Written by Louisa Bonnanzio Friday, 24 December 2010 00:00
At the Dec. 16 meeting, the Jericho Board of Education honored 10 students for their success in the Seventh Annual CLASS (Chinese Language Association for Secondary-Elementary Schools) National Essay Competition: Sara Liu (Advanced Gold), Anjeli Song (Advanced Silver), Peter Li (Intermediate Gold), Angela Law (Intermediate Silver), Eugene Mei (Intermediate Bronze), Richard Law (Beginner Bronze), Richard Zhang (Beginner Bronze), Karissa Caputo (Beginner Bronze), Eric Ren (Honorable Mention), and Julie Rhee (Honorable Mention). Also, middle school student Anna Dashova received an Honorable Mention, fourth place, in the AATF (American Association of Teachers of French) Poster Contest.
In other news, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Educational Operations Dr. Ben Ciuffo gave a demographics update that highlighted enrollment projections in the next five to 10 years in the Jericho School District. The projections are determined by “looking at the number of live births in the last five years,” Ciuffo said. Past projections (2,998) were on target with current enrollment numbers (2,996) as of October. Those numbers have since increased to 3,009 due to a sudden influx of new students last month.
In closing, Ciuffo projected that “elementary schools will continue to remain fairly constant” despite the fact that this year’s “migration ratio” – the number of students moving into the district – is highest in grades three and four, with an increase of 8.1 percent.
In the monthly report of the superintendent, Henry L. Grishman discussed the comptroller’s audit results with regard to special education services. “We’ve been told that we could’ve saved $100,000 if we had used the $50 [per hour] provider as opposed to the $65 [per hour] provider. However, there is no place in regulation or law that requires us to do so. We will continue to pick the provider that matches the needs of our children,” Grishman said. Board president Barbara Krieger pointed out that these providers are shared among many schools throughout Long Island and “the lowest bidding providers are not always available.”
Now that County Executive Edward Mangano’s proposal to eliminate the county guarantee has passed, Grishman reported that he has met with attorneys Greg Guercio and John Gross. Together, they are working to find cost-saving measures that will not threaten or detract from the quality education Jericho’s students are currently receiving.
During public participation, Mark and Margaret Aaron of the West Birchwood Civic Association updated the community on the most recent developments concerning local sex offenders. They referred to a postcard sent by the County Executive’s office to Jericho residents that claimed there were no longer any sex offenders living in Jericho motels. However, there was indeed one sex offender still residing in one of the motels.
When the Aarons contacted the authorities, neither the police department nor the several other county officials agreed to take action. As a last resort, they contacted Minority Leader Diane Yatauro who responded swiftly and sent the police the following day to rectify the situation. Last month Yatauro filed several amendments concerning local sex offenders, none of which has been incorporated into the existing laws yet. The West Birchwood Civic Association has scheduled a meeting this week at the offices of the County Legislature to help expedite the legislation’s progress.
In business news, nine resolutions were put to a vote, all of which passed. Among those resolutions was the acknowledgment of the Federal Single Audit Report of the school district external auditor, Cullen & Danowski, LLP, for the year ending June 30, 2010. Krieger was pleased to report, “We’ve seen it, we’ve reviewed it. We received a clean audit report once again.”
Other resolutions included the board’s endorsement of joining Manhasset in their property tax relief committee meeting on Jan. 10, 2011 and the motion to reschedule next month’s BOE meeting/Budget Workshop to Jan. 11 at Seaman Elementary School at 7:45 p.m. The board urges parents to make note of this change and join them next month as they begin discussing budget issues.