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Levittown Schools Postpone Budget Adoption

School administration opts to continue fund balance review

The Levittown School Board planned to adopt the budget for the 2012-13 school year at its public meeting at the Memorial Education Center on March 28, but opted to postpone it for further review of the district fund balance.

Since the district has until the third week in April to submit its final budget proposal to the state, Superintendent Dr. James Grossane and Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Mark Flower said there’s plenty of time to review the budget to see if more fund balance can be produced.

The fund balance is essentially reserve money that can be used for emergency situations in the district for special projects that require cash flow not originally funded in the budget.

Board Vice President Peter Porazzo likened the fund balance to a district savings account that can be used for situations like a roof or boiler replacement. The budget that the board was slated to adopt came at a total expenditure of $189,996,581 for the 2012-13 school year, which represents a 4 percent reduction from the previous year’s budget total of $197,907,475.

A total of $111,982,052 of the 2012-13 proposed budget would be used for staff salaries, down from $115,077,803 in 2011-12. Another $42,502,929 will be used for employee benefits, down from $43,094,698 in 2011-12.

Board President Michael Pappas said the 2012-13 budget is similar to the one adopted last year, with some minor changes. “It is a rollover budget, but it’s really what we had last year with some adjustments to bring us into this year,” Pappas noted.

The budget will be presented to the voters of the Levittown community on May 15. “This is a rollover budget,” Grossane said. “Our intention is to keep all programs intact for students. However, there might be some staff reductions districtwide, in response to scheduling, enrollment, or perhaps some realignment in certain areas.”

Grossane added that any staff cuts for 2012-13 would not be as significant as the tough choices that needed to be made in last year’s budget. “I was not part of the district last year, but I know it was very concerning that 60 teachers were let go,” he said. “Nothing like that is planned for this year. I haven’t seen the results of scheduling, so there could be a few letters going out. I’m just being honest with everyone.”

Later, he praised the board for the hard work they put in over the last several years to make this year’s process much easier. “That’s why we’re seeing a general trend in the decline in expenses,” Grossane said. “We did a lot of the hard work last year that, unfortunately, many districts are doing this year.”

Board Trustee Jim Moran added that the budget process this year was one of the smoothest that he’s ever been a part of, and he thanked the board for assisting with the process. “I sat on this board for 12 years, and I would have to commend central office administration and Dr. Grossane for making this one of the easiest budgets I’ve ever dealt with,” he said. “Everyone was on board, we hashed out a lot of things and I think you guys did a very good job.”

News

A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.

 

All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.

 

Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.

 

Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.

 

In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.

 

“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”

 

With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.

Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.

 

The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.

 

The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “

 

At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.

 

Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.

 

Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.

 

The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

Lazy Days Of Summer - July 26

Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


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