Back to School: New administrator, Rylott, explains her job

The Shelter Island Board of Education got an update on the work being tackled by newly appointed academic administrator Jennifer Rylott Monday night and agreed that the outline she presented should be expanded and posted to the district’s website. The aim would be to give parents links to resources that would be useful to them in coordinating their children’s academic needs.

At the same time, board member Linda Eklund clarified that her question at the July board meeting about the new role to which the board had appointed Ms. Rylott this summer had been intended to make it clear that Superintendent Michael Hynes is still the district’s academic leader.

Ms. Rylott formerly was a teacher in the elementary school. The board named her to the academic post because Dr. Hynes, as superintendent, was also covering the job of business leader after the district had trouble keeping that post filled.

Ms. Rylott explained Monday night that her work is in four main areas: special education, chief information officer, overseeing the district’s “Response to Intervention” program and interfacing with the guidance teacher.

In the area of special education, she functions as chairwoman of the Committee on Special Education and works with special education teachers and aides to assess progress, provide professional development and assure that goals are being met.

As for Ms. Rylott’s role as chief information officer, she is responsible for submitting data to Eastern Suffolk BOCES and the New York State Education Department. New state mandates require a lot more filings than were once necessary, board member Elizabeth Melichar said.

“Jen’s role with Dr. Hynes is pivotal to making these things work,” she said.

The newly titled “Response to Intervention” program is similar, though more structured than the previous Academic Intervention Services, and now deals with identifying both academic and behavioral areas in which students need additional help. That program, too, involves more reporting and, therefore, more paperwork.

Ms. Rylott supervises the school’s guidance counselor and helps set and monitor the program to assure goals are being met.

She has already taken significant steps in all four areas to lay the ground work for her ongoing efforts, she and Dr. Hynes said.

Dr. Hynes promised the board that he and Ms. Rylott would be reporting more on each of these areas.

“This year, there’s a lot of educating that needs to take place” so the community understands the efforts being undertaken by the district, he said.

Responding to a request from board member Linda Eklund, Dr. Hynes agreed to provide monthly reports to show actual and projected expenses to enable the board to determine whether spending is on target in all areas.

In other actions last week, the board hired:

• Christine Gallagher as a permanent substitute teacher at $175 per day along with five sick days. Her appointment will last through June 21, 2013.

• Emily Hill as a social worker who will work part-time at a pro-rated salary of $32,459.

• Natalie Regan as a teacher assistant at a salary of $33,981.

• Lindsay Springer and Donna Matlock as teacher aides for special education for a 26-week probationary period. Ms. Springer will be paid $19,631 and Ms. Matlock, $18,352.

• Andrew Payne as a part-time teacher aide for a 26-week probationary period at a salary of $18,352.

• Stephanie Tybaert as a part-time food service worker for a 26-week probationary period at a salary of $16,907.

• Corey Best as a temporary custodial maintenance assistant from August 16 through 31, 2012, and Jim Best, Dana Foster and Jose Montalvo as temporary custodial maintenance assistants for September. All were hired at the rate of $15 an hour.

• Additional substitute teachers Alan Garrison, Kerri Knipfing, Mark Quintana, Denise Voegel and Kathleen Ward for the 2012-13 school year at $110 per day.
The board appointed United Comp Care of Riverhead to evaluate a particular employee’s health to determine if that person can perform responsibilities in the upcoming school year.

The board approved agreements with:

• Eldor Contracting Corporation in the amount of $373,000 for electrical work; Hirsch & Company for $325,500 for plumbing work; and S.J. Hoerning Construction for $1.138 million for general construction work. All expenditures were previously approved by voters in a May 2011 referendum.

• Bellringer Communications Incorporated of Southampton for a one-year contract to provide burglary and fire monitoring services and burglary system services for a total of $1,024.

• East End Kids Therapy for student services for the 2012-13 school year.

• Arshamomaque Dairy Incorporated to provide milk and dairy products and Donneson Provisions and Calip Dairies Incorporated to provide school lunch products.

The board approved transportation for two additional students to attend the Ross School in East Hampton.

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