved years and years ago and Director of Facilities Jim Brown has found LED light bulbs that can be put into the sconces that have been refurbished.
The floor that has been giving way in the Middle School has been carved out and replaced.
The electrical work is being done so that extension cords will no longer be necessary. He added, “Everything is on schedule to have everything to be completed by Labor Day.”
Dr. Bierwirth continued, “The new windows will be put in, as we have in the past, by working after school is over for the day. The windows will be knocked out and the new windows put in and they should be ready for the next day of school. If we should run into a problem, which we don’t expect, the most that classroom will be lost will be one day or half-a-day. It will also depend on the manufacturer of the windows, after we figure out how much money we need, and how long it will take to receive the windows.”
Dr. Bierwirth said, “Due to the dedication of our teachers and the students, this year, as in past years, almost every classified student graduated with a Regents diploma. Many with Advanced Regents diplomas. We don’t know what the state will do and now complicated by the national standards.”
Dr. Bierwirth said, “Lastly, we have been working closely with North Hempstead Town Superintendent Jon Kaiman and councilman Thomas Dwyer in dealing with issue of rentals that may or not be legal. They are legal from the school district’s point of view. If you reside in Herricks you are a resident, that was a Supreme Court decision. You could be an illegal alien, you could be whatever, but we will educate you. They have been working and have begun to issue summons for the number of homes who do not have legal apartments in them and he said, “We can’t un-enroll people until that long and tedious process is over. Some point, in the future, I will try to get Councilman Dwyer to come to a school board meeting to explain what they are doing to that end.”
Dr. Bierwirth announced that the district received a grant of $20,000 from Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth. The original intent was to use it for round tables for the seniors, but the grant has to be used as a capital project and tables did not qualify. So, the grant will be used to replace the sidewalks in front of the Herricks Community Center and it is a project that does not have to go to bid. In the courtyard, on the other side of the community center they will put a little garden with plantings for spring and fall with tables and will be good for the Alzheimer program.
He said, partly in jest, “It would be good strength training for the football team to carry concrete blocks out of that area.”
Dr. Hayes announced that the Summer Recreation Program is in full swing and it is the first year for a summer music program at the High School and that program is also filled to capacity.
Dr. Hayes also commented on the Herricks Pond Restoration project and she said that was also coming along. A beautiful brand new cast iron fence has been installed. Plantings will be put in that are native to Long Island and it will be taken back to the natural pond that it once was. The pond will then be used for various science projects.
Dr. Bierwirth said, “Nameless town officials said it was really just a sump, but I found a map that went back to 1890-’95. At that time the area was called Plattsville and the pond was designated as a “kettle pond” that was formed by a glacier.
“The temple even mentioned that now the area is so lovely, that when they have weddings, the wedding party goes over to the pond to take wedding pictures.
“There will be a walkway over the water that the students will be able to walk over and look down at the water.”
Board Also Approves:
The board approved a monetary grant in the amount of $1, 500 from the Searingtown PTA for the purchase of ceiling fans for the Searingtown gym.
The board also accepted a monetary grant in the amount of $2, 363.38 from the Searingtown PTA for the purchase of a Smart Board for Searingtown School.
And, the board accepted a grant in the amount of $3, 839. 38 from the Denton Avenue PTA for the purpose of purchasing the following: 77 SMART Board, Floor Stand, Wireless Bluetooth connection with NEC LCD Projector and speaker; NEX LCD 42 Monitor and a wide body flat panel TV cart.
The board once again approved the extension of Jaspan Schlesinger law firm on an interim basis, based on pending discussion.
The board also approved the US Specialty Underwriters, 6140 Underwriters, 6140 Parkland Boulevard, Mayfield Heights, Ohio to provide Excess Worker’s compensation and Employer’s insurance for a fee of $29, 538.00 for the 2010-11 school year. The fee is less than what the district is paying with the previous provider.
An ad for the chairperson of the Math Department was recently in The New York Times, but although candidates have been interviewed, there has been no one appointed to that position, yet.
School Board president Christine Turner announced that Joan Keegan has been moved to the Middle School as its Assistant Principal.
The meeting was adjourned and the next school board meeting will be set for Aug. 12 at which time the tax levy will be set.