Technology program takes root at school

JULIE LANE PHOTO School Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik said the school district has received a federal grant of $54,000.

JULIE LANE PHOTO School Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik said the school district has received a federal grant of $54,000.

Board of Education members and attendees at Monday night’s meeting got a look at the new technology department program under the direction of Christopher Conrady.

Through a series of slides, he showed students building what will be a recording studio within the school; rebuilding small engines; working at the Coecles Harbor Marina & Boatyard; learning about large machinery at Marcello Masonry; and helping to repair fences, build benches and keep town parks maintained with the Highway Department.

The aim, according to Mr. Conrady, is to be able to provide practical learning experience on the Island so students won’t have to go to BOCES to learn the skills for future employment.

A second presentation came from Shelter Island Historical Society Executive Director Nanette Breiner Lawrenson about the Living History Project that has student Julia Labrozzi interviewing her peers about the Island. The plan is to follow these students through critical points of their lives — jobs, marriage, children and other events — and to build a video history.

The aim is to create an interest in the Island’s history, Ms. Lawrenson said. Through the program, students have learned videotaping and editing; developed interviewing and listening skills; and built self-esteem, she told the Board of Education.

Academic Administrator Jennifer Rylott has been contacting parents whose children don’t attend classes here in an effort to familiarize them with programs and, perhaps, increase student population on the Island. But some contact information the district had is out of date, so Ms. Rylott has been unable to reach some parents.

She’s asking those who haven’t heard from her to call the school with their contact information.

Ms. Rylott also noted that Shelter Island is one of 20 schools statewide to make it through the initial selection process of qualifying for grants to become model schools for their “Response to Intervention” programs. The effort is designed to find the best methods of educating students with learning difficulties.

The district has received a federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent grant (SMART)  of $54,000 for its implementation of technology in classrooms. The money will fund new SMART LED mobile boards that can be moved from classroom to classroom and purchase additional iPads so that every student has one, Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik said.

He also noted that with changes taking place in Washington with educational programs, the district is still held to reporting standards required by New York State. But that could change in the future, the superintendent said.

The varsity and junior varsity basketball teams and the junior high girls volleyball teams have all been recognized for their outstanding sportsmanship, according to Director of Athletics Todd Gulluscio.

In other actions, the Board of Education:
• Approved a revised policy affecting education of homeless children and youth. The revised policy appears on the district’s website.
• Approved students participating in the Southold Relay for Life that raises money for the American Cancer Society. Because the event at Jean Cochran Park in Peconic is well contained and Southold Police and Relay for Life organizers have many staffers on site, the board agreed that the usual 5:1 ratio for chaperones doesn’t have to be met. Instead, there will be two or three chaperones with the Shelter Island participants.
• Approved the junior class holding its prom at the Pridwin on May 6.