School honors ‘decency’

JULIE LANE PHOTO A simple word says it all about the goal of the Shelter Island School community.
JULIE LANE PHOTO A simple word says it all about the goal of the Shelter Island School community.

When a student is called to the superintendent’s or principal’s office, it typically means trouble. Not the case for a group of students so far called to be honored for their random acts of kindness to others.

They come in wondering what they have done wrong and are told they are school heroes and often don’t even remember what is so special about their behavior because decency is the standard that has been set and to which most naturally gravitate, according to Superintendent Christine Finn, who talked about the honors at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

A mural was created by Reporter cartoonist and artist Peter Waldner (see above)  at the school to honor to the students.

It’s all part of the ongoing “decency” campaign campaign that was created by Islander Lisa Cholnoky and featured in a February 1 Reporter story.


The district held another lockdown drill aimed at protecting students and staff in the event a threatening intruder enters the building. Students are told that the exercise is a drill so as not to cause any alarm, but their responses are expected to be exactly what the school and police have deemed are necessary if a real situation happened, Ms. Finn told the Board of Education.

The one change she will make going forward is to post signs on the door during such a drill so that parents or other visitors trying to enter the building are aware of what is happening.

Details of drill responses are not made public to maximize protection for those who could be targets of any intruder, but at each drill, police and school officials work together to identify any security lapses and to make adjustments as necessary.

In other business, the Board of Education:

• Will decide on whether to grant a request from teacher Michelle Corbett to take 11th graders on a one-day field trip to New York City on April 17 to visit several sites including the World Trade Center 9/11 Museum. This is the last class that will have been old enough to have lived through the attack on the World Trade Center where those who follow will be looking at the subject as part of the country’s history, but not their own experiences, Ms. Corbett said. She noted that her brother and other family members are or have been firefighters, explaining why the visit of these students who are studying American history in their classrooms is so important to her. Much of the funding comes from two grants Ms. Corbett received, including one from the Shelter Island Educational Foundation.

• Approved a minimum wage increase for cafeteria staff substitutes from $10 to $11 an hour as of December 31, 2017, in line with the New York State wage rate schedule

• Announced that all varsity level players of winter sports have been named scholar-athletes for thei academic achievements and athletic abilities

• Accepted contributions of $2,000 from the Shelter Island Educational Foundation to fund field trips and $700 from the foundation for the proposed New York City History Tour Ms. Corbett outlined.

• Accepted $100 from Robert P. Brown and Katheleen O’Neill Brown for athletic department expenses.

• Endorsed the nomination of former Shelter Island Board president Stephen Gessner to continue to serve on the EAstern Suffolk BOCES Board.

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