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Letter: From the East Williston Board Of Education

The East Williston Board of Education is here to serve you and we want to hear from you.  We are excited about the new school year and the challenges it will bring as we reflect on some of the highlights from the past year.

Academically, our instructional programs continue to challenge our students, including our continued support for the developing open enrollment in the accelerated Science and Math curricula. We expanded our AP offerings and engaged in a comprehensive review of our Middle School, which led to a new nine-period day of study. We are a community whose past and present distinguished achievements have been firmly rooted in a history of collaboration. It is through this continued shared process that the district is pleased to announce the hiring of a new Director of Special Education, a Director of Science and Technology, and a Curriculum Associate of Foreign Language.

Equally important is the safety of our children and the maintenance of our facilities.  We recently implemented the Safe Schools hotline and linked our district to the Megan’s Law website.  We have implemented a staff and student ID card program, with improved safer access to our buildings.

We completed roofs on two of our three academic buildings and have begun work on the replacement of the roof on our maintenance building.  Under way this summer is the restoration of the Wheatley track, Willets Road School parking lot, and the North Side School playground, parking lot, windows and areas of roofing.  In addition the board has approved an Energy Performance Contract allowing for the full replacement of the Wheatley boilers and district-wide lighting, all at contract guaranteed savings to the district.  Those savings will cover all of the costs of the project.  The district also signed an Inter-Municipal Agreement, partnering with the Town of North Hempstead, for recycling and other maintenance demands at significant cost savings.

We have engaged our community in meaningful ways to foster support of district programs and services.  We already share our facilities after school hours with such groups as Don’t Move Away, Creative Arts, and Little League.  We continue to keep our Tennis Courts and Track open through dusk all summer so that all residents can take advantage of our facilities.  The community is always invited to our drama productions, concerts and other events.  The Board of Education expanded its fact gathering and decision making ability by asking for input and guidance from its many experienced and willing volunteer community members.  In this regard the Board was pleased to expand the services of the Financial Advisory, Audit and Capital Facility Advisory Committees.  In addition the Board formed an Education Advisory Committee as well as a Community Relations Committee.  The Board recently announced that it has re-opened the application process for its committees and welcomes everyone’s participation.

The year ahead will be a challenging one.  The long-term implication of diminishing State and Federal revenue will continue to require us to think and work differently.  In an effort to save costs and defeat fraud, the district completed a Student Re-registration process, ensuring that only district residents attend our schools. Additionally in an effort to look for ways to share services, your board has met with neighboring school district boards of education and has expanded its activist roles by creating a Board Member Legislative Liaison as well as a BOCES Liaison.  All current union contracts are set to expire this year.  The board is well aware of fiscal constraints and the concerns signaled by our recent budget vote.  We will continue with our successful community workshops and in an effort to allow all concerns to be voiced, this year we will be focusing them on such issues as fair, affordable negotiations, prudent budgeting and improved community relations.  

Even with fewer resources, the board of education, together with administration, will continue to move the district toward excellence, equity, and innovation in everything we do.  We hope that everyone will take part.

The East Williston School District Board of Education