In addition to discussion about the school’s cafeteria program, the Sag Harbor School Board vetted a range of topics ranging from the new guidance counselor position and college preparations to the school’s monument policy.
– Assistant Elementary School Principal Donna Denon gave an update on the summer school program. The program develops students’ reading and math skills, and includes learning themes related to summer.
– Facilities and Athletics Director Montgomery Granger noted that his department is getting ready for the beginning of school. Granger will also soon start a project on cleaning and repairing the Atlantic Ave. parking lot at the elementary school. He will eliminate the concrete bumpers, install a concrete curb, and add a seal coat onto the asphalt. The seal coat, Granger warned, is only a temporary solution.
– Superintendent Dr. John Gratto informed the crowd that of the eight open staff positions all have been filled expect for a part time science position, which the district hopes to staff with an existing teacher.
– Dr. Gratto reviewed enrollment levels with the board. There are 65 students expected in fifth grade, which will be broken down into three sections with 21 to 22 kids per class. He mentioned a concern with a relatively small kindergarten class of 53 students, which amounts to roughly 14 kids per class. Dr. Gratto noted that the four section structure might need to be revisited in the future, while board member Chris Tice argued that although these classes seem small the district previously committed to intimate classes. In the upcoming school year, three students from Springs and four from Sagaponack will join the Sag Harbor School District.
– Business official Janet Verneuille updated the group on how she hopes to implement better internal controls in the school’s business office. She hopes to create a procedural manual and plans to attend staff meetings to train district employees on purchase order policies.
-The Sag Harbor Elementary School pre-kindergarten program which is being operated by SCOPE received three donations: $2,750 from an anonymous donor, $300 from parent Laura Avedon, and $275 from JCP landscaping, board member Mary Anne Miller’s company which she runs with her husband Jeff Peters.
– Board member Theresa Samot mentioned the district’s monument policy regarding a proposal for a Jordan Haerter monument at the school. Dr. Gratto noted that he had received calls from community members that more graduates may also perish in a war and they posed the question of whether it was fair to dedicate this monument to one person. Samot clarified that the monument policy is a policy and not a decision on the Haerter monument, which will be vetted over by the Long Range Planning Committee. Samot added that she would like to reconvene the Wall of Honor Committee.
– Walter Tice asked the board if a date had been set to meet with the super conciliator, an aggressive negotiator in contract disputes. The super conciliator assigned to the case, Martin Scheinman, provided a date of August 30, which both parties agreed to. Scheinman, however, recently informed Dr. Gratto that he would be unable to make this date. The board says they have since asked for alternative dates.
– The school has hired a guidance counselor with extensive college admissions experience so she can focus on prepping students for college. Margaret Motto was hired to replace Eileen Kochanasz, after she retired. Parent Colleen Grigonis noted that she and her son have been working with guidance counselor Linda Aydinian on college issues and wonder who her son would now refer to. Dr. Gratto noted that the school has restructured guidance delivery and now Aydinian will address social and academic issues, while Motto will handle college preparation. Grigonis voiced concerns that even before the restructuring some parents felt Kochanasz and Aydinian were stretched thin. Grigonis was directed to speak to Pierson principal Jeff Nichols regarding her concerns. Parent Richard Kudlak asked the school to put together a timeline for college preparation deadlines on the school website.