Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 10 June 2011 00:00
Out of 5,000 student entrants statewide, Island Trees had two teams of four students who placed first and second overall in the New York State E-Cybermission Competition.
The first place team, The G-Razors, created a product to cover PVC fencing, to eliminate destruction from graffiti. Each of the first place team members was awarded $1,000 savings bonds.
The second place team, The Toothbrush Squad, designed a special brace to aid arthritis sufferers with gripping. Each of the team members was awarded a $500 savings bond.
Additionally, Island Trees is sending two teams to the state competition of the Christopher Columbus Awards. The teams’ projects are a device that aids wheelchair users, and an illuminated pet collar during home fire emergencies. They will be competing for a $25,000 grant to be used to create and patent their product.
The Christopher Columbus competition teams will travel to Orlando on Sunday, June 19 for the weeklong finals competition.
The board and administration congratulated administrators: Memorial Middle School Principal Roger Bloom and Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics James Cranmer were on hand for tenure recommendations. The district’s school psychologist, Dr. Melissa Dunn, was also recommended for tenure.
The Board of Education has accepted a donation from the Michael F. Stokes Elementary School PTA in the amount of $2,192 to cover the related expenses of a cultural arts program.
The board gave first readings on revisions to district policies 2382 and 6850. District policy 2382, titled “Broadcasting and Taping of Board Meetings” pertains to the use of photography, broadcasting, and recording equipment used during public meetings of the board of education. Such recording equipment should be unobtrusive, and disclosed to the board president prior to the start of the meeting. The Board President will then make a public announcement that recording is in effect.
The second policy reading, district policy 6850, regards retiree benefit procedures. This includes the district’s commitment to effectively and efficiently administer benefit to eligible retirees. It maintains that the district will periodically monitor the status of such retirees to verify eligibility.
Island Trees resident John Fontana took to the microphone at the public comment period to remind members of the school board of the teacher and staff excess notices delivered in the neighboring Levittown School District. “When the unions don’t agree to concessions, what happens, they get their backs forced against the wall to agree to concessions,” said Fontana.
Island Trees resident Brian Kelty shared copies of the Feb. 16, 2011 minutes of the board of education regarding approval of addendum of Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy’s contract. Dr. Murphy has taken no pay increase in two years. The board of education extended his contract to expire on June 30, 2014, with guaranteed minimum increases of three percent in the 2013-14 school years. According to Kelty, the vote taken by the board members, 6-0, to extend Dr. Murphy’s contract was not made in public. President Patricia Mahon countered that the vote was solely to approve an amendment.
A special meeting and work session will be held on Wednesday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Stephen E. Karopczyc School Board Conference Room at 74 Farmedge Road in Levittown. The Board will enter into an executive session and reconvene for a work session at 7 p.m.
The next regular public Island Trees Board of Education meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 22 in the School Board Conference Room at 74 Farmedge Road. The public meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. All past and future meeting dates can be found on the district’s website, including meeting agendas and copies of each meeting’s minutes. For additional information contact the Island Trees Public Schools Administrative Office at (516) 520-2100.