Sewanhaka Board of Education Sets Course for 2010-2011


District Goes Full Throttle With Anti-Bullying Policy, Tightens Reins on Capital Projects

As students of the Sewanhaka Central High School District relish the long, lazy days of summer, the Board of Education continues to work to ensure a seamless transition into the 2010-2011 school year. At a public meeting for the Board of Education on Tuesday, July 13, the board for the coming year was sworn in. The board — which is represented by two members each from the Elmont, Floral Park-Bellerose, Franklin Square and New Hyde Park elementary districts — remains unchanged from last year, with Jean Fichtl and David T. Fowler being re-elected as president and vice president, respectively. The other six members of the board include Joseph Armocida, David Del Santo, Laura Ferone, Lorraine Ferrigno, Michael Jaime and Joan Romagnoli.

Code enforcement officer Timothy Green reported at the meeting that the State Education Department issued certificates of occupancy for all Sewanhaka Central High School District facilities for 2010-2011. The certificates were issued based on Green’s visual inspection of all buildings within the district. Green performed a walkthrough of every floor in every building to make sure there are no fire hazards or other hazards whereby students, faculty or staff could be injured.   

Having ascertained the green light for students to safely enter their respective buildings in September, the Board of Education, under the helm of Superintendent of Schools Warren A. Meierdiercks, has other, insidious, hazards in its crosshairs: harassment, hazing and bullying. The district has a brand new board policy that condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of harassment, hazing and bullying on school grounds, school buses and at all school-sponsored events, including those that take place at locations outside the district. The board continues to review this policy with building principals and district administrators to ensure the security of all students.

As the district pushes forward with its anti-bullying policy, it has taken significant steps back with regard to capital projects. “This year our capital project total was about a half million dollars, and in the past we’ve had significantly more,” said Superintendent Meierdiercks. “Due to budgetary concerns, we did reduce the amount of capital projects. We normally do a couple of million dollars worth of projects,” he said. Typical projects include renovations to restrooms, science rooms and parking lots, and replacing bleachers.

As the board of education gears up for the coming school year, members look to arm themselves with an enhanced skill set. All were approved at Tuesday’s meeting to attend a school board convention in New York, which they usually attend, during which members will attend various seminars. In addition, as the year unfolds, additional conferences and seminars are expected to be approved.

With the ink on students’ diplomas barely dry and fond memories from commencement ceremonies still fresh, the Board of Education has already granted authorization for the district to enter into a contract with Hofstra University with regard to June 2011 graduation ceremonies for all five high schools, marking the fifth year of this arrangement.


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