BOARD NOTES - June 16, 2016
June 21, 2016 -- At its June 16 meeting, the North Shore Board of Education chose to leave in place the Athletics Department’s attendance policy mandating the automatice dismissal of players from high school sports teams if they have three unexcused absences from practices. The issue was raised this past spring after parents of a player who had been tossed from her softball team after she missed three practices to compete in the United States National Ice Hockey Championship tournament this past March, had appealed to the board to overturn the Athletics Department’s decision and requested that the overall policy be re-examined and amended. After the appeal was turned down, the parents addressed the board at a public meeting in early May (click here for article).
Board Trustee Joanna Commander began the discussion on Thursday night, reporting that at meetings held in April and May, members of both the District’s Athletics Policy Committee and the Athletics Advisory Committee expressed “overwhelming support for maintaining the existing policy.” She added that some also supported extending the three strikes and you're out rule to include Middle School interscholastic sports teams.
As for what ought to constitute an excused absence, the Policy Committee is working on a definition that will be included in the district's Interscholastic Handbook that is posted on the High School website. Currently the handbook very clearly states that an athlete will be dismissed from the team after three unexcused absences, but does not offer any definition of "excused" and "unexcused" absence, other than for religious observances.
Trustee Commander said that among the various scenarios discussed, illness and a death in the family were the only two excuses all committee members could agree were acceptable reasons for missing a sports practice.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Melnick said that the rule is an Athletics Department policy - not a school board policy, and urged the board to honor the wishes of the two committees.
“If the board should decide to change the policy,” he said, “it would be acting against the will of those who are involved in the program and are committed to the program.”
“If the board were to intervene with regard to this policy, then you would have an obligation to intervene across the board with regard to all extra-curricular activities,” he continued. “If you’re going to manage at this level, I don’t think you can be exclusive to one area or program.”
The Superintendent said, however, that he believed that parents should have the right to appeal to the board, and that the board does have the authority to overturn a decision to dismiss a student athlete.
Trustee Lara Gonzalez stated that she believed definitions of “unexcused” and “excused” absences in the handbook needed to be clearly delineated, especially if those reasons are not identical to those listed in the District-wide policy for absences from school. She suggested that those reasons be bullet pointed rather than just listed in a paragraph.
Trustee Commander agreed that that was a good idea, and that the committee was working on those bullet points.
DISTRICT HONORS TENURE RECIPIENTS AND RETIREES
June 25, 2014 -- This past Thursday evening, the North Shore Board of Education recognized faculty and administrators receiving tenure and paid tribute to three retiring teachers, the Sea Cliff School nurse, and two school board trustees.
Retirees included: Tom Curtin (MS Social Studies), Deirdre Davis (Secretary, High School Arts Department), Richard Galati (HS Science), Rob Gerver (HS Math), Robert Giannuzzi (Glenwood Landing School), Pat Groom (HS Math), Robyn Hoefling (Glenwood Landing), Joyce Keehner (Secretary, High School Guidance), Cathy Mackin (HS Math), Arturo Menjavar (Custodian, HS), Ginger Mishkin (Sea Cliff School), Eileen O’Connor (Sea Cliff School - Phys. Ed), Carol Speranza (Sea Cliff School), Alex Slobodskoy (Accountant, Central Office), and Desamparados A. Wheeler
Additionally, Trustee Michael Nightingale, who chose not to seek re-election this past May, was honored for his three years of service on the Board.
Teachers receiving Tenure, effective September 1, 2016, include:
Steven Burgos, Spanish (HS); Nicole Green, Special Education (MS); Clara Nabavian, Teaching Assistant (GH); Tara Pillich, Art (GH); Christina Rizzotti, Special Education (GWL); Mallory Schroeder, Mathematics (MS);
The following teachers received tenure earlier in the year: Kimberly Pastuch, Special Education (HS) Colleen Hasselmann, ESL (GWL)
LAC'S LACKING MEMBERS
Two members of the District's Legislative Action Committee are leaving the group, and the district will soon solicit applications from community members wishing to join. David Ludmar who was appointed last September, was just elected to the North Shore Board of Education, and Carol Remy, who has served for the past three years, is not seeking an appointment to a second term. She was recently chosen to serve as President of the Viking Foundation. Additionally, Amy Beyer, who has served as the group's Chairperson for the past two years, will be stepping down from that post, but will remain on the committee.
The Legislative Action Committee was established by the North Shore Board of Education in 2011 to address pertinent legislative issues that affect North Shore and other school districts in New York and the nation.