Shoreham-Wading River School District

SWR school board set to vote on closing Briarcliff

The Briarcliff Elementary School in Shoreham. (Credit: Samantha Brix, file)
The Briarcliff Elementary School in Shoreham. (Credit: Samantha Brix, file)

The Shoreham-Wading River school board is expected to formally shut down Briarcliff Elementary School at Tuesday’s meeting by voting on a resolution to officially close the building June 30.

Superintendent Steven Cohen first announced in February his plan to move forward with a 2014-15 budget that does not include funding for the kindergarten and first-grade building located in Shoreham.

The district is preparing to restructure its elementary program for next school year under a Princeton Plan model, which was coined in New Jersey and is designed to enhance educational opportunities by grouping elementary teachers and students by grade in the same buildings — as opposed to neighborhoods or “catchment areas.”

The district is turning Miller Avenue Elementary School into a kindergarten through second-grade primary school and Wading River Elementary School into a third-grade through fifth-grade intermediate school.

Citing concerns about potential real estate negotiations, school officials have declined to say how much money they anticipate from closing Briarcliff, but have estimated money saved by shutting it down and combining other elementary schools will lower teacher salary costs by nearly $1 million next year

The school board has since discussed some options for possible future uses of the facility, including: transforming it into a pre-kindergarten building, renting the space out or keeping it vacant.

In addition to discussing closing Briarcliff, the school board is expected to honor high school math teacher Ellen Fraser — who was recently selected to participate in the New York State Master Teacher program — and the high school’s Mathlete students.

Updates about the newly-formed bond committee, as well as the voter-approved technology proposition, are also listed as discussion items for Tuesday’s meeting.

As for personnel actions, the school board is set to vote on terminating an unidentified probationary employee at the meeting.

The district recently published the minutes from the April 29 school board meeting, which identifies several teacher layoffs, resignations and retirements.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda and April 29 minutes. Check back for an update.

Shoreham-Wading River school board meeting agenda June 3 and April 30 minutes