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Jul 9, 2014 9:31 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District Considers Declining Extended-Day Grant

Jul 9, 2014 10:33 AM

Southampton School District officials on Tuesday said they are likely to decline a $2.6 million grant to add 300 hours to the school year for elementary and intermediate students, since the state appears to expect implementation this fall—too soon for the district to make the necessary preparations.

The offer is part of the Extended Learning Time initiative from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, which is dedicated to closing the achievement gap statewide in two core subjects, English language arts and math. The district would have the option of extending the school day—over 180 days, that would mean an hour and 40 minutes added to each school day—or extending the school year by more than a month to add the 300 hours. The grant would help cover the costs associated with the additional classroom time.

Originally, the state was supposed to announce the winners of the grant in January, giving districts several months to implement a plan for extending the school day. However, since the recipients were not named until June, Southampton officials thought the grant had been pushed back and would start in September 2015—which is not the case.

With only a month and a half to put a system in place, District Superintendent Dr. Scott Farina said it would be too difficult to do, meaning the district is most likely to decline the grant.

Members of the State Education Department were slated to meet and discuss the terms of the grant on Wednesday. Dr. Farina said no decisions will be made until after the meeting.

“We are waiting for more information from the state,” he said. “The late notice we were provided is making it difficult for us to accept the grant and implement it on time. They want it in place for this September, and I just don’t see how we can do that.”

New Meeting Format

Also at Tuesday’s School Board meeting, the district opted to change its Board of Education meeting format to allow for more in-depth conversations about district issues.

Starting in September, the district will convert the first meeting every month into a work session where board members can have discussions and hear presentations. Unless there is an emergency, they will not take action on any issues at the work sessions. Votes on resolutions will take place at the second monthly meeting, which is known as the business meeting.

Dr. Farina said the change will provide the School Board with more opportunity to hear opinions about decisions that will affect the district.

“It comes from a desire to have more in-depth discussions on topics that the board will eventually be acting in,” Dr. Farina said. “We feel this should give us the opportunity for those discussions to be heard.”

Board members voted in favor of the change at the district reorganization meeting on Tuesday night. Meetings will continue to be held on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the intermediate school music room, and the August meeting will not be affected by the change.

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Decline!!! In the future the district needs to be upfront on the grants it applies for.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Jul 9, 14 4:42 PM
Of course they won't be ready, because they are having their nice 10 week vacation. They wouldn't want t o break up a nice vacation for the sake of better education. Remember we should do it for the kids at least that's what the union says when they need more money.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 9, 14 9:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is sad. The state is actually funding an effort to improve performance in a state identified low performing school district and they just say we haven't got the time thank you.

A school district bereft of any academic department of distinction or excellence simply turning down an effort to benefit the students and their future.

Go Mariners!
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Jul 11, 14 4:02 AM
Are you kidding ? Please do your homework. The proposal was to have Elementry school children go to school from 7:15-4:05. That means they would have to be on buses at 6:30 at the latest. Home by 5 5:30. Oh then time for the manitory hour of common core homework. Forget sports or specials. Down time time, extra reading nope. Cause after all that and dinner, showers etc. it's now time for bed to do it all again the next day.
Yes there might be a need to help strengthen our math and language ...more
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Jul 14, 14 7:31 AM
This grant is coming from the state via the Feds, education secretary Duncan. Any teacher I have come in contact with does not want this. Better education? More like setting the elementary school age children up for meltdowns.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Jul 9, 14 9:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Smart move. Quantity of time cannot be considered an independent factor in the improvement of education because the ways in which the time is used by educators and students is what actually matters for learning. There are other educational reform options that do not cost more money and still allow for local control.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Jul 10, 14 7:22 AM
Such as what?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 11, 14 11:19 PM
I think your question proves my point. You've been presented with an idea. Rather than actively identify information that might contrast my statement, you're happy to ask someone do to it for you else just let it go.
By The Modern Era (6), Southampton on Jul 14, 14 8:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Jul 17, 14 10:49 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Jul 28, 14 2:02 PM