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Shelter Island Board of Education report: District okays school repairs

The Board of Education Monday evening approved spending up to $145,880 from its repair reserve fund for work needed on a concrete and cement plaza and steps outside the school’s main entrance.

In April, Facilities Director Mike Dunning had outlined the work needed. At that time, it was estimated the project would cost about $75,000. But that was “a ballpark estimate,” Mr. Dunning said, and when it came to DBS Architects developing the plan, the cost was higher.

A second proposal from another company came in about $30,000 higher, Mr. Dunning said.

In addition, some cracks in cement and concrete, plus wear and tear on the steps and rust on railings could cause a storm drain in the middle of the plaza to collapse at any time, Mr. Dunning said. He noted that rising prices also contributed to the cost.

The work is to be done during the summer months.

Because the money is already in the reserve fund, it won’t affect the budget for the 2022-23 school year.

Math upgrade

Elementary School teacher Michele Yirce outlined a new approach to teaching math to students in kindergarten through grade 7. She has worked with the other elementary school teachers to develop a system that will coordinate math education so students can build on what they learn without constant repetition.

The aim is to “raise critical thinkers and problem solvers,” Ms. Yirce said.

Coordination day-to-day and year-to-year will be aligned with state standards, she said, noting that the result should be to infuse math learning with creativity.

The teachers have been working on the curriculum since February and work will be regularly monitored and changed as necessary to achieve the desired results.