By Marianna Levine
Educational enrichment and achievement were the highlights of Monday’s Bridgehampton Board of Education meeting. Vice president Elizabeth Kotz expressed concern that the cost of the Princeton Review course, a preparation for students taking the SAT exam, wasn’t considered a priority in this year’s budget, especially after it had been discussed and aid offered to students the previous year.
The comment came after school superintendent Dr. Dianne Youngblood announced that this year’s juniors had been invited to attend the Princeton Review course at East Hampton High School in January at a cost of $800 per student, and that letters had gone out to families giving them two weeks to pay for the course in full. The course is offered for free to East Hampton High School juniors. The short notice, Dr. Youngblood explained, was due to East Hampton’s initial reluctance to include Bridgehampton students in their program. Board member Nicki Hemby added it was crucial for parents to understand the significance of the program in furthering their children’s educational goals.
Kotz noted that the course is a huge commitment for students and families to make in terms of scheduling as well as financially, and that perhaps families should be given an extension on the payment deadline. More to the point, Kotz expressed concern and confusion that funding for this program was not a specific item in the school’s budget. Dr. Youngblood said that although the school’s budget is very tight, business administrator, Philip Kenter did manage to find $3,200 to put towards assisting families with the cost of the course, and that she wanted to continue discussion on the matter in executive session.
This lively discussion occurred after a presentation by Toshiba representatives concerning the budget approval of new office equipment for the school’s faculty and business offices. The board also discussed the Parent Teacher Organization’s desire to buy the school’s surplus laptops. The old office equipment was in dire need of an upgrade due to the high cost and time spent on constant repairs, said board members. The reconditioned computers are to be re-sold by the PTO to district families, with priority going to families who do not yet have computers.
In his report, Bridgehampton School Principal Jack Pryor noted that Bridgehampton’s “faculty has a desire to always improve the education they provide to their students.” With this in mind he introduced school psychologist Lauren Sebor who offered a presentation on the school’s cutting edge bio-feedback program. The program helps students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder focus through improved brain functioning without the use of medicationÂ