School district holds reorganization meeting in person

Cools becomes board President and district talks universal Pre-K


The Baldwin Union Free School District Board of Directors met for their monthly Board meeting in person, and their yearly reorganization meeting, for the first time since the start of the pandemic on July 7.

Members of the Board stood for the Pledge of Allegiance after the meeting commenced at 8:06pm in the District office. The first item on the agenda was the election of the Board of Directors, which resulted in a shift of cabinet positions. Elected trustees serve a three-year term in their position.

Former Board President Mary Jo O’Hagan moved to Board Trustee while her Vice President, Susan Cools, was elected to be the new President of the Board. Elected to work with Cools as Vice President was Tom Smyth, who served as a Board of Directors Trustee prior. Annie Doresca was also re-elected as a Board Trustee. 

During each Board member’s time to comment, everyone shared the sentiment of their gratitude toward the Baldwin community and the amazement they felt during the in-person graduations Baldwin Union Free Schools, something that many students across the country were deprived of due to Covid.

Led by the newly elected President Susan Cools, the meeting agenda was standard for reorganization night, but Superintendent Dr. Shari L. Camhi did begin to expand on the district’s plan to start a Pre-K program for the Baldwin Union Free School District.

Dr. Camhi explained that the district received allocations of money for the plan at the end of April 2021, but she assures everyone that, “There is tremendous effort on the part of this district in a very, very short period of time to be able to start that program and we will do the best that we can for the members of the Baldwin community.”

Along with other Long Island school districts, Baldwin was allocated money through state funding, but can only receive the money if the districts can start a Pre-K program that meets specific conditions. 

The two main conditions the district noted were the need for a full-day five-hour program and a cost per student of $5,704 per year. Dr. Camhi says based on the money that was allocated to the district, the Pre-K program could allow for 96 students.

Many aspects of this Pre-K program are still being determined but one thing is certain; the district is looking for a community-based organizations that could help start and run the program.

The Baldwin Long Island Herald was also approved as the official district newspaper for another year.