Friday, February 3, 2012

Seaford school board meeting 2.2.2012

    (Mistakes are possible in these notes of mine.)
The Seaford, New York, school board meeting began promptly at 7:30 p.m., February 2, 2012, with the Pledge of Allegiance. Then Kevin Herbst gave a report on the district-wide fire code inspection.  Except for numerous electric extension cords, the buildings were found in good compliance.  He pointed to the cord used for the microphones at this meeting.  Temporary use of extension cords is allowed, but leaving a ordinary  cord permanently extending the reach of a fish tank cord or a computer, for example, is not allowed.  The district has already given directions and has checked on compliance.
    This year's efforts to raise the scores of Harbor pupils with disabilities were discussed, the goals being sought chiefly through professional training, planning, and preparation. Last year, some youngsters there did not meet the New York State goals with regard to Adequate Yearly Progress. The Board accepted the Comprehensive Education Plan for the Harbor School.  It sounded as if the word "academies" is being used for after-school tutoring, and questions were asked about the availability of such academies.
    At the Middle School, asbestos floor tiles were removed from one of the classrooms.
    There are still some unanswered questions of about the calculation of the tax revenue cap.  Thomas DiNapoli's office has promised to place a Webinar on his site.
    The Seaford Avenue property was most recently appraised in 2005.  The District has one offer for purchase, but it needs to know the property's current value.  Therefore, a contract with Breslin Appraisal was approved, cost $3,000.
    There was a discussion about concussion management policies.  Beginning September, 2012, coaches, nurses and some other personnel will need to have passed the certification course yet to be determined by New York State.  Parents will be required to inform the schools of concussion injuries that happen outside of school activities, so that, for example, a student does not play school sports while affected by such an injury in a community league.
    Despite the loss on the 2011 ballot regarding the construction of an emergency exit road from the Harbor school, the need for such a road remains.  At least one resident spoke in favor of again including the issue on this May's ballot.
    The Board accepted $71,000 from Save Seaford Sports for the reinstatement of Middle School athletics for the Winter 1 and 2 seasons.  At the urging of several students and parents, the Board approved the creation of a Gay/Straight alliance Club at Seaford High School and accepted a resident's gift of $683.50 to pay the costs for the remainder of this school year.  An excellent article on this topic appears in, linked here.
    A resident complained that Seaford is "way behind the times" because the district has not installed wi-fi throughout the schools, allowing the use of tablets instead of heavy textbooks.  I did not understand whether the resident wanted wi-fi in one school or four.  The superintendent pointed out that NY State considers Seaford a low-need district, and the assistance from Albany is limited.  (My opinion: Nobody can spend the same dollar twice.  We have to choose where to spend.)
   I left at 8:55 p.m. as a resident was questioning the circumstances under which the Advisory Committee on Technology  received its instructions from the board.

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