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Spring Exhibit Cancelled

Annual school event killed in teacher contract

The new contract reached by the Massapequa School District and its teachers was made official recently with a few cuts, including a popular spring event.

Besides eliminating two half days on the elementary school level to add full instruction days and one half day during parent-teacher conferences, the new contract also shuts down the annual half day for the elementary school spring exhibit.

The spring exhibit was an annual event involving all Massapequa elementary schools that was meant to display the students’ development both artistically and academically.

School Superintendent Lucille Iconis said the decision to eliminate the elementary schools’ spring exhibit was made in a deal between the school board and the teachers during negotiations.

The four-year contract, announced at a recent Board of Education meeting, goes back retroactively to the 2012-13 school year when teachers worked without a contract. Because of the retroactive nature of the contract, teachers will not receive a raise for the first year of the deal.

But they will receive a one percent raise in years two through four of the contract. In two of those years, however, incremental pay will be delayed until February.

A new salary schedule for newly hired employees also comes with this new contract. It eliminates salary level increases between Bachelors and Masters degrees. Under the previous contract, teachers would get raises when they received BA’s plus 15 credits, 30 credits and 45 credits. Under the new deal, teachers will only receive a higher salary upon completion of their Masters degree.

School Board president Gary Bennett said all of the cuts, including the spring exhibit, were made in order to protect core programs and classes. He also praised teachers for coming to the negotiating table and understanding the district’s priorities.