12/12/2014 11:00 AM

The Shoreham-Wading River school board harshly criticized a recent state proposal to mandate additional standardized testing called “field tests” for grades 3 through 8.

In a resolution read aloud at its meeting Tuesday night, the board denounced the planned change as benefiting the companies that provide the tests more than the students. The change would result “in the reduction of students’ learning opportunities” and was proposed to create more ways to evaluate teachers based on testing scores, according to the resolution.

In the resolution, the board called the proposal a way to “subsidize private enterprise without public discussion.”

Previously, any participation in the tests was on a voluntary basis. The Board of Regents is currently considering the State Education Department’s proposal.

The district has previously taken stances against standardized testing. The school board called on state and federal educators to end the “over-reliance” on state testing for students.

This March, as the “opt-out” movement over standardized testing grew, Superintendent Steven Cohen issued a letter detailing how district parents could refuse to have their children take the tests.

Mr. Cohen has previously expressed concerns over standardized testing and its effect on students’ educations.

psquire@timesreview.com

12/11/2014 1:00 PM
(Credit: Paul Squire)

Supporters of the Shoreham-Wading River school bond review a map of where to place signs around the district. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Sets of tables and chairs were arranged in the Miller Avenue Elementary School gym Tuesday night, right next to a row of display boards showing overhead construction plans with alterations highlighted in yellow and green.

At the tables sat Shoreham-Wading River School District administrators and school board members, ready to answer questions about the district’s proposed $48.5 million plan to refit and repair district schools.  (more…)

12/09/2014 2:00 PM
A view of two of Shoreham's tennis courts last spring, which have become unplayable after years of neglect. A proposed $48.5 million construction project would repair the courts. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister, file)

A view of two of Shoreham’s tennis courts last spring, which have become unplayable after years of neglect. A proposed $48.5 million construction project would repair the courts. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister, file)

Want to find out more about Shoreham-Wading River’s proposed school bond before the big vote next month? Clear your Tuesday night plans.

(more…)

12/03/2014 10:00 AM
Roger Smith of BBS Architects speaks at Tuesday's Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Roger Smith of BBS Architects speaks at Tuesday’s Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The architect who designed a capital improvement project for the Shoreham-Wading River School District’s outdated infrastructure gave a presentation Tuesday outlining the scope of construction. 

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11/25/2014 2:00 PM
Eleven Shoreham-Wading River student-athletes signed to continue playing their sports in college next year. (Credit: SWR schools)

Eleven Shoreham-Wading River student-athletes signed to continue playing their sports in college next year. The signees were: (seated, from left): Alex Hutchins, Madison Dwyer, Emily DeGennaro, James Szymanski and Caitlin Mirabell; (standing, from left) Lauren Daly, Manuela Cortes, Christian Clarkin, Ryan Bray, Steven Weindler and Jack Zukowski. (Credit: SWR schools)

From gymnastics to lacrosse, Shoreham-Wading River was well represented during the early signing period.

Eleven students signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college next year, highlighted by three students signing to major Division I programs.  (more…)

11/19/2014 10:00 AM

After one woman spoke out at a recent Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education meeting, and members of the community have spoken at large in opposition to a 60-acre solar farm near the district’s middle school, the board seems poised to respond in opposition — not necessarily to the solar farm itself — but rather how it was approved.

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11/09/2014 12:00 PM
Credit: Patrick W. Moore

Credit: Patrick W. Moore

One concerned grandmother went before the school board Tuesday night, railing against what she called a “secretive” decision to install a solar panel plant on a sod farm across the street from the district middle school.

Michelle Sterling of Shoreham said she was disgusted by the Town of Brookhaven, which she claimed approved the sod farm solar plant without informing residents or the district.

Residents have complained to other boards in recent months: namely Brookhaven Town Board and Brookhaven Planning Board. The latter unanimously approved plans for the project last month, despite much opposition from neighbors, according to Newsday.

“We went by the codes,” Planning Board Chairman Vincent E. Pascale told the paper. “We did all our checking. We took facts from factual sources.

Board president William McGrath said last week that the Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education was also concerned by the circumstances around the approval of the installation and said the district was “looking into it.”

Ms. Sterling went on to claim that the solar panels would cast radiation onto the district’s students and said “studies” couldn’t prove that the solar panels wouldn’t cause cancer.

“Our children are certainly not going to be the guinea pigs to find out,” she said. The board didn’t comment on those claims.

11/08/2014 8:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River superintendent Steven Cohen and school board president Bill McGrath.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River superintendent Steven Cohen and school board president Bill McGrath.

The Shoreham-Wading River school board approved a contract worth over $7 million with a worldwide manufacturing company to improve energy-saving measures throughout the district.

Assistant superintendent Glen Arcuri said the contract will pay for itself through resulting energy savings.

Mr. Arcuri explained that the district will borrow the necessary money to pay off the contract.

“It’s a type of a lease arrangement,” he said.

Officials from Honeywell, which recently won the project bid, said in February that making the improvements will save the district more than $250,000 each year on its roughly $1.2 million energy bill.

Improvements would include energy-efficient LED lighting, a “smart” system for heating and cooling and a natural gas line to the high school that would allow the school to use either natural gas or oil, depending on which fuel was cheaper.

The district will use those energy savings to pay off the entirety of the lease, Mr. Arcuri said. If the district doesn’t save as much as projected, Honeywell will have to cover the difference between what they promised and what they delivered, he added.

The state education department will next review the scope of the work to ensure that the district gets “maximum savings,” Mr. Arcuri said.

If the state determines that the district won’t break even on the deal, they will refuse to issue the site plans.