Board of Ed reviews closure response: Superintendent: ‘We will move mountains’

The Shelter Island Board of Education met on Monday, April 20 using virtual technology.

The board, led by President Kathleen Lynch, voted to approve several measures, including paying cafeteria staff who worked during their vacation, so they they were paid for their contractual vacation week and for a week of work.

A policy on conditions for employment of retired persons was also adopted by the board.

School Superintendent Brian Doelger, Ed.D. updated the board on several activities that followed the school’s closing on April 13 due to the virus. On April 16 and 17, staff worked to prepare distant learning materials, and on April 18, all 200 plus students received their materials. District staff and volunteers responded to over 1,000 requests for technical assistance in the first week, responding within minutes to help students acclimate.

He said the school had so far distributed 2,100 meals to students and provided 160 hours of day care for children of first responders.

Mr. Doelger said report cards will be emailed on April 24. The school budget is slated for a vote at the next board meeting, on May 11. The superintendent pointed out that the governor had cautioned that the state might need to cut its funds for school districts by 50%. State budget figures will be released on April 30, so the situation will be clearer at that point.

Mr. Doelger addressed remarks to the senior class, who are waiting to see how their final year in high school will end. Currently, the school is slated to reopen no sooner than May 18, if at all.

“We will move mountains to give you everything you deserve,” he said. “Even if it’s in the summer, or next year.”