By Tessa Raebeck
Long-anticipated upgrades to facilities at Bridgehampton School, in particular the security system, are underway. At the district’s board of education meeting Wednesday, September 25, school administrators received updates on a variety of improvements around the school.
“We just updated the new fire alarm system, the public address (PA) system, as well as the wireless clock systems,” said Robert Hauser, the school business administrator for the district.
All of the building’s windows have been numbered, a measure many safety experts recommend to schools so that first responders can know exact locations before they arrive on the scene.
Students entering the school have been rerouted in an effort to increase safety and now come in and out through the building’s bottom floor door. A security camera has been installed on the back door, “so we’re aware of anybody that’s coming in and out,” said Dr. Lois Favre, Bridgehampton’s superintendent/principal.
Over the next month, magnetic locks will be installed in all doors so that the building can be “locked down” in case of emergency. A vestibule will be completed in late October, allowing for visitors to enter a covered area without immediately accessing the building, so security personnel can check them in before they are granted access, without making guests wait outside in increment weather.
“We’re anticipating that will be complete by the end of October,” said Dr. Favre. “So hopefully by the November board meeting, we’ll be bringing an updated project to you.”
In other school news, members of the senior class asked the board to approve dates and transportation funds for their senior class trip to Florida.
“I don’t know, you guys are such a terrible class,” joked Lillian Tyree-Johnson, vice president of the board.
Despite the jokes, seniors Tatiana Dawson, India Hemby, Jenna Hochstedler and Jerome Walker were granted their wishes.
“We will be in school on Monday, we promise,” Hochstedler assured the board.
Other news raised at Monday’s meeting included an offer from Myron Levine of Sag Harbor to donate a 20 feet by 24 feet cement building to the district. Levine also offered $5,000 toward the transportation of the building, which would have to be dismantled and delivered by truck to the school.
Hauser discussed several uses for the project, including using it as a greenhouse or for additional storage space, but ultimately the board declined the offer, arguing that transporting a cement building was probably more trouble than it’s worth.
In the annual New York State educator performance review, teachers are evaluated by the state in several categories and given composite scores. Twenty percent of their grade is dependent on student growth on state assessments, 20 percent on locally-selected measures such as classroom observation and 60 percent “will include the extent to which the educator demonstrates proficiency in meeting New York State’s teaching or leadership standards,” according to the New York State Education Department.
“All teachers scored effective or highly effective,” reported Dr. Favre. “It’s a big deal and it’s a lot of data that teachers had to submit. I’m very proud of our teachers, they did a superb job.”
Dr. Favre is meeting individually with teachers to discuss the scores and whether the locally-selected portion of the evaluation “was a true measure, how they felt it went and then they’ll make adjustments to how they believe it should go.”
Dr. Favre also announced that, at the request of several middle school parents, Bridgehampton School will be increasing the number of student field trips to New York City, with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art and the 9/11 Memorial site planned for October.
The board gratefully accepted a donation of tennis court repairs from the Hampton Tennis Company.
“Things are going really smoothly in the school building,” concluded Dr. Favre.