The following are the remarks of Sewanhaka High School Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie made during the public meeting of the Sewanhaka Board of Education on Jan. 23, 2012:
I hope that everyone is going to have a much better new year than we had last year; certainly it’s only going to get better. Our winter sports teams, they’re all doing well. I had the opportunity to go see them participate in extracurricular and co-curricular clubs are flourishing. Our Model UN clubs have successfully completed an appearance at Rutgers and will continue to compete in winter and spring.
As you know, district testing and Regents exams are being administered this week. I might mention that I’m watching the weather very carefully. Friday we’re supposed to get another weather incident but it looks like it’s going to be later in the upper east. But, I will say publicly in the event that we do have to have a school closure on Friday, that day would be made up on Wednesday during winter break. So we’ll all keep our fingers crossed that that is not necessary.
Budget preparations for 2013-14 is currently underway. Our first budget meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 26 prior to the meeting. The second meeting is scheduled for March 13, which is a Wednesday and the third for April 11. All three meetings will be held in the board room here at 7 p.m. We welcome your input as we are going to struggle as to best deal with Governor Cuomo’s plan for New York. In addition, once again I’ll be making budget presentations at local civic associations as will Ms. Kenny. Those that we have to split up and do two on the same evening a guard the next few months and we are in the process of scheduling these meetings at the current time.
I mentioned about the budget, it’s not going to be an easy budget year. We did receive our state aid figures today, we’ll be releasing them soon after we analyze them because sometimes we get that first printouts and albeit it looks like it’s a certain picture, when we analyze it, it’s a little different. So I know Ms. Kenny’s already got her roll machine that she starts adding up on and she’ll be looking at that sharply, the numbers to make sure they’re accurate.
However, we do project that we are going to have to make some very difficult decisions in the next three months, particularly as we have to work toward getting a budget at the state-required budget cap. So we will be providing much information during the next three months to make sure that happens appropriately with the goal as I’ve been consistent sending all along that we will do everything within our power to protect the current educational programs of our students are now participating therein. One other thing, there’ll be a tab up on the website that all of the information that we receive on the budget will be posted so that the public can access that tab and get that information as needed.
Our annual district music festival will take place on Thursday, February 7 at New Hyde Park Memorial High School at 7:30 p.m. I believe that this is sponsored by Floral Park and we’re not having it in Floral Park because the auditorium’s too small. That is a commercial for our ad hoc committee on facilities, which I’ll mention in a little bit. Tickets are $8 each and are available through the music department in each of the buildings. I invite everyone to attend, enjoy our students’ performance, see our students’ beautiful artwork that will be displayed in the lobby of New Hyde Park Memorial High School.
One other activity that’s occurring at this point is our ad hoc committee on facilities has toured four of the high schools. We will be touring Sewanhaka High School on Thursday evening; we do have a meeting scheduled for the 30th of January and once again that meeting and the information that’s discussed, I would post that information up under the tab that says “School Facilities” on the website and then we will post publicly when we are going to have discussions at board meetings and any other open meeting to discuss any of the issues regarding facilities, potential proposal and to certainly get input from anyone from the public, if you would like to give us an input because that’s important.