Written by Jill Nossa Saturday, 18 May 2013 00:00
An emergency addendum to hire a temporary substitute principal at Glen Cove High School was included on the agenda at last week’s board of education meeting.
Effective May 7, Roseann Cirnigliaro has taken over for Dr. Joseph Hinton, who will be out, due to illness, for the remainder of the school year. The board voted 7-0 to accept the recommendation to hire her for the position through June.
“We felt it is in the best interest of the students and staff to have a principal in place,” said Board President Joel Sunshine.
Cirnigliaro has held administrative positions in the East Northport and Port Jefferson school districts.
“It does not thrill me that you could not find someone in district that the children already know,” said Janet Blatt during the public comment portion of the meeting.
The administration made it clear that a more formal hiring process will take place, if needed, for the next school year.
The board discussed the district’s Professional Development Plan (PDP) and the Pupil Promotion and Retention Guidelines.
Karen Ferguson, president of the teacher’s union, said she had some specific suggestions she would like to share with the administration regarding the PDP.
“This is a work in progress,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Laria. “We certainly welcome suggestions.”
Most of the discussion centered around the Pupil Promotion and Retention Guidelines.
“Many parents and staff have been concerned about the concept of ‘social promotion’,” said Dr. Laria. “So we started a bold discussion to get our arms around the issue and address certain principles.”
The policy, which has not yet been adopted, gives guidelines on how to promote students to the next grade level and outlines the procedures for retention.
“We wanted to make sure things were uniform across the district,” said Dr. Michael Israel, assistant superintendent for curriculum. He said these guidelines give them steps to follow, “plus consistent direction on how to reach out to parents, ensure early intervention and make sure there is no social promotion or kids falling through the cracks.”
The guidelines state that retention should be limited to kindergarten, first grade and second grade, whenever possible, and that other interventions should be used to address lack of progress at upper grade levels before considering retention. It gives teachers direction on how to intervene with students who are being considered for retention.
Trustee Gail Nedbor-Gross asked for clarification on the language of the guidelines, saying, “Could we add in ways to alert the parents as soon as possible?”
Two elementary school principals present at the meeting, Francine Santoro from Gribbin Elementary and Nomi Rosen from Deasy, said they do currently work with parents regularly, letting them know the progress of a child who might be at risk for retention.
Trustee Ida McQuair asked how many requests for retention had been denied last year, and clarified, “So, at the end of the day, parents have the final say.”
Dr. Israel confirmed that written consent from parents must be obtained for any student being held back.
“Sometimes documents like this get left on a shelf...it is important that the administrators work hand in glove with school principals,” said Dr. Laria. “Once it is done, the work begins anew for the document to become practical and applicable.”
Trustee Dave Huggins gave a report on the facilities committee. “The locker room project is moving forward and we are set to break ground on June 3.” He also said they have looked at prices for the new boiler at Landing School and gotten some numbers for generators, which he stressed is needed, at Thayer House in particular, so that the district’s network servers do not shut down during power outages.
On June 2, the track will be dedicated to Al Johnson.