East Hampton School Board Talks Election Day Safety, Board Appreciation Week

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PREPPING FOR VOTING DAY:

With election day right around the corner, the East Hampton School Board has asked the Commissioners of Suffolk County Board of Elections to move the polling place from East Hampton High School back to the fire house where elections were originally held prior to renovation—but their request was rebuffed.

District Clerk Kerri Stevens said the board sent a letter earlier this month, but the board of elections respectfully denied the request, asserting its jurisdiction. As of now, polling will take place on November 4 at the high school. School is not in session on election Day for students, said Ms. Stevens, adding that with some foresight, the board scheduled Superintendents Day for the same day as the election.

“It’s really for safety, to keep kids out of school while the public has the ability to come and go from the building,” she said in a phone interview. She said it was a concern that other board members had expressed in the past.

Ms. Stevens said the board is planning to ask the Board of Elections response to reconsider.

SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNITION WEEK:

October 27 kicked off New York State’s School Board Recognition Week, and members of the Board in East Hampton got a special thanks from their top priority—the students.

A group of fifth graders at John Marshall Elementary School filed into the meeting room on Tuesday night with quiet excitement for a presentation on their appreciation for the board. Lead by Amanda Poissant, head of the activities club at the elementary school, the students took turns reading a poem they wrote, thanking the board for their hard work.

“Treat others the way you’d want to be treated,” read one fifth-grade student before demonstrating good manners with fellow classmates, shaking their hands and introducing herself.

“Try your hardest, respect our environment, and come to school prepared,” another student read.

The group concluded their appreciation presentation with a hand-made banner reading “Thank You,” decorated with paint, markers, and signatures.

VESTIBULE IMPROVEMENT:

The Board on Tuesday adopted a capital improvements resolution for security vestibule improvements at all three schools in an effort to improve safety.

“This was part of our security audit in executive session,” said Board President JP Foster during the meeting, explaining the reasoning for the resolutions. “This is a result of those conversations.”

The construction at all three schools won’t involve any major work that would interfere with the school day, according to the resolutions.

ESL/ELL:

Director of ESL Elizabeth Reveiz announced the district has seen more than 100 members of the community enroll in adult ed classes for English language.

“Family literacy has had an overwhelming enrollment,” she said. “At this point, we really can’t take any more people on. The classes are really full.”

Ms. Reveiz is also spearheading an after school program for teachers to work with ESL students, and is developing videos for families that are new to the district to help familiarize them with the building.

“We have a trainer coming to us from a different regional special ed network for free to train our teachers, develop strategies for different tiers of intervention,” said Ms. Reveiz.

The videos will be created by Alexandra McCourt and Sylvia Schuman, who will work with students to highlight important and interesting aspects of each school. The video will then be available online or on CD for families.

The district will also host an ESL conference on November 4 at Stony Brook Southampton, where more than 100 teachers from the East End and farther west will attend the conference to discuss ways to improve ESL programs within districts.

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