05/09/14 11:00am
05/09/2014 11:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

After a group of parents took issue recently with the district’s elementary school assignment boundaries, the Riverhead Board of Education will discuss at next Tuesday’s meeting exactly how the current school lines came to be.

The issue sparked at a March 12 meeting when residents questioned why students living in Calverton Hills are required to enroll at Phillips Avenue School in Riverside when Riley Avenue Elementary School in Calverton is closer to them.

Riley Avenue is just three miles from Calverton Hills, while Phillips Avenue is 5.5 miles away.

South Jamesport resident and former school board president Angela DeVito had requested at the April 22 meeting that the school board add the discussion item to the next agenda so the district could explain why some elementary students do not attend the schools closest to their homes.

Ms. DeVito has questioned whether the current boundaries are forcing more minority students into certain schools and believes the district could be in danger of losing federal aid known as Title I, a program designed to improve academic achievement among disadvantaged students.

“We might stand to have those funds jeopardized because we do have elementary schools that appear to be segregated,” she said during the March 25 school board meeting. “I’m saying that it appears; I’m not saying that it is.”

Superintendent Nancy Carney said during a recent interview that, according to school board meeting minutes, the decision to shift Calverton Hills students from Riley Avenue to Phillips Avenue was made Oct. 11, 1977, due to overcrowding at Riley. The shift took effect the following school year, she said.

After the March 12 meeting, Ms. Carney said she would be open to considering redrawing district boundaries if that’s the will of the Board of Education.

The Calverton Hills community was built in 1972 for the families of Grumman employees, she added, and those children initially attended school at Riley.

According to a previous News-Review report, many streets on the Brookhaven Town side of Calverton hamlet — South River Road, Nugent Drive, Pinehurst Boulevard and others — were reassigned from Riley to Phillips beginning in the 2002-03 school year, which is the last time Riverhead redistricted its elementary schools.

The district’s goal for that shift was to alleviate overcrowding following expansions of the Aquebogue, Riley Avenue and Phillips Avenue schools. At that time, the district also moved many students living west of Roanoke Avenue — including areas like the Roanoke Avenue apartments — to Riley Avenue to minimize concern that previous boundaries sent most minority children to either Phillips or Roanoke avenue schools.

03/12/14 2:00pm
03/12/2014 2:00 PM
Residents are asking the Riverhead School District to allow Calverton Hills students to attend nearby Riley Avenue Elementary School.  Parents say the community was required to send its children to Phillips Avenue Elementary School in Riverside after the neighborhood was redistricted in the late 1990s. (Credit: Google Map screenshot by Jennifer Gustavson)

The Calverton Hills community was redistricted several years ago that moved the community’s children from Riley Avenue Elementary School in Calverton to Phillips Avenue Elementary School in Riverside. (Credit: Google Map screenshot by Jennifer Gustavson)

Years after the Riverhead School District moved elementary students living in the Calverton Hills community from Riley Avenue School to Phillips Avenue School, residents are still wondering why their kids have to travel to Riverside, which is farther away, when there’s a school closer to them in Calverton.  (more…)

04/30/13 7:19pm
04/30/2013 7:19 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Fire Department brush truck heads into the woods near a Calverton development Tuesday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Fire Department brush truck heads into the woods near a Calverton development Tuesday afternoon.

Riverhead firefighters doused a brush fire the length of a football field in a section of woods near a Calverton development Tuesday evening, preventing the fire from spreading, fire officials said.

Fire officials were called to the Calverton Hills development at 5:09 p.m. to investigate reports of people smelling smoke near the basketball courts off Wooded Way, said first assistant chief Joseph Raynor. Fire chiefs soon located the fire across the street in a hilly section of woods behind a series of apartment buildings, he said.

The fire, which was roughly 100 yards across, was put out by firefighters using pumpers and brush trucks, Mr. Raynor said. Firefighters used the brush trucks — vehicles specifically designed to knock down trees — to clear a path to the fire.

The volunteers also had to contend with onlookers, some of whom were children who ran close to the fire trucks or rode their bikes around them as the firefighters tried to enter the woods.

By 6 p.m., the fire was extinguished and fire crews were spraying the ground with water to “mop up” any smoldering remains of the fire.

psquire@timesreview.com

01/19/13 3:57pm
01/19/2013 3:57 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO  |  Joe Coffey with his dog that was rescued from the fire.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Joe Coffey with his dog that was rescued from the fire.

A couple whose Calverton Hills townhouse caught fire Saturday afternoon said they were forced to use a kerosene heater since their landlord shut off their power four days ago.

Joe Coffey, 50, said he was in Southampton when neighbors called him about 3 p.m. to say they saw smoke pouring out of the place he shares with girlfriend Sharon Taylor, 33, and their two pitbulls. The family moved in last summer.

“I love my dogs,” said Mr. Coffey as he cuddled his white pitbull. “We used the heaters so our dogs would stay warm.”

Mr. Coffey said he and Ms. Taylor weren’t home at the time of the fire that started at 105 Hills Spur and spread to the adjacent townhouse, 104. Riverhead Fire Chief Tony White said he believed a woman escaped and a dog was rescued at the scene. No injuries were reported.

Riverhead and Flanders Fire Departments responded to the scene. Firefighters were on the roof breaking holes as smoke came pouring out of the building. They also threw chairs and boxes out the window.

It was unclear what started the fire, which was brought under control at 3:40 p.m. Mr. Coffey didn’t say exactly what he suspected caused the fire, but did mention about the kerosene heaters. The Brookhaven Town fire marshal was called to the scene to investigate.

No other details on the woman rescued were immediately available.

jennifer@timesreview.com

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Firefighters work on the roof a Calverton home Saturday afternoon.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Firefighters work on the roof a Calverton home Saturday afternoon.