Shelter Island School lays out education vision for the future

Shelter Island Board of Education members got their first look Monday night at a new five-year academic plan aimed at moving students from beyond meeting New York State Education Department requirements to exceeding targets for success.

Superintendent Michael Hynes and academic administrator Jennifer Rylott told the board that while new state mandates aimed at improving student achievements might be the impetus for the program they outlined, both were determined to establish a platform for students to succeed in school as well as to launch them toward future educational and career goals.

In an almost hour-long presentation, the pair explained that it will take five years to implement various aspects of the program, which  includes a new teacher and principal evaluation system; a common core of academic standards; more difficult and intensive testing; and services to assist students struggling with academic and/or behavioral issues as well as those ready for face new academic challenges.

“If we thought we could do this all in one year, I think this place would spontaneously combust,” Dr. Hynes said.

In broad strokes, the two educators explained the various parts of the program that will require enlisting not only students, teachers, administrators and board members but also the entire community in understanding and cooperating with the goals.

“Jen’s role and my role is to align everything together,” Dr. Hynes said.

“We don’t want to have average scores; we want to be a high performing school,” Ms. Rylott said.

Much of the initial effort will be focused on English language arts and mathematics but Dr. Hynes said restructuring the academic program would eventually touch on other areas, including science and social studies.

Teachers will have to work with students to boost writing abilities and help develop critical thinking skills, Ms. Rylott said. Another part of the effort will be in professional staff development, Dr. Hynes said.

While change is often frightening, he said, what he and Ms. Rylott envision can be done in a way “that doesn’t scare people. It’s all about students and all about growth for teachers,” the superintendent explained.

Students and teachers will be encouraged to take risks and “try things that they don’t feel comfortable trying,” he said.

Most critical in the years ahead will be the ability to collaborate and communicate, Ms. Rylott said.

Another aspect of the program will be to create an individual learning program for each student with a record that will be accessible so that teachers and administrators can track progress.

A full overview of the new approach is available on the district’s website.

Dr. Hynes promised ongoing in-depth discussions of the changes at future board meetings.

ATHLETIC WALL OF FAME

Athletic Director Rick Osmer told board members he’ll be putting together a committee with maintenance crew leader Mike Dunning, Dr. Hynes, one or two board members and up to five community members to create a Shelter Island Sports Showcase outside the gymnasium, similar to the academic display in the school lobby. It will feature history and individual student accomplishments “like a wall of fame,” Mr. Osmer said. He expects to start the planning by next month, aiming to complete it by April 2013. He’s looking for pictures and other memorabilia that could be included.

CARDBOARD CAMPOUT

Janine Mahoney got approval for National Honor Society members to hold a cardboard campout from 6 p.m. Friday, October 12 to 6 a.m. the following morning to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. Participants will each have to raise between $100 and $150 in sponsorships. The money will be used to buy them a day of building on a Habitat for Humanity project somewhere in Suffolk County, Ms. Mahoney said.

BITS AND PIECES

Board members approved the following co-curricular assignments: Keith Brace as school play instrumental music director and the jazz band at a salary of $1,747 for each and sound equipment technician and trainer for $1,405; Sharon Gibbs as elementary and middle school science coordinator for $1,747; Janine Mahoney as advisor to the National Honor Society and landmark books/book craft club advisor for $1,405 for each; Jack Reardon as 12th grade graduation advisor for $1,747 and media club advisor for $2,619; Natalie Regan as substitute dispatcher for $4,551; Devon Treharne, school newspaper advisor for $1,747; and Daniel Williams, Science Club advisor for $1,405.

The following chaperones for athletic competitions will be paid $89 for one game or $136 for two in a single night and a clock keeper will receive $10 more: Brian Becker, Keith Brace, Deborah Brewer, Jacqueline Brewer, Kimberly Clark, Mary Kanarvogel, Janine Mahoney, Richard Osmer, Jack Reardon, Debra Sears and Helene Starzee.

Mr. Osmer will receive $5,302 for additional coaching responsibilities.

The following detention monitors were named for the school year: Virginia Gibbs, Mary Kanarvogel, Janine Mahoney, Mark Palios, Jack Reardon and Debra Sears.

Kathleen Minder was named part-time account clerk from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013 at the rate of $18 an hour for 17.5 hours per week. Barbara Jean Ianfolla was appointed as a part-time account clerk from October 1 through November 30, 2012 at an hourly rate of $29.25 for up to 10 hours a week.

Andrew Payne was appointed as a part-time teacher aide for a 26-week probationary period at a salary of $9,176. Andrea Mondell-Patrick was added to the list of substitute teachers at a rate of $110 per day.

The board approved contract agreements with Complete Rehabilitation PT, OT, SLF of the Hamptons, PLLC for special services for students and Islip Tutoring Service Inc. for student services retroactive to June 1, 2012.

Bids for school lunch provisions were awarded to DiCarlo Distributors Inc. and Landmark Foods Corporation.

The board authorized video taping of up to 10 of its meetings and the public budget hearing for the 2012-2013 school year at a cost of $250 for each taping.