The following recap of the Dec. 13 Wantagh Board of Education meeting was submitted by School Information Liaison Debbie Pinciotto. For a separate story on the issue of adding full-day kindergaten brought up at meeting, click here.
Highlights from The Wantagh Board of Education meeting held Dec. 13.
• The board of education appointed Elizabeth Guber, Alan Koreff and Spencer Simon as members of the Audit Committee for the Wantagh Union Free School District for the 2012-13 school year (at no salary). Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Dr. Maureen Appiarius introduced each new member and provided their proficient credentials. Board President Michael Cucci thanked them for stepping up and volunteering for this position. This is the first time that the committee has been opened up to community members. The other members on the committee are Cucci and Trustee William Russock.
• Dr. Appiarius also introduced two new teachers to the district, Mr. Steven Benner, who teaches eigth and 10th grade Social Studies and Mr. Robert Salem, who also teaches Social Studies at the Wantagh High School.
After the board members concluded with the business of the agenda, the following issues were addressed:
• Board President Michael Cucci reminded the audience that the district will be offering budget workshops for the entire community over the course of three evenings, March 11, March 18 and April 3 with details to be found on the district website. A fourth session will be announced for a day session to accommodate those that are unable to make the other meetings. This is an opportunity for everyone in the community to get solid information about the budget process.
• Acting Superintendent Maureen Goldberg read a statement concerning declining enrollment and full day Kindergarten. The statement explained the process of considering all possible solutions to maximize the use of the district’s three elementary schools. A strategic planning committee consisting of a cross section of Wantagh community members, administrators and staff was formed in July, 2012 to analyze data, engage in research and collaboratively develop recommendations that would include the prospect of introducing full-day kindergarten. The strategic planning committee explored the possibility of closing an elementary school or clustering grades into a Princeton Plan model, but Goldberg said it was determined that both options were not feasible and are “off the table.” Under consideration is for the district to implement full-day kindergarten in each elementary school. The fiscal implications of rolling out to a full-day kindergarten could be considerable. Goldberg also stated that there would be over $600,000 in funding available from the state to support an undertaking in the first year. Although the committee endorses full-day kindergarten as a concept, due consideration must be given to the manner in which the district will sustain the reoccurring costs. Mrs. Goldberg concluded by recommending to the school board that a full-day kindergarten program be included in the 2013-14 budget process and that the fiscal implications continue to be studied as the budget process unfolds.