Written by Eric Holden Friday, 15 July 2011 00:00
Christine Napolitano was nominated as the Mineola board of education president for the 2011-12 school year during last Friday’s reorganization meeting at the Willis Avenue School.
Napolitano, who was previously the board vice president, looks forward to bringing the Mineola School District into an exciting new chapter in its history.
“I’m very honored to serve as board president this year,” said Napolitano. “I really do look forward to a productive year. Hopefully we can put some things behind us and move positively into the future.”
In other reshuffling efforts on the agenda, the board nominated and voted for former Trustee William Hornberger to take over as board of education vice president for the upcoming school year.
The board also decided which of its members would be designated to be lead representatives for various school-related committees. Trustee Irene Parrino was selected for the Health and Safety Council, while Napolitano will be the lead board member rep for both the Communications Committee and District Council (SEPTA).
Hornberger would become the board’s Finance Committee and BOCES representative, while Trustee Terence Hale will be the board representative for the Policy and Regulations Review Committee.
In other matters, the board approved a travel mileage reimbursement rate for $0.55 cents per mile and adopted the Mineola American as the district’s official newspaper. Newsday and the Williston Times were designated as additional publications to be used as needed for the 2011-2012 school year.
The board also took a closer look at the lunch policy for students who owe the district money for unpaid food and drinks. Under a new district-wide proposal, students with outstanding charges will not be allowed to purchase snacks.
Students at the elementary and high school levels will be allowed to charge up to $10 in meals, after which they will be given a meal consisting of a fruit, milk, vegetable and cheese sandwich, until such time that the delinquent account is cleared up. No breakfasts or a la carte items may be charged unless they receive reduced meals.
If a child reaches the maximum charged meals under the new policy, the Food Service Management Company will send a written notification to the parent. The notification will include an explanation that the student has repeatedly charged meals and that if the parent fails to pay for the charged meals; their child may no longer be permitted to continue charging meals.
It will also state that their child will receive a complete meal consisting of a fruit, milk, vegetable and cheese sandwich, until such time that the account is cleared up.
In the public comment segment of the evening, Hornberger asked the board and community to remain cognizant of two past incidents of vandalism that occurred in the summer last year at schools in the Mineola district.
“By and large, we don’t have issues,” responded Superintendent Michael Nagler. “The community enjoys the use of our facilities. We have to put these single incidents in perspective. If we’re open 24/7 and have one incident, it doesn’t mean this is happening all the time.”
As the meeting came to a close, Superintendent Nagler expressed his displeasure with the State Education Department’s decision to make cuts to the number of dates that the Regents examination are administered.
“Regents exams have traditionally been in August, January and June,” said Nagler. “The State Education Department, due to budget cuts, has eliminated the August and January Regents exams. So now a child only has the opportunity to take the test in June and what we typically see with that is a decrease in graduation and achievement rates.”