By Kathryn G. Menu
Parents of children attending the Rainbow Preschool, which is located just outside Sag Harbor Village, learned from the school’s board of trustees and longtime director Sue Daniels on Tuesday that they had become aware of “alleged financial improprieties involving Rainbow Preschool accounts.” The improprieties involved an employee at the school, who has since been fired.
Following a meeting with parents on Tuesday—aimed at apprising them of the situation and reassuring the school community that the school’s nursery and pre-kindergarten classes would not be affected—members of the board of trustees confirmed that Southampton Town Police are investigating the situation.
As of press time, no charges had been filed in connection with the case.
“The authorities have been contacted and this matter will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law,” said the board in a written statement read to parents at Tuesday’s meeting and emailed to the school community later that day. “Because this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further at this time. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure that this investigation will not impact your children who are always our first priority.”
While stressing longtime nursery and pre-kindergarten programs will not be affected by the situation, Daniels did note that plans for a summer camp program in 2014 and a two-year-old program for the 2014-15 school year have been put on hold for the time being.
Daniels has served as director of the pre-school since it was the Tuller School at Maycroft in North Haven, a program she ran for two decades until that property was sold. Nine years ago she founded the Rainbow Preschool, which was originally located in the former Sag Harbor United Methodist Church building on Madison Street in Sag Harbor before it was moved to its current location at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House on the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike.
While planning to retire in June, Daniels on Tuesday said she would remain the school’s director for the 2014-15 school year, although the board of directors will hire a new teacher to lead the pre-kindergarten class.
“Rainbow Preschool is going through a difficult situation, but we are continuing with our three and four year-old classes with a full staff and are looking forward to continuing as we always have,” said Daniels.
The school is also accepting enrollment for the 2014-15 school year.