03/31/15 8:00am
Shoreham-Wading River School District Superintendent Steven Cohen. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

Shoreham-Wading River School District Superintendent Steven Cohen. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

With reports trickling out of Albany that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reached a tentative deal with lawmakers over the state budget and education reforms, local educators are calling for an independent commission to help develop policy moving forward.

According to published reports, Mr. Cuomo has backed off his demand to tie 50 percent of teacher evaluations to state test scores — up from 20 percent — and instead will task the state education department with improving the way teachers are evaluated.

As part of the deal, teacher tenure would increase from three to four years and schools will see big increases in state aid. (more…)

03/29/15 12:00pm
Members of the Times Review staff after accepting the Newspaper of the Year award. (From left to right) Web editor Joe Werkmeister, account executive Liz Person, executive editor Grant Parpan, account executive Tina Volinski, Shelter Island Reporter editor Ambrose Clancy,  associate editor Jen Nuzzo, account executive Bill Peters, Suffolk Times and News-Review editor Michael White and publisher Andrew Olsen. (Credit: Terry McShane)

Members of the Times Review staff after accepting the Newspaper of the Year award. (From left to right) Web editor Joe Werkmeister, account executive Liz Person, executive editor Grant Parpan, account executive Tina Volinski, Shelter Island Reporter editor Ambrose Clancy, associate editor Jen Nuzzo, account executive Bill Peters, Suffolk Times and News-Review editor Michael White and publisher Andrew Olsen. (Credit: Terry McShane)

Times Review Media Group, publishers of the Riverhead News-Review, came out on top in the New York Press Association’s 2014 Better Newspaper Contest, announced this weekend. (more…)

03/25/15 5:56pm

The state Senate passed new legislation Wednesday that aims to hold hit-and-run drivers more accountable, according to state Senator Ken LaValle’s office.

If passed by the Assembly and signed into law, Alix’s Law, named in memory of Alix Rice, who was killed at age 18 in Erie County by a drunk driver as she rode home on her skateboard, would close a loophole that critics say encourages drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol to flee an accident scene and sober up.

Current law requires drivers to report an accident only when they know an accident resulted in an injury or property damage. The new legislation would require all drivers  to stop and investigate after any crash to check for damage or injuries.

(more…)

03/25/15 11:29am
Security director James Gersham discusses procedures with two members of his staff Marilyn Ross (left) and Eddie Johnson earlier this month. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Security director James Gersham discusses procedures with two members of his staff Marilyn Ross (left) and Eddie Johnson earlier this month. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A search is underway to replace Riverhead School District security director James Gresham, who’s resigning after being hired only six months ago. (more…)

03/23/15 4:15pm
Riverhead School District security director James Gresham at the high school earlier this month. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch)

Riverhead School District security director James Gresham at the high school earlier this month. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch)

Riverhead School District security director James Gresham is resigning from the position he’s held for the past six months, according to Tuesday’s school board agenda.

(more…)

03/19/15 8:00am
Andrea Diaz says the Riverhead school district hasn’t reinstated her, even though an agreement states she would return by March 2. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Andrea Diaz says the Riverhead school district hasn’t reinstated her, even though an agreement states she would return by March 2. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

A school bus driver fired last year from her job with the Riverhead district is now accusing administrators there of reneging on a deal that should immediately have reinstated her to her familiar position behind the wheel.

The driver, Andrea Diaz, had filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights after the school board approved Superintendent Nancy Carney’s recommendation to terminate her employment. Over a year later, Ms. Diaz and the district have now reached a settlement, which was approved by the school board at its Feb. 14 meeting.

(more…)

03/16/15 5:55pm
Congressman Lee Zeldin addressing supporters on Election Day. (Credit: John Griffin, file)

Congressman Lee Zeldin addressing supporters on Election Day. (Credit: John Griffin, file)

School districts could soon opt out of Common Core without sacrificing federal funding.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is sponsoring legislation to make sure school districts that decide to drop the standards won’t be punished by a cut in federal funds. Mr. Zeldin described the Common Core rollout as “rushed” and believes the state Department of Education failed to address concerns about the curriculum.

“The implementation was horrendous,” he said. “Nobody was talking to each other.” (more…)