Administrators are prepared and all systems are go for the 2010-2011 school year, according to Hampton Bays District Superintendent Lars Clemensen.
This school year is a big one for building and promoting growth within the district Mr. Clemensen said, adding that the loss of so many faculty members at the end of last year provided a rare opportunity for the district.
“There are not many opportunities to rebuild 10 percent of your staff,” he said. “But that’s what we have done this year due to the sheer number of teachers retiring.”
New teachers Scott Garafola, Adrienne Postiglione, Teresa Strano and Kevin O’Toole were welcomed during the August 10 Board of Education meeting, as was new Elementary School Assistant Principal Richard Triandafils.
During his Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Clemensen broached the subject of his “2015 Plan,” a five-year strategic plan for the district.
“This is the time to set goals for what kind of district we’ll become,” he said. “And during an administrative retreat this week, we’re going to set measurable goals for each of the next five years.”
The results of the “2015 Plan” discussions will be shared at the September Board of Education meeting, Mr. Clemensen reported.
Other projects discussed at the August Board of Education meeting included the additional athletic field at the high school, which will be completed by the middle of next month and be ready for play in the spring, according to Athletic Director Drew Walker. Also, the gymnasium floor at the high school has been refurbished, and should be completed within the next two weeks, according to Board of Education member Warren Booth, who is on the Athletic Subcommittee.
Additional items on the agenda at the August meeting included discussion about the Code of Conduct, Attendance Policy, Internet Safety Policy and Purchasing Policy. With the exception of the Attendance Policy, amendments were proposed for each of the policies. An official vote will be held on the changes during the September Board of Education meeting.
During the meeting, Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum Denise Sullivan also gave a presentation on how Hampton Bays will work to better prepare students for the future. Faced with changing test criteria for the Grade 3 through 8 Assessments, Ms. Sullivan reported that she and the faculty are working on how to best get and keep Hampton Bays students on track for next year’s tests. Voicing her frustration at how the state’s test changes affected the students’ scores (which were basically in line with last year, though the new grading system appears to show marked decline), she nonetheless vowed to make sure that all students would be prepared for “advanced proficiency.”
“We’ve got the same kids, same tests, same teachers; they just changed the rules of the game,” she said of the assessment results. “We can wring our hands at the drop or we can dig in and fight for proficiency, not passing and failing, but more advanced proficiency.”
Ms. Sullivan reported that plans are already in place to properly diagnose and prescribe what individual students will need to succeed: The Waterford Reading program will be utilized for children up to the second grade; there will be universal screening three times a year for children up to the ninth grade; a new reading teacher’s assistant and a new reading teacher have been hired by the district; and staff will continue to receive opportunities for professional development.