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New Hyde Park Road School PTA Aims for Community Input

Budget cuts are large concern for parents and teachers.

The held its first Parent Teacher Association meeting of the yew year at 7:00 p.m. last Thursday with fear of budget cuts and parental input being a major focus of the meeting.

After going through standard procedures and reviewing the minutes, Principal Peggy Marenghi discussed the "elephant in the room" -- upcoming budget cuts. Referring to the school board’s recent proposal for each school to come up with programs they wish to keep, Marenghi discussed how hard it was to choose which programs to maintain.

"In a district, once you cut a program they are not coming back," Marenghi said. "Have your voice heard. Do not wait till it is too late."

Co-president Jones agreed with Marenghi’s emphasis on the importance of attending school board meetings. The PTA board is in the process of creating a form to be given out to all the parents to allow everyone to give input as to which programs they would like to see included in the next budget. Marenghi said she would work with the board to make sure the questions on the form made it clear this concerned program cuts and not instructional supplies such as textbooks. All answers will be anonymous.

Then Co-president Maria Jones discussed the upcoming Red Cross blood drive, saying monetary and blood donations are down. She emphasized how much the kids love dressing up in doctor’s clothing, giving people cookies and crackers and helping them fill out their forms. A presentation will be done to encourage student involvement.

Corresponding Secretary Lisa Friel discussed the success of December’s holiday boutique and holiday plant sale. A lockdown situation occurred during the holiday boutique. Marenghi said the Nassau County Police were shocked at how quickly the school was able to move into lockdown. The crisis intervention team, formed to address possible lockdown scenarios, constantly meets to make sure to be prepared for every possible situation.

Upcoming events include a Super Bowl fundraiser, Kidstuff Books and a family game show.  The family game show will be on Jan. 28 for $5 a person.

One parent mentioned an issue from the past few days in which the doors were not all opened by 8:00 a.m. The issue was not that some doors were locked, but some students were kept standing outside in the cold while others were sitting inside.

“I agree with you a hundred percent,” Marenghi responded. Substitute teachers were on post instead of regular teachers those days and were unaware of the responsibility of letting the children into the school at that time. Marenghi said she had addressed the problem by promising to always check the monthly schedule of teachers assigned with that responsibility.

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