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Opinion

Increasing enrollments have become a reality, and we are out of space. Weber alone will experience a 10 percent increase next year. Weber needs six classrooms for September, Guggenheim needs four and Manorhaven needs two.

While it would seem that the best approach to meeting our current space crisis is to address these immediate needs, the clear and profound message delivered by the Board of Education and the proposed architect at the Nov. 14 board meeting is that it is too late for short-term solutions. Why? To get portables in place for the beginning of a school year, the portables must be incorporated into the school budget that gets voted on in June. Unfortunately, getting a "go ahead" in June does not leave an adequate amount of time to install portables classroom by the start of school in September.

Ironically, the only way to ensure that the immediate space needs are met is to develop a long term plan that is approved by the board this January and passed by the community no later than April 2001. This timing also ensures that the construction will be completed in time for the projected increases at Schreiber. The board has stated that they do intend to approve a long-term plan by Jan. 2001.

Therefore, we urge parents and others who want to ensure our children have a safe place to learn and optimal class sizes to email the board (BOE@portnet.k12ny.us). Please ask the board to keep their promise to approve a long-term bond plan by Jan. 2001 that (1) will meet all our space needs; (2) our educators will support; and (3) present a bond vote that the community will pass by April 2001.

Please come to the next board meeting scheduled for Dec. 12 at Manorhaven and present your message and support in person. The mike is usually open at 8 p.m.

Thank you for your support.

Port Washington Parents,

Vita Dicker

Judy Granger

Melissa Janis

Laura Mogul

David Strom

Donna Quinn

Nancy Baldwin

Debbie Odell

Bill and Lynne Dinner

Marjy Fisher

Eric Kraus

Nancy Lashine

Gary Sher


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