03/31/15 8:00am
03/31/2015 8:00 AM
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…)

03/30/2015 8:00 AM
Shoreham-Wading River Superintendent Steven Cohen presents a portion of his proposed budget Tuesday night. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Shoreham-Wading River Superintendent Steven Cohen presents a portion of his proposed budget Tuesday night. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A preliminary look at the 2015-16 Shoreham-Wading River spending plan has revealed the district administration plans to stay under the state-mandated tax levy cap, despite still waiting for the state to release how much aid the district will get.

According to a budget proposal presentation by Superintendent Steven Cohen, the Shoreham-Wading River budget would increase by .9 percent in total from the 2014-15 school year spending plan.

That increase includes a jump in the tax levy of 1.5072 percent, just under what the district’s allowable tax limit will likely be, based on district calculations, Mr. Cohen said.

Due to budget disputes in Albany, the district still doesn’t know how much its state aid will increase, if at all, so the administration has budgeted for state aid to remain level.

Mr. Cohen said the district would rely less on its reserves and could tax less thanks to concessions from the teachers and employees unions. Under his proposed plan, special education would get a big boost, with an additional eight positions being added in the elementary and middle schools.

That would cut the ratio of special education to regular students in so-called inclusion classes in half, Mr. Cohen said.

“That is a huge increase in quality,” he said.

The full details of the budget will be revealed in the coming weeks.

psquire@timesreview.com

03/26/2015 8:00 AM
Kelli Cutinella (left), the mother of Shoreham-Wading River student Tom Cutinella, who died last year playing football, hugs Wildcat Athletics Club board member Regina McGee at a school board meeting Tuesady night. The booster club had just presented Ms. Cutinella with a $106,000 check to help start a foundation and scholarships in Tom's memory. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Kelli Cutinella (left), the mother of Shoreham-Wading River student Tom Cutinella, who died last year playing football, hugs Wildcat Athletics Club board member Regina McGee at a school board meeting Tuesady night. The booster club had just presented Ms. Cutinella with a $106,000 check to help start a foundation and scholarships in Tom’s memory. (Credit: Paul Squire)

It’s one thing to say that the memory of a life lost too soon won’t soon be forgotten.

It’s quite another thing to raise over $100,000 in donations to keep that memory alive.

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the Shoreham-Wading River community, and so many others, the memory of Tom Cutinella will live on for years to come, his mother, Kelli, said.  (more…)

03/25/15 11:29am
03/25/2015 11:29 AM
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…)

03/24/15 10:00am
03/24/2015 10:00 AM
Third graders from teacher Beth Menis' class help paint the mural in the Riley Avenue cafeteria. (Credit: Riverhead School District)

Third graders from teacher Beth Menis’ class help paint the mural in the Riley Avenue cafeteria. (Credit: Riverhead School District)

Update: The unveiling of the anti-bullying mural has been postponed, according to the district. The event will be rescheduled at a future date.

Original story: Riley Avenue Elementary School students are getting set to unveil an anti-bullying mural that will stretch across a wall in the school’s new cafeteria.

There will be a ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Calverton school. (more…)

03/23/15 4:15pm
03/23/2015 4:15 PM
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…)

03/21/15 10:00am
03/21/2015 10:00 AM
Cast members of "Footloose" include: Shannon McAllister as Vrleen (from left), Victoria Carroll as Rusty, Aria Saltini as Ariel Moore and Lauren Schmitt as Wendy Joe. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Cast members of “Footloose” include: Shannon McAllister as Vrleen (from left), Victoria Carroll as Rusty, Aria Saltini as Ariel Moore and Lauren Schmitt as Wendy Joe. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The Riverhead High School Blue Masques will present the musical “Footloose” for two weekends at the high school’s Cardona Auditorium. Show times are 7 p.m. Saturdays, March 21 and 28, and Friday, March 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 22.  (more…)