School Board adopts conduct, dignity, civility policies

JULIE LANE PHOTO | A new water tank is being readied for installation at Shelter Island School. Work is expected to be completed within two or three weeks, according to Superintendent Michael Hynes.

The Shelter Island Board of Education adopted policies at its July 10 meeting related to issues of behavior, dress and language both in the school building, on school property and on buses or at school-related extra-curricular activities. The new standards also prohibit bullying, discrimination, harassment or intimidation.

The full policies are posted on the school’s website and are called the Code of Conduct on School Property; the Dignity for All Students Act; and Civility, Citizenship and Character Education/Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education.

While there hadn’t been first readings on the policies as is generally the rule, all are routine and were reviewed prior to putting them up for a vote, according to Superintendent Michael Hynes. All had to be in place prior to the start of the school term in September and could be amended in the future if any board member wanted to raise that issue, he said.

Work is under way on new windows and a water tank for the building and inside with plans already being implemented for use of space, Dr. Hynes said. The windows should be completed by mid-August. They were part of the project slated for last summer, but time ran out and rather than disrupt school operations, the decision was made to hold off on the installation until this summer.

The water tank installation has required turning off water in the building right now and it is expected to be completed within two or three weeks, depending on weather, Dr. Hynes said.

Inside, the space previously used for the library has been emptied and is being converted for use as an administrative suite. The library is being moved elsewhere in the building and the first floor space will also accommodate the business office and a separate board room for meetings.

Work is also under way to convert rooms to create two academic suites — one devoted to math, science and technology and the other to the humanities. The administrative suite is expected to be functional within a week or two, Dr. Hynes said. He had suggested moving it to the old library space as a security measure since most visitors to the building are bound for that office and now won’t have to walk throughout the rest of the building to reach him.

Dr. Hynes also told the board the school needs a “booster club” and agreed to work with board members Tom Graffagnino and Mark Kanarvogel to start one. Board member Linda Eklund pointed out that several years ago, when the district’s budget failed to pass, a booster club was able to raise money to support sports activities that otherwise would have been cancelled.

In a cost-saving measure, the board agreed not to join the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association at a cost of $2,525. Shelter Island has bypassed the membership for the past couple of years. Board member Elizabeth Melichar said since money wouldn’t be spent on various out-of-town conferences and events in the next year, it might be beneficial to join the organization to attend more local forums. But others said they could still attend those forums at an increased price, but still not as expensive as it would cost for dues.

The board approved the following appointments:
• Walter Brigham III to receive extra compensation at his daily rate for providing computer support and supervision during the summer months;
• Deborah Vecchio to serve as board clerk at the rate of $30 an hour as necessary in the event Jacqueline Dunning is absent;
• Susan Higgins to serve as a substitute custodian at the rate of $15 per hour as needed;
• Jennifer Gulluscio for summer school registration, retroactive to June 28 and 29 and
* Lindsay Rando as summer school special education aide for 24 hours, retroactive to July 1 and continuing through July 26.

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