02/12/14 8:00am
02/12/2014 8:00 AM
Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney, standing, gave a budget presentation Tuesday night. (Photo by Jennifer Gustavson)

Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney, standing, gave a budget presentation Tuesday night. (Photo by Jennifer Gustavson)

The Riverhead School District’s first debt service payment for the 2011 voter-approved capital improvement bond is due next fiscal year and is expected to increase the 2014-15 budget by about $2.8 million, Superintendent Nancy Carney said Tuesday night.

(more…)

02/11/14 9:00am
02/11/2014 9:00 AM
The Riverhead school board's regular meeting is Tuesday night in the high school auditorium. (File photo by Jennifer Gustavson)

The Riverhead school board’s regular meeting is Tuesday night in the high school auditorium. (File photo by Jennifer Gustavson)

Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney is expected to give a 2014-15 preliminary budget presentation Tuesday night, according to the school board’s meeting agenda.

(more…)

01/14/14 10:11am
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | The Riverhead school board will meet Tuesday night.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | The Riverhead school board’s regular meeting is tonight.

The Riverhead school board is expected to discuss how Common Core is being implemented in the district’s fifth and sixth grade classrooms, according to tonight’s meeting agenda.

The discussion marks the fourth Common Core presentation given this school year.

[Click the following links for a recap of previous coverage: Principals David Enos and Thomas Payton's presentation on kindergarten through second grade; Principal Phil Kent and school literacy coach Vanessa Williams's presentation on third grade; Principal Debra Rodgers' presentation on fourth grade.]

In addition to discussing Common Core, the school board is expected to vote on a resolution to approve a change in minimum wage rates for student employees.

Last year, the state passed legislation raising the minimum wage in New York from $7.25 to $8 an hour. The law went into effect Jan. 1.

The district has also launched a new system to post notices, agendas and other information online called BoardDocs.

To view the complete agenda, visit http://www.boarddocs.com/ny/rcsd/Board.nsf/Public or scroll down. Check back for an update.

The public portion of the meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Riverhead School Board Meeting Agenda, Jan. 14, 2014

12/10/13 10:28pm
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO |

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Phillips Avenue Elementary School principal Debra Rodgers giving a presentation Tuesday night about Common Core practices within fourth-grade English Language Arts and math.

Angry Riverhead School District parents and residents are expressing their frustration over new Common Core materials for elementary school students, particularly new math curriculum.

During the school board’s regular meeting Tuesday night, parent Yolanda Thompson said she’s upset because she and her husband have been unable to properly assist their third-grade daughter with the new homework. She said she fears students aren’t exposed to building a strong foundation in math before moving onto more complex arithmetic.

“As parents, we’re wondering if we’re further confusing our children,” said Ms. Thompson, who provided the school board with handouts of her daughter’s homework. “There’s tears. There’s frustration.”

School board member Amelia Lantz said she’s concerned about her daughter’s fifth grade math homework that’s sponsored by the state because she has found it to be riddled with misspellings and errors.

Like Ms. Thompson, Ms. Lantz said she’s frustrated that she can’t help her daughter with her homework.

“Myself or my husband are trying to teach this to a child the way we learned it,” she said. “Now you’ve got three things going on in there and you’ve got one very frustrated child. That’s the gap that really concerns me.”

The Common Core State Standards has been nationally recognized and adopted by most states across the country that claims to better prepare students for college and careers by requiring instructors to teach more non-fiction and rigorous math to students at a younger age.

After New York adopted Common Core, the state published lesson plans for teachers to help students achieve the new standards. The state doesn’t mandate that schools use these lesson plans, but they are available online at engageny.org.

The public discussion came after Phillips Avenue Elementary School principal Debra Rodgers gave a presentation about Common Core practices within fourth-grade English Language Arts and math.

She said fourth grades teachers district-wide are collaborating together and combining current curriculum with state lessons plans Riverhead educators have deemed will be beneficial to students.

As for math, Ms. Rodgers conceded parents are most frustrated with not knowing how to help their children with math homework and suggested they contact the student’s teacher as soon as possible. Notifying the school will help to let the teacher know if the lesson needs to be repeated in class, she said.

“Close the book and send it back to the teacher,” Ms. Rodgers said.

Superintendent Nancy Carney reiterated that the district hasn’t “blindly adopted” the state’s recommended curriculum and is moving in a “slow and careful manner” when developing curriculum aimed at achieving the Common Core standards.

She also asked parents to be opened minded to new learning methods and gave an example of how children are able to use technology more readily than their parents.

“There are going to be new ways of learning, thinking and doing,” she said. “We need to be sure as parents and educators that we don’t frustrate kids. That’s very important to us.

“Please keep articulating to your building principals and your classroom teachers what your kids are struggling with so we can have those conversations and figure how to move forward.”

jennifer@timesreview.com

12/10/13 12:00pm

The Shoreham-Wading River Central School District is releasing its students from class 90 minutes earlier today due to inclement weather, Superintendent Steven Cohen said Tuesday.

Both Shoreham-Wading River Central School District and Riverhead Central School District have cancelled all after-school activities today due to the dangerous conditions.

The Riverhead School Board is still scheduled to meet tonight at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

12/10/13 10:45am
FILE PHOTO | The Riverhead school board meeting is at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

FILE PHOTO | The Riverhead school board meeting is at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

In an effort to reduce overhead costs, the Riverhead School Board is expected to vote on a pair of agreements tonight in which non-union district employees and teacher assistants will only receive pay through direct deposit starting next year.

If approved, all employees not represented through a bargaining unit will only receive their pay through direct deposit starting Feb. 1, 2014. If an employee fails to set up a direct deposit account by the deadline, the district “shall have their pay held in the Trust and Agency account until such time as a valid direct deposit account shall have been established,” according to the resolution.

The move aims to improve efficiency while reducing costs within the payroll process, according to Superintendent Nancy Carney.

“Direct Deposit is safe, efficient and reliable.  The costs of printing pay stubs on plain paper for direct deposit employees is significantly cheaper than the cost of printing paychecks on check stock,” she said via email.

It’s not immediately clear how much the measures are expected to save the district. In the future, Ms. Carney said, the district is hoping to be able to email pay stubs to employees, eliminating paper in the process altogether. Of about 1,000 district employees, the superintendent said about 65 have yet to sign up for direct deposit.

In addition to the payroll plan, the school board is expected to vote on several change orders pertaining to capital improvements at Phillips Avenue and Riley Avenue elementary schools and the high school.

There’s also a presentation scheduled to discuss Common Core practices in fourth-grade English Language Arts and math subjects. At recent school board meetings, elementary school administrators and teachers have also given presentations about how Common Core is begin implemented in grades K through 2 and third grade.

The public portion of the meeting is at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Check back for an update.

Riverhead school board meeting agenda, Dec. 10, 2013

11/12/13 12:00pm

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Riverhead school board members at Tuesday night's meeting.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | A Common Core informational meeting will be held at Tuesday night’s Riverhead school board meeting.

Aquebogue Elementary School principal Phil Kent is expected to give a presentation about Common Core practices within third grade at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, according to the agenda.

Last month, Riley Avenue Elementary School principal David Enos and Roanoke Avenue Elementary School principal Thomas Payton gave a joint presentation about Common Core practices within English Language Arts and math in grades kindergarten through second grade.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a new set of benchmarks that requires instructors to teach more non-fiction and rigorous math to students at a younger age to better prepare them for college and careers after high school.

In addition to Common Core, the school board is expected vote on a resolution to finalize the district’s Tuthill Lane land deal with the county and hear a presentation from the district’s external auditor.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Check back tonight for coverage from the meeting.

Riverhead school board meeting agenda, Nov. 12, 2013

10/22/13 12:00pm
10/22/2013 12:00 PM

Riv_board_Carney

Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney is expected to give a presentation about Common Core practices within English Language Arts and math in grades kindergarten through second grade, according to Tuesday night’s school board meeting agenda.

For the first time this past April, the state’s ELA and math assessments included elements of what’s known as the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The Common Core is a new set of national standards designed to raise the bar for classroom instruction and help “prepare students for college and careers in the 21st century,” state officials say. The initiative primarily requires instructors to teach more non-fiction and more rigorous math to students at a younger age.

In addition to Common Core, the school board is expected to discuss its budget-planning timeline for the 2014-15 school year.

On Jan. 14, the school board will go over its tentative budget goals and will hold a special meeting Jan. 21 to discuss personnel issues in executive session.

Ms. Carney is then expected to hold the following budget presentations:

Feb. 11: General support, benefits and debt service

Feb. 25: Regular day school budget, transportation and facilities

March 11: Special education, PPS, guidance and other instructional items

March 25: Revenue and tax levy

April 8: Tentative budget

The school board is expected to adopt the 2014-15 spending plan by April 22 and release it to the public by May 2.

The final budget hearing is set for May 13 — one week before the vote.

As for the school board race, president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse, vice president Greg Meyer and member Kimberly Ligon are up for reelection. Board of Education candidate petitions are due April 21.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Check back for an update.

jennifer@timesreview.com

Riverhead school board meeting agenda, Oct. 22, 2013