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Board of Ed Hears Residents' Concerns

Trustees say farewell to 2010-11 but not before tackling final school issues.

Monday night called for a special Board of Education meeting at Plainview-JFK High School where students and faculty were recognized for their honorable accomplishments and residents addressed the board one final time.

Assistant Superintendent Jill Gierasch commenced the award ceremony by congratulating the Plainview students as a whole. "You should all be pleased with your accomplishments, and have once again fulfilled our expectations and beyond," she said.

Board of Education President Gary Bettan stood alongside coaches and instructors to personally congratulate each award recipient throughout the night. Students were honored in areas such as , arts, music, business and more.

After the ceremony, the flood of families migrated out of the auditorium as the Board of Education began their usual business and residents spoke out one last time for the school year. Some thanked the board for an excellent school year while others voiced concerns about potential changes through the district.

Jennifer Federmann weighed the pros and cons of the possible new "zero period" that would put the two middle schools at the same start time, telling the board that although it would not effect her children next year, she still felt she should make her opinion known.

"I'm really concerned about the K-Center," she told board members. "If the hours got turned back, students would be getting picked up around 7 a.m., and as the mother of a 6-year old, I just don't see how that's possible to consider. It's just too early. The other issue is daycare in the afternoon. Some parents don't pick the kids up until 5 p.m., and that's a really long day for a 6-year old."

Superintendent Gerard Dempsey said the zero period discussion was in its early stages and the district would entertain other proposals.

After community members spoke, the Board of Education addressed some unfinished business regarding the district's Anti-Bullying Policy. Dempsey and the board felt the modified policy was ready for recirculation through the community, but Trustee Debbie Bernstein felt one last change should be made.

A line in the regulations read, "Parents of student complainants and accused students should be notified within one school day or 24 hours of allegations," but Bernstein felt it should be edited to "Parents of student complainants and accused students should be notified the same day if possible, but no later than one school day or 24 hours of allegations."

Her fellow board members agreed and voted that the change will be made prior to circulation through the community.

In other news, the Board of Education welcomed new faculty members that will start in September.

Kathryn Falbo: Foreign Language at Plainview JFK
Perri Gass: Elementary at Stafford Road
Tara Gaudreault: Elementary at Pasadena 
Debra Lovett: Elementary at POB Middle School
Denise Misiti: Elementary at Stafford Road
Cristina Revis-Laline: Guidance 

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