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School Board Sworn In

The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education welcomed two members, one new officer, and a new superintendent of school at its recent reorganizational meeting.

Florence Frazer, attorney for the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District, swore in new board members Jennifer Romeo and John McEvoy, who officially took office at the July 9 meeting at the Oyster Bay High School library.

Romeo, an accountant for King Kullen, and McEvoy, a local attorney and business owner were newly elected to the board May 21 (see Oyster Bay-Enterprise Pilot 05/31/2013).

Ann Marie Longo was unanimously re-elected as president of the school board while Robin Dando, also a returning board member, was elected vice president. Both were sworn in. The previous vice president, James Mattel’s term had expired and he did not run for re-election.

Also present was Dr. Laura Seinfeld, the new superintendent of schools, who is succeeding Dr. Phyllis Harrington (See Oyster Bay Enterprise-Pilot 06/07/2013). Seinfeld said that she had been sworn in previously.

“I want you to know how excited I am to see all of you and to be working with you,” and to be back in the district, where she had worked as assistant superintendent for instruction from 2005 to 2010.

Seinfeld told board members that they would know from having read a letter that she sent to them that “I have hit the ground running.” She noted later that she has met with “constituent groups and administrators,” and is planning to meet with community leaders, most of whom she had gotten to know previously “to re-acquaint myself with everyone.

“I want to continue to build upon the success that the district has had,” Seinfeld said.

At the meeting, she discussed finding a day for a board retreat, when she and board members would meet at a site away from the district for the earlier part of an evening to become acquainted and discuss plans for the district’s direction.

A regular business meeting followed the reorganizational meeting.

During the public comment period, Cheryl Sherbal, vice president of the Oyster Bay Parent Teacher Student Association asked about  having more in the way of individual teacher’s websites.

She made the distinction between an individual teacher’s website and websites maintained by school departments, and the parent portal, which allows parents to access progress reports and report cards.

A teacher’s individual website can help parents keep current on what is happening in their sons’ and daughters’ classes and on assignments and projects.

Seinfeld replied, “I would like to talk with you about this,” because she sees the value of such websites.

 “I’m a big proponent of two-way communication between home and school,” Seinfeld said. “How we can we best leverage technology” for families and all members of the community. “There are many ways to leverage communication,” including emails, Twitter, and other social media.

“I’d like to meet with the principals to get a better a grasp of how teachers are using websites,” Seinfeld said, to better discern how more might be done.

Longo said that there may be “contractual issues” regarding requiring teachers to maintain websites.

Maryann Santos, another board member, commented: “Parents must have homework and tests results in real time,” which would be made easier by teachers’ websites.