The Oyster Bay East Norwich Board of Education held its monthly Business meeting on Tuesday, November 17 at 7 pm in the OBHS Library. After observing a moment of silence for the terror victims in Paris, the audience was led in the Pledge of Allegiance by 7 year old Theodore Roosevelt student Zachary Hertlein.
The cast of the 7 and 8 Grade Musical Revue sang a song from their performance on Friday, November 20 at 7:30 pm in the OBHS Performing Arts Center (The PAC).
OBHS senior Danielle Sugar addressed the Board on behalf of the Student Council to report that the Student Council will be sponsoring a clothing drive asking people to donate coats, hats and gloves. Tables will be set up in the OBHS Gym Lobby. Danielle also noted that on December 1, the annual Toy Drive will begin. Every year the schools’ student councils work in conjunction with the Interreligious and human needs councils to collect toys for needy children.
Mr. Tim Green, the Code Enforcement Official, delivered the Fire Marshall report in which he said, “The schools look great.” There were a few minor issues that were dealt with immediately thanks to the vigilance of Ms. Diane Hannah in the Buildings and Grounds office at the high school.
The Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, Mr. Stephen Valente reported on safety and security in our schools. Mr. Valente addressed concerns expressed by the community that the plans for increased security will alter the welcoming look of the entrances of each building. The new vestibules will look very much like the existing vestibules. The difference is that the glass will be replaced by bulletproof glass and a teller style window will be added on the side of the vestibule for security clearances. Photos will be added to the District Bond page on the website to show what these vestibules look like at other schools that already have them in place. http://www.obenschoolsmac.org/BOND_2015.htm
Dr Seinfeld and Mr. Valente will be visiting with civic organizations in the coming weeks to answer questions and concerns about the Bond scheduled for a community vote at Oyster Bay High School on Thursday, December 17 from 7 am to 9 pm. Also the community is invited the December 1 Board Meeting where the Bond will be discussed.
During the public commentary portion of the meeting, Dr. Alexandria Ross Ed.D. spoke.
She said, “I am a parent of a third grader at the Vernon School and I am also a professor of elementary education at Lehman College/CUNY and as well I am a former NYC public school teacher. I have been an educator for 26 years. As such, I strongly support both bond propositions for the following reasons:
In support of Bond proposition #1 the redesign and expansion of the arts and music wing: For the past 15 years of my career I have been part of a collaboration with Lincoln Center Education in bringing the arts to children in schools. In thinking about children and the importance of arts education I believe Lincoln Center says it best when they say, “ the arts cultivate a unique skill set that is indispensable for the 21st century: problem solving, collaboration, communication, imagination and creativity… Music, theatre, dance and visual arts are all doorways to learning skills critical to success in life.” (www.linconcentereducation.org). We are lucky to have a strong arts program here in OBEN, but we have outgrown our facilities and we desperately need to update them so that our children can grow and learn in these very important ways.
In support of Bond proposition #2 additional safety and security: Unfortunately we are living in a world where tighter security and safety is essential. Additional security cameras, enclosed vestibules and visitor management systems provide a physical statement that we take the safety and security of all who enter our buildings very seriously and as such it provides not only protection but also peace of mind. I hope we never need to test the ability that all of these security measures can provide. More importantly I never want to have to look back at an unfortunate event and say “If only we had installed better security and safety.”
Dr. Seinfeld invited the Board and community to participate in the 1st ever “Night of Code” to be held at Oyster Bay High School on Monday, December 7. Space is limited, so it is recommended that anyone wishing to participate sign up on the website at http://www.obenschoolsmac.org/departments/Technology/Hour_of_Code.htm
Finally, the Board of Education welcomed the new Principal for the James H. Vernon School, Dr. Valerie Vacchio. Dr. Vacchio, a long-time employee of the OBEN Schools and an excellent administrator, will take the reins on December 17.
Link to the Agenda: https://www.obenschools.org/Page/161