SWR board approves fourth grade field trip

The Shoreham Wading River Board of Education approved a favorite field trip for fourth-graders at Miller Avenue Elementary School at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, responding to four months of pleading from parents that the kids be allowed to go.

The trip to the Ashokan Field Campus in Olivebridge, N.Y., where students learn about the pre-Revolutionary War colonies, was originally canceled by Miller Avenue principal Lou Parrinello after the school board cut funding for field trips. He said the cost of the trip — $350 per student — was too great a burden for parents to bear, and suggested a less expensive field trip to the William Floyd Longwood Estate.

But when the Board of Education saw an outpouring of parents championing the trip’s benefits and expressing willingness to pay out of pocket, Mr. Parrinello put Ashokan back on the table.

The trip will cost the district nothing, as funding will come from parents, the Miller Avenue PTO and BOCES aid money derived from last year’s Ashokan expenditures.

The resolution to approve the Ashokan field trip was approved 4-2, with opposition from Bill McGrath and Mike Fucito.

“I have nothing against Ashokan; it’s a great trip,” Mr. McGrath said. “It’s just that there was a trip in place that seemed reasonable.”

Mr. Fucito said he takes issue with using BOCES aid money to fund the Ashokan field trip, but not others.

“My problem was that we [use BOCES aid money] for selective field trips — not for all the schools and all the grades,” he said. “How do I justify the fourth-graders going on the field trip, but not grades one through three and five?”

Leo Greeley was absent from the meeting.

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