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No public comments at Board of ED budget session

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Shelter Island School

With no comment from the public, Shelter Island School District Business Leader Linda Haas made her final presentation Monday night on the proposed $11.9 million budget plan that will require $10.55 million from tax money to fund.

Voters get the final say on the budget Tuesday, May 21 with polls open from noon to 9 p.m. at the school gymnasium.

The budget proposal doesn’t go above the state-imposed tax limit.

The estimated tax impact, which would be finalized by assessors, would be a 1.9 percent increase over last year.

Superintendent Christine Finn said the proposed budget does not cut programs or staff.

She pointed to what she referred to as “points of pride” in academics, athletics and the arts, including:
• Computer programming.
• Student internships.
• Increased elective offerings, job fairs and job shadow days.
• STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and environmental project-based learning.
• The district named a “School of Distinction” for three consecutive years by the New York Public High School Athletic Association.
• All varsity teams named New York State Scholar Athletes for three consecutive years.
• Launching an award-winning Shelter Island Television Media Production Class and Broadcasting Studio.

Ms. Haas pointed out that if the budget failed, a second vote would be held the third Tuesday in June that could be on a revised budget proposal or the same proposal. But a failed budget a second time would mean the district would be held to the current year’s tax levy and could not purchase new materials.

In addition to the budget, voters will see three names on the ballot for Board of Education seats:  Jason Lones, who was tapped last summer to replace Elizabeth Melichar; John Klupka Sr., a former Garden City Board of Education member; and Katharine Rossi-Snook, who comes from a family of educators.

Barring an unanticipated write-in vote, all three will be elected. The candidate with the least votes would finish Ms. Melichar’s term that ends in June 2020, while the other two would win full three-year seats.

A full copy of the budget presentation from Monday night is available on the school district’s website.

In other business, the Board of Education:
• Appointed Danielle Spears as the district’s new school psychologist, replacing James Dibble, who is retiring at the end of the current school term. She begins on September 1 at a salary of $65,275.
• Appointed Erica Mailand as a half-time elementary teacher and half-time teacher assistant.
• Appointed James Bocca and Jessica Nardi to share the job of summer school coordinator with Mr. Bocca, Ms. Nardi, Rachel Brigham and Margaret Mosher as teachers in the summer Leap Into Learning Program.
• Appointed Janine Mahoney, Ms. Brigham and Jessica Nardi as specialized reading summer program teachers.