The Sewanhaka Central High School District’s Board of Education held their reorganizational meeting on July 9 at the Sewanhaka High School. While nearly every member of the Board of Education kept their position from last year, District Superintendent Ralph Ferrie announced that this would be his final school year as superintendent.
“It comes as a little bit of a shock, but we understand,” Board President David Del Santo said. “We still have 365 days to go, so we’re going to make the most of our time together.”
Del Santo was re-elected president of the board, with Elmont’s Michael Jaime once again serving as vice president. And Franklin Square’s Stephen Toto introduced himself as he joined William Leder as one of this year’s representatives from the Franklin Square School District.
With the passing of the budget in May, the district has been focusing on preparing several initiatives for the 2018-19 school year. Ferrie said the district is finalizing its plans for the new Alternative School Program and Academic Learning Center, which will serve non-traditional students who previously attended afternoon classes and students who have been suspended from school.
“There will no longer be your typical out of school suspension as those students will attend the Academic Learning Center at our CTE building in Sewanhaka,” Ferrie said.
As the Alternative School Program will allow students to take classes during the daytime, Sewanhaka Assistant Principal John Kenny has been transferred over to lead the program. His transfer has led to the transfer of two other assistant principals in the district. Paul Naraine will be transferred from Sewanhaka High School to Elmont Memorial High School, and Alicia Calabrese will be transferred from Elmont Memorial High School to Floral Park Memorial High School.
The school safety and security subcommittee, which which reviewed the district’s safety protocols and security systems in spring and early summer is also nearing the end of its evaluation. The subcommittee consisted of security personnel only in order to speed up the process and get something done by the start of the 2018-19 school year.
“This board takes it as a serious priority,” Del Santo said. “We want to balance security and safety with a proper learning environment.”
Ferrie added that the district will also finish its implementation of the One-to-One program, which will allow all students in the district to have iPads by the beginning of the school year with which to complete their coursework and to better prepare them for higher education.