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HS Guidance Dept. Needs...Well, Guidance

The Oyster Bay-East Norwich school district’s guidance department needs closer supervision or coordination of the different services that its four counselors and one assistant offer to studentds at Oyster Bay High School, said a consultant at a Jan. 8 board meeting.

“You have so many great things that are going on,” said Nicholas Amato, the guidance consultant for the district. But, he said, closer supervision of the services is needed.

“Nothing happens in the school that doesn’t go through guidance,” said Amato, who had served in the Mount Sinai and Half Hallow Hills schools, both as a guidance counselor and as an administrator, and for the past decade, has operated a consulting business.

Amato, who is completing his year-and-half tenure as a consultant for the district, spoke to the board’s meeting at the Oyster Bay High School library.  Among his recommendations that were implemented was adding one counselor and shifting two counselors to the middle school program. The counseling center was also made more of an instructional center with a college and career aide, he explained.

Guidance is concerned with the transition from the middle school to the high school, scheduling, the diverse educational needs of the students, as well as the social environment, Amato said. So the guidance department needs one person to oversee the various roles of the four counselors and working in consort with others.

To an extent, Amato, in his role of consultant, has been helping to provide some of the coordinating unofficially. Some of it has also fallen to Dr. Dennis O’Hara, principal of Oyster Bay High School, and assistant principals.

A supervisor could take any one of several different forms. Board members seemed open to considering the possibility but had questions. Several board members inquired about the cost and whether the district could afford another position due to budgetary constraints.

“The money is available,” said Dr. Phyllis Harrington, superintendent of schools, should the board choose to establish such a position within this year’s operating budget. For next year, additional consideration would be necessary.

“What we are lacking is a job description,” said Maryann Santos, a school board member. Harrington said that a more precise description could be presented now that the board’s interest in such a position has been established.

In addition, the board heard a presentation by Mike de’Venau, a computer technician, about a news system of correspondence between the district and board members. Under the new system, board members would no longer have as much district-related material sent by mail.

Rather de’Venau explained, board members would receive an e-mail notifying them of information for them to read in preparation for meetings, with a link to the necessary information. The new system would reduce the amount of the paper that members receive.

“You are saving trees,” said Ann Marie Longo, board president.

 

News

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com