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Monday, March 2, 2015
Parents’ petition calls for ‘status quo’ at East School
Board of Education looks to hear from all sides at forum
By Alexandra Spychalsky
Alyson Goodman/Herald file photo
Parents plan to submit a petition to the Board of Education voicing their opposition to the repurposing of East School.

More than 500 residents have signed a petition calling for the Board of Education to vote for the “status quo” option — one of five options proposed for the city’s schools — in order to keep East School open to students.

But parents had to wait to present their signatures to the board, when Tuesday’s facilities utilization forum had to be postponed due to the snowstorm. The forum, presented by Schools Superintendent David Weiss, was rescheduled for Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m., at the Long Beach Middle School, and will take the place of the scheduled Board of Education work session.

In 2012 the district created a facilities study group, made up of parents, teachers, residents and school employees, to explore ways to reconfigure the district to make the most efficient use of its buildings. The group was also tasked with finding a location for the administrative offices, which were condemned due to Hurricane Sandy damage. It made its first presentation in November, laying out 11 options. Since then they have been narrowed to five, with two calling for repurposing East School as an administrative building, two suggesting a restructuring of the elementary school grades and one calling for leaving things as is but housing the administration at Lindell school.

East School parent Sabrina Lomonte decided to circulate a petition urging school board trustees not to make any changes to the elementary school structure or to repurpose East School, but rather to maintain the status quo. The petition reads in part, “The proposed school changes will result in a savings of less than one percent of the more than $123 million school budget. Our children and community are worth more than one percent!”

Comments

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longbeachteachers

Closing East will save just $38 a year for the average homeowner. Why would anyone want to risk our children's future to save a dime a day?

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | Report this
longbeachteachers

Supt. Weiss has released his ground rules for the January 27 forum on school facilities:

Speakers will have up to three minutes to make their remarks.

A maximum of 50 speakers will be heard on the repurposing options B and E (the closing East School).

A maximum of 15 speakers will be heard on the restructuring options A, C and D and/or the roll-over budget.

All speakers must sign up in the lobby of the Middle School auditorium beginning at 6:30PM. They will then be given a number to determine the speaking order.

Written statements may be submitted to the Clerk of the Board of Education for distribution to the trustees. There will be no public discussion on these statements.

January 27 is also the Middle School Science Symposiums for grades 6-8 so parking will be limited. Carpooling is suggested.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | Report this
longbeachteachers

Please note that the forum is on January 28 not January 27.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | Report this
sweitz

I posted the following after reading about the "rules," for a discussion about School Reconfiguration with the community.................................................... It clearly sounds like the Superintendent has already made up his mind and this community forum is a mere technicality. These rules are designed to limit free speech. As a former member of the Board of Education for 9-years, 5 of which I served as President, it is my opinion, that its time for the David Weiss to leave this district. The proposed changes are not about education, or whats best for children. There must be a hidden agenda. Our Governor just announced major changes to Pre-K, including funding, changes to state testing and the implementation of Core Curriculum. The proposed changes are also NOT about saving money because the incremental savings are so low I don't even trust the numbers. So what can we do - (1) Vote OUT members of the board of education that support the proposed changes, (2) Vote down the Budget, (3) attend school board meetings and ask lots of questions and demand answers, (4) call for the unions to vote "No Confidence" in the abilities of David Weiss and demand his resignation, (5) take a look at David Weiss's contract and see if he is guaranteed life time health care benefits after 5-yeaars of service. Please take a look at my earlier posting on this subject from December 2013. I worked very hard for 9-years to stop the back room deals and the wholesale hiring of friends and neighbors and to control costs while providing an excellent public school education. Children only have 1-chance at an education, and my opinion is clear to me, that the hidden agenda of David Weiss and this Board of Education is more important than the children and to me - thats wrong. To my former colleagues on the Board of Education - we used to fight for what was right, we used to fight to hire only the best and brightest and, and we used to fight to do the right thing. If my comments upset you, thats' good. I hope that you will consider what our core values used to be and how hard we all worked together to set policy and provide the best education possible to our students while conservatively controlling the budget to protect our resident taxpayers. If any of the members of the Board of Education have questions or comments, please feel free to call me at any time.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | Report this
longbeachteachers

This just in!

The Forum has been moved to the Long Beach High School Auditorium, 322 Lagoon Drive West, Lido Beach.

Friday, January 24, 2014 | Report this
longbeachteachers

New Rules

The Forum on School Facilities will now take place in the Long Beach High School auditorium (322 Lagoon Drive West, Lido Beach) on Tuesday, January 28 starting at 7:30PM.

Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes each.

Written statements may be submitted the Board of Education Clerk but they will not be read publicly or commented on.

Up to 75 speakers may speak on any of the options, as well as the roll-over budget proposal.

Speakers on Options B&E (the closing of East School) will be permitted to speak first.

Pre-registration is required to speak. Sign up will take place in the upper commons of the HS starting at 6:30PM. Each speaker will be given a number to determine the speaker order.

Friday, January 24, 2014 | Report this
sweitz

40,000 Registered Voter, approximately 6,000 active voters but only 75 residents will be allowed to speak at the next School Board Meeting… Kindly refer to my prior post. Roy Lester is a strong 1st Amendment advocate, and I can tell you I believe Roy was instrumental in changing the Rules to Version 2.0, however I think we can do better. Please contact the members of the Board of Education and respectfully request that all community members interested in sharing their opinions be "permitted" to speak. The Board of Education can still fix this problem prior to the meeting. I checked today, School Construction remains ongoing, recovery from Sandy remains ongoing, Union Contract remain unsettled (and moral remains low), the Governor has announced major changes to Pre-K, the Senate has told the NYS Department of Education to fix Core, and it was recently announced that NYS will stop standardized testing prior to a certain grade level. Lots of changes and work remain to restore our school infrastructure. The children of our community are still recovering with the families from the devastating psychological and social issues caused by Sandy and its effect on family. I respectfully urge the Board of Education to just STOP this plan. Now is not the right time!

Saturday, January 25, 2014 | Report this
longbeachteachers

After reviewing the property tax records of hundreds of homes located in the City of Long Beach (source: zillow.com) we have determined that on average the net tax savings from the repurposing of East School will be $38 per year. It is time for common sense to prevail.

On Tuesday, January 28 there will be a community forum starting at 7:30PM in the Long Beach High School auditorium (322 Lagoon Drive West, Lido Beach). I courage you to speak your mind on this divisive proposal. Pre-registration is required to speak. You may sign-up beginning at 6:30PM in the commons area on the second floor of the HS. You will then be assigned a random number to determine your order of speaking. Parking is limited so car-pooling is encouraged.

Sunday, January 26, 2014 | Report this
longbeachteachers

I applaud all of the speakers at Tuesday night's Superintendent’s Forum. Each spoke eloquently and with heartfelt passion. Kudos to Long Beach Councilman Anthony Eramo and Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford for their candor and courage in speaking on behalf of keeping East School open.

Hopefully the members of the Board of Education will announce their decision shortly and not keep the public waiting for two weeks.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | Report this
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