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Ernest Gentile Appointed New Hyde Park School Board President


District Officers Appointed

As Patricia Rudd’s position on the board concluded at the last school board meeting, she nominated current vice president Ernest Gentile as new Board President. Trustee Joseph Bongiorno was nominated as the new vice president. Members of the board and half-dozen members of the audience applauded as both nominations were accepted. David Del Santo and Annette Giarratani were reappointed as trustees. In addition, Patricia Olive was reappointed as district clerk and Lori Carrick was reappointed as district treasurer. Robert Katulak was also reappointed as superintendent of Schools.

During a brief intermission for refreshments, the audience had nearly tripled in size for the remaining meeting agenda. Newly elected, President Gentile led the remaining session. The following are the remaining appointments made:

Deputy Treasurers—Michael Frank and Mary Ellen Kenney

School Attorney—Lamb & Barnosky, LLP

Bond Counsel—Hawkins, Delafield & Woods, LLP

Fiscal Advisor—Municipal Advisors Corporation (NYMAC)

School Physician—Dr. Frank Roberto

Physician to Volunteer Assistance Program—Dr. Salvador

Independent Auditor—To Be Determined

Claims Auditor—Nawrocki Smith, LLP

Internal Auditor—Coughlin, Foundotos, Cullen & Danowski, LLP

Architect—John A. Grillo

Records Access Officer—Robert Katulak

Attendance Officers—James Svendsen, Margaret Marenghi, Karen Olynk, Diane Weiss, Dr. Deborah King, Dr. Joseph Shaffery and Maria Georgakis

Records Management Officer—Mary Ellen Kenney

Asbestos Designee—Director of Facilities

Purchasing Agent—Robert Katulak

Title IX Compliance Officers—Michael Frank and Dian Zirilli-Mares

Section 504 Officer—Dr. Deborah King

ADA Compliance Officer—Michael Frank and Dr. Deborah King

Homeless Liaison—James Svendsen


Official Newspapers

The Board designated New Hyde Park Illustrated News and Herald Courier as the official newspapers of the district for the purpose of Notices of Regular, Special and Annual meetings and the availability of the Statement of Estimated Expenditures for the preceding year (Education Law 1721); and any other notice, statement or information that the District is required by law to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the district. Newsday is the publication designated for advertisements and bids pursuant to General Municipal Law 103.


Superintendent’s Report

Robert Katulak called attention to a brochure created by Dr. Deborah King that outlines the Continuum of Special Education (CSE) Services program. The brochure is available, in particular for parents or community members attending a CSE meeting, to better understand the program.

Superintendent Katulak made five presentations on varying topics such as: instruction, reading styles and intervention at the National Reading Styles Conference last month. Katulak said, “Fourth-grade teacher, Janine Bonura also attended the conference, and was renewed with multiple ideas and strategies that will be shared with her colleagues at Manor Oaks.”

As part of an exchange program with St. John’s University, a delegation of educators from China visited New Hyde Park Road School last month to observe the inclusion/co-teaching model. “They were very impressed by our inroads in this area and asked many questions to myself, Principal Peggy Marenghi, and Dr. Kurasaki,” said Katulak.

The central office team met with BOCES Strategic Planner Consultant, Jeff Olefson. He examined the goals and activities of the district’s “5-Year Plan” outline. A staff retreat is scheduled for August; the district will continue working with Olefson to refine the plan.

Last week, they kicked off the start of the district’s summer programs. There are 48 students attending the special education program, 29 students in the kindergarten readiness program, 44 students attending the English Language Learner (ELL) program for first- through sixth-graders and 221 students attending the recreational program activities. “The programs are thematically designed with specific, targeted activities to develop both cognitive and affective needs of our students,” said Katulak.

As requested by the board at the last meeting, Katulak concluded with his attendance research throughout Nassau County school districts. Katulak reports the average class size for primary grades is 20-22 students, in grades 3-6 it is 25 in most districts. No districts in the county report regular education class sizes below 16 students. Katulak explained further research, citing individual surrounding districts’ class sizes. In kindergarten through second grade, Franklin Square reports class sizes of 23; Floral Park reports 22 average; Elmont schools report classes of 23 average. New Hyde Park, Garden City Park District class size averages for the upcoming school year are: Kindergarten-18, First grade-19, Second grade-23, Third grade-22, Fourth grade-22, Fifth grade-23, and Sixth grade-24.


AHA/Heartsaver AED Course

The board approved the American Heart Association/Heartsaver AED/CPR training course through North Shore LIJ Health System Training Center. There will be two three-hour session courses for 20-25 select staff members at a cost of $55 per person.


Public Comment

The first of four parents addressed the board thanking them for taking suggestions for achievement levels into consideration, but reiterated disappointment in the proposed class sizes for the upcoming second- graders. A suggestion was also made to solicit teaching assistants from local colleges and universities. Receiving applause from several audience members, another parent said, “These classes sizes are horrible and we’re not standing for it.” Another parent read a scenario aloud to the board of a failed second-grade consolidation plan, explaining the consolidation is also a disservice to the teachers of the new second grade classes. The last parent, commended the district’s quality teaching, but also expressed disappointment with the second grade consolidation and the lack of information leading up to the Board’s decision. Also suggested, implementing a panel of parents when drawing up guidelines that directly affects students’ interests.


Board of Education Standing Committees/Liaisons

The following are the standing committees and liaisons approved for the upcoming school year.

Buildings and Grounds




Audit Committee

Hillside Public Library Liaison

High School Liaisons

Special Education Liaison

Health, Safety and Security Committee Liaison

Professional Development Plan Committee Liaison

Technology Advisory Committee Liaison

The Long Island Railroad Committee Liaison is under review. The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Audit Committee will consist of: Ernest Gentile, Annette Giarratani, Alan Cooper, Joan Romagnoli, Patricia Rudd, and Robert Nugent. Patricia Rudd and Eric Rudd are appointed to serve on the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park UFSD Beautification Committee through the end of June 2010.


Board Authorizations

The Superintendent of Schools or his designee is authorized to represent the Board of Education with reference to approval of, and matters pertaining to, all federal, state, and other grants, and projects; and, staff attendance at conferences. Conferences that exceed $500 must be board approved.

The Treasurer or Deputy Treasurers are authorized to transfer funds from savings accounts to other district bank accounts from saving/checking accounts to other district bank accounts.

The Superintendent of Schools is authorized to make budget transfers during the school year (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010) within the limits established by the Board of Education Policy # 5330, Budget Transfers.

The Superintendent of Schools or his designee is authorized to approve placements for student teachers and student observers enrolled in accredited colleges and universities.

Administrators can participate in various cost-effective cooperative bids. Authorized payment of mileage for use of automobile belonging to district employees or representatives when used for district business, to be paid at the IRS rate. Presently, the IRS rate is 55 cents per mile.

The District Treasurer is authorized to make payments to Sewanhaka Central High School District as tax receipts are received as a proportionate share of the District’s funds, and also to Hillside Public Library.

The District will continue to use the services of Preferred Meals, Inc. for the 2009-2010 school year.

The following district policies are being rescinded: 1110.1 (outdated), 1110.2 (outdated), 2360 (outdated), 4151.1 (outdated), 6124 (replaced by BOCES policy No. 7617), 8401 (replaced by BOCES policy No. 3272).

The next regular board meeting will be held on Aug.10 at 8 p.m. at the Manor Oaks School, 1950 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park.