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34 Comments by hblc

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Town Will Go To Court, If Necessary, To Stop Homeless Shelter At Hampton Bays Motel

Dear Alex 119460:

In fact, I have no opinion or position regarding the legal action by the Town regarding the establishment of the Hidden Cove Motel as an emergency homeless shelter and if you were present at the Town Board Meeting, I did not comment on the proposed legal action. My comments to the Town Board were simply an echo of my comments to the County. In the big picture, I encouraged the town to please take into account school district capacity when establishing multiple homeless shelters. As a lifelong educator, I embrace my responsibility and experience in helping kids and families in need. Put simply, though, if the protocol for establishing shelters is solely the existencen of available motel/cottage units, then Hampton Bays can expect the establishment of more emergency shelters, given the preponderance of units in our hamlet. Again, my comments were simply an encouragement to the county to consider globally a school district's capacity to serve (not a willingness, because we are willing).

Lars Clemensen
Superintendent of Schools
Hampton Bays UFSD" Dec 3, 11 12:42 PM

Hampton Bays School District Looks To Stay Under Tax Cap

I would like to note that it was not just the teachers' union that gave concessions last Spring to set us up as noted in the article. Every employee in the Hampton Bays School District - from the Superintendent's Office through each of the three buildings participated in a concessions package to prepare for the Property Tax Cap. ~LC" Mar 7, 12 1:12 PM

Report: Hampton Bays School District Did Not Follow Purchasing Protocol

I agree that the cracked walkway in front of the school has to go. In fact, it is included on the list of work that will be done through our capital improvement projects. The order of projects isn't always what needs to get done first, unfortunately. Instead, it is a matter of prioritizing projects that will make it more quickly through the State Education approval process (they must approve all projects) so that we can keep projects moving in alignment with school calendars. The field projects were approved more quickly because they involved fewer "systems" that needed to be reviewed by state ed and then altered on the campus. The walkway will be replaced when we address the entire front entraceway to the building to make it more accessible. I agree - thank you for the comment and please be assured, it will be addressed. " Jan 19, 14 12:32 PM

UPDATE: Lockdown Lifted At Hampton Bays High School

Chief1, when you are directly responsible for the safety of 600 students and nearly 100 adults, you might react differently when you hear a noise that sounds like an explosion, especially in 2014. To write anonymously (again) with your criticisms of the Hampton Bays School District only speaks to your never-failing criticism of the faculty and staff who work on the behalf of students everyday. If the article had read that an explosive situation took place, yet district officials did nothing, I'm certain you would have written with a criticism of what was NOT done. With 1,083 comments on issues related to school districts and towns, you clearly have much to offer. I encourage you to put yourself out there, serve your town and its children, and offer your services to the betterment of our community, not the endless criticism of it. " Mar 12, 14 10:34 PM

Crusader, great point. In addition to the faculty, staff, and security team that assisted in today's situation, Montauk Bus cannot go unmentioned. It took 9 minutes for Montauk Bus to begin staging 22 vehicles that assisted in a rapid and efficient relocation to the middle school. Without hesitation, Montauk Bus responded. Hampton Bays would expect nothing else from our partner and we are thankful for their service today. Thank you for highlighting that!" Mar 12, 14 10:41 PM

The tire was on an industrial-sized hand truck that holds the traffic cones that are set each day for arrival and dismissal. That hand truck is kept in an alcove of the lobby. A folding table prevented clear view of the tire. " Mar 13, 14 7:43 AM

Dear "Chief1", thanks for your response. In fact, the situation was investigated. The evacuation was not immediate. That decision was made when other possible causes were ruled out (mechanical, operational, etc.) and the emergency services pursued an investigation around violence. At that point, with the imminent arrival of a bomb-detection team, the decision was made to evacuate. The bomb-detection team is of course not a district department and that call was not mine, but I stand by my local law enforcement who acted swiftly, professionally, and thoroughly on our behalf. Your assumption that we would have a trigger-response to run when we hear the noise is incorrect and assumptive, as usual. A careful and thorough investigation was completed, and in coordination with local authorities, the decision was made to evacuate and relocate.

Today was payday in the school district (it is Friday), so I just checked my envelope because the $300k you mention excited me! Turns out, that is not my salary, even with contractually-negotiated and state-mandated benefits. My salary is the lowest salary of a K-12 full-time superintendent in Suffolk County. I do not offer that as a complaint because the job I have and the work I do is fulfilling and supports my family. I have rejected offers to apply elsewhere, for more money, because I believe in the success and potential of what we are doing in Hampton Bays. I offer this fact because your hyberbolic exaggerations do nothing more than spread misinformation and create animosity.

More important than my salary, you mention the "over $40k per pupil" that we spend. Simple division of our budget by number of students, in addition to an analysis in the NYS Fiscal Accountability Report Card, puts our per pupil spending at approximately $22,000, the lowest in the Town of Southampton. Unfortunately, our small tax base and large student enrollment create a higher-than-hoped tax rate. Again, I offer this fact because your hyberbolic exaggerations do nothing more than spread misinformation and create animosity.

Finally, grades and performance in the school district are not decreasing. Such a broad statement again doesn't give the whole story. While there are always areas to improve, here are some facts. Graduation rates increased 15% since 2008. We have more than doubled our Advanced Placement offerings with more than 20 percent of eligible students challenging one or more college classes. Since 2008, our grade-level benchmarks for reading level have shown a 20 percent increase in students reading above grade-level and 17 percent decrease in students reading below. In the last three years, HB graduates heading to Suffolk who need remedial a math class has decreased 56 percent. Again, we always look to improve. But, you inflammatory, broad-based statements do nothing more than create angst and spread misinformation.

As you can see by my logon, this is "Lars Clemensen." This is the last time I will respond to you in this public forum because I do not know you. I invite you to meet with me face-to-face. My phone number is 723-2100 ext. 5106. My assistant has been instructed to immediately schedule a meeting with a one "Chief1" if he (or she) request.

You write you are from Southampton, yet you say you pay my salary. Your anonymous name and you not admitting being from Hampton Bays is sad. I look forward to hearing from you at my office. Office hours are from 8:00am to 4:00pm and any of my staff will be happy to take your call and schedule a time for us to get together and talk face to face.

" Mar 14, 14 2:10 PM

New State School Aid Mandates To Impact Local Districts

I hit submit before I fully finished my thoughts, that's why the removal. Was commenting that I support reform and accountability and the shift to new Common Core Standards, too. There are simply many details to be worked out to ensure sure that the reform fair to adults and students alike and truly representative of all kids accomplish and master in a year. LC" Apr 10, 15 2:35 PM

Southampton Town Supervisor Shares Vision For New Ponquogue Beach Restaurant

Ponquogue Beach is busy all summer, it has been in the nearly 40 years I've been there, with no decline. This sounds like a solution in search of a problem. Make smarter investments elsewhere that bring in revenue for HB that doesn't currently exist. " Mar 22, 16 11:23 PM

Residents Want Hampton Bays Business District To Have 'Small-Town Charm,' Survey Finds

HB Proud, the district doesn't "think they can continue to tax." Advocacy efforts have been focused on uncontrollable costs, as mandated by the state. Further, if you compare school budget increases over the last ten years to the last three, you will see that they are more than twice the rate. The district is diligent and seeing success in slowing increases down. Also, it is unfair to compare school taxes to town taxes. The town has reserves to "stabilize taxes." That is not legal for schools. The town has the ability to raise revenues through fees. That is not legal for public schools. The town can choose to offer certain goods and services, similar to a business. A school cannot do that. Finally, a look at HB taxes will reveal that the tax rate is the highest in the town. But, looking one step further will also reveal that the spending per pupil is the lowest. An educated youth is not just a benefit for the kids and their parents. Our entire community and property wealth is dependent on it. " Jan 29, 17 9:54 PM

UPDATE: Hampton Bays Taxpayers Reject $9.9 Million Library Referendum

The schools do not have all day pre-K. There are 2 classrooms of two half-day sessions each. The costs associated with the program are paid for by the county and a NYS-grant expressly for the purpose of pre-k. The classes are not day-care, they are academic and developmentally-appropriate for social and emotional development. The curriculum is aligned to research on child and brain development. It is not daycare or play-time, and there are no naps." Apr 5, 17 4:01 PM

Cancelled Flight Dashes Disney Dream For Hampton Bays Marching Band

The school budget does not fund these trips. They are financed by the individual families and through a number of music-related fundraisers/concession stand type activities through the year. The students who participate in those (not all do), end up having their individual cost for the trip defrayed. " Apr 8, 17 7:24 AM

Hampton Bays Friendly's To Close Soon; Building Listed For Sale

The school district and taxpayers did not pay for the Disney trip. Participants paid their own way individually and through fundraisers. " Jul 21, 17 10:33 AM

Some School Districts See Low New Student Enrollment Numbers

Hampton Bays will have six Kindergarten classes this year, where previously the number was seven. There is a "bubble" that is moving through the system, so the district will see an increase of enrollment in the HS, but a stable (or slightly decreasing) enrollment in the aggregate. Birth rates also are directly correlated to enrollment and the Dept of Health has reported a consistent decline or stabilization. (not sure how long that will last). " Aug 30, 17 6:23 PM

Since 2011, the HB Schools has seen an increase in enrollment of 3.5% and a decrease in enrollment of 3.25%. HBProud, your evidence is anecdotal. " Aug 30, 17 8:23 PM

A decrease in parochial school enrollment of 3.25%. Excuse the typo. " Aug 30, 17 8:24 PM

A decrease in parochial school enrollment of 3.25%. Excuse the typo. " Aug 30, 17 8:24 PM

I have the numbers. In 2011, 166 kids attended parochial school. Today it's 160. Happy to discuss scores, as well. Enrollment decline has to do with lower birth rates, not as much withdrawals. HB Schools were blamed when enrollment was increasing and now HB Schools are blamed for decreasing enrollment. It's hard to make a goal when the goal post keeps moving.

Re the "dismal scores," those are point-in-time achievement scores. The state also releases growth scores (which Newsday doesn't report) and in those numbers, 91.6% of our teachers are rated Effective or Highly Effective. When you have kids who have great ground to make up, their growth becomes the important factor. I want achievement scores to always be higher. I work for it everyday, for my students and my own child. But I also live in my reality and in my reality, growth and making up ground takes time, multiple measures, and hard work. That resulted in a 91% 4-year graduation rate this year. The means are justified by the end. Happy to discuss further. hbLC-Lars Clemensen " Aug 30, 17 9:31 PM

The percent of HB kids attending parochial schools is: 7.6% in 2011 and 7.1% in 2017. " Aug 30, 17 9:35 PM

We respect the choices that parents make that they feel are the best fit for their children. This year, as in years past, we look forward to also welcoming a number of new enrollees from parochial schools. LC " Aug 30, 17 10:16 PM

The Council for American Private Education states that 10 percent of the student population in the United States attends a private school. " Aug 31, 17 12:03 AM

Thank you for the question, DFree. The current ESL population is 24%. That is up from about 13% when I first began. At the same time, 17% of AP-eligible students participated in at least one advanced placement, college-level course. Today, that number is 27% of eligible students. Hampton Bays has a student enrollment that spans the spectrum. Our trajectory and trends are not always a straight path. In 2006, the NYSED school report card cited a 77% four-year graduation rate; today that is 91.4%. While we have struggles and ground to make up in areas, and I am always honest about that, there is forward motion being made for kids in many important areas; one number doesn't always speak for itself. Regarding opt-outs, it's very difficult to draw a trend or conclusion when you have nearly 40% of the population not included in the measure. For that reason, we run multiple, other internal measures to assess achievement and growth. While we see the gaps closing, in literacy it's closing faster than in math and, for that reason, we have focused considerable effort on improving content in math mastery for kids and teachers, both existing and new hires. Again, thank you for the question. LC" Aug 31, 17 10:44 AM

Southampton Town Considering Creating Opioid Task Force To Combat Spread Of Drugs

Spank the town when they do nothing. Spank them when they do something.

Just by this ANONYMOUS chain, it's clear there are many issues related to solving the opioid epidemic. A group of people with varied experiences, willing to dedicate and volunteer their time to adding thoughts, experiences, and effort to the problem.

This ANONYMOUS blog should be the Task Force. They know everything already.

I was asked to serve on the task force and I'm going to. And I'm going to offer ideas and effort. Not sure that this bleed out on an ANONYMOUS blog offers much toward a solution. Other than saying those who are trying are stupid. Guess you win, ANONYMOUS bloggers.
" Oct 7, 17 5:54 PM

I'm actually not anonymous. I identified myself in a previous post on another article; I just haven't changed my initials." Oct 9, 17 6:39 PM

I definitely won't endeavor to wade into the waters that you mentioned, and on much of it, I do not disagree. My comments are purely focused on this issue and the potential task force. Political act? Maybe. No outcome to be expected? Perhaps. I hope though that those who are invited - health care, education, law enforcement, those who have overcome addiction or lost ones to it, and policy makers - can accomplish something. You're right - the issue is too important. Thanks for the perspective!" Oct 9, 17 6:41 PM

Company Wins $3 Million Bid To Replace Hampton Bays High School Roof

No, not heaven forbid. Roof and solar do not have to be done simultaneously. The district did not pursue solar until the plan for the roof was finalized with the intention that putting on solar only to take them off when we redid the roof was counter-intuitive. Now that it is time to replace the roof, the plan was sent to the state education department without solar due to the extensive (nearly two years) review process to get plans approved. The roof was the priority. At the same time, we are asking our energy partners to review the physical and economic conditions related to putting solar on the high school roof and the many factors involved. It's a false assumption to presume no thought or consideration was (or currently is) going into the project to maximize all economic and environmental benefits. Happy New Year. LC" Jan 17, 18 10:26 AM

DFree, your (incorrect) citation of my compensation package aside, you're assuming we did not pursue a PPA (power purchase agreement) with companies similar to Solar City. Attend a school board meeting and identify yourself as "DFree" and I will be happy to engage in this conversation. Again, for the anonymous posters in this swamp, I have identified myself. Your assumptions of what was and was not pursued are off-base and incorrect. You're asking that I pursue innovative energy and cost-savings agreements. Are you aware of the solar that exists on the MS roof? Are you aware of the Energy Performance work that went into all three buildings over the last few years that addressed insulation, lighting, solar energy (both capturing and omitting)? The 27 East Anonymous Water Cooler continues to be a place where it's fun to assume and assault from an anonymous parapet. That remains the tenor of 2018, a carryover from the last few years.

All of this said, the administration in Hampton Bays strives to be efficient. We don't take the lazy way out; we pursue options. And when those options don't work, for legal, economic, structural, or practical reasons, then they don't work.

Again, as I started, Happy New Year. LC" Jan 23, 18 11:36 PM

Local Group Will Pitch $25 Million Aquatic Center For Red Creek Park In Hampton Bays

A pool would be a destination for many, including those outside Hampton Bays. If mom is dropping her NCAA-bound swimmer at the pool for lessons and training and has two hours to kill, I hope that the Main Street Business District has enough to keep her occupied. A development project like this has my support if it has someone solely dedicated to marketing and redeveloping the downtown business district. While the swimmer swims, let mom spend some time and money in locally owned HB businesses. LC" Jan 31, 18 10:34 PM

Southampton Town Board Disbands Opioid Addiction Task Force

This is a TERRIBLE headline. The Town did not disband the Task Force and walk away. For those who made it to the 4th paragraph, you will read:

"After disbanding the group last week, the Town Board set up a new committee, called the Opioid Addiction and Recovery Committee."

A committee of dedicated individuals put themselves forward to continue the work and the Task Force has now become a permanent committee who will keep these conversations going and the work going forward. " Jul 17, 18 11:41 PM

Community Partners Work Together To Combat Sexual Violence In Hampton Bays

There are not specific incidents of sexual violence in Hampton Bays that rise to a climate or a trend. However, if there are incidents, school officials and others take the appropriate and immediate steps to address it and involve law enforcement, the family, mental health professionals, and Child Protective Services. The SHAPE Coalition is more aimed at getting to young people to help assess their mindsets, beliefs and attitudes about relationship health more holistically. From there, programming can be developed and executed based on the needs of the population. " Nov 19, 18 9:27 PM

On July 1, the NYS Board of Regents passed new standards for instruction. The Mental Health Literacy Standards include teaching kids about relationship health. For the school’s part, the data mentioned that is being reviewed will be used to tailor instruction to meet the state mandate and needs of our kids. Happy Thanksgiving! LC " Nov 20, 18 7:26 AM

Southampton Town Board Looks To Finalize Hampton Bays Overlay District

DFREE, I have watched your comments for a period of time now. Unfortunately, you’re misinformed on a number of topics. My wife does not work for, nor earn a dollar from the HB Schools; we do not have an energy consultant, nor do we pay for a private attorney to represent us in an eviction lawsuit. The nuances of this work are far beyond the comments you make here. Your opinions of me as “an educator” are what they are; I won’t attempt to rebut.

I won’t comment again here, but I invite you to contact me at 631/723-2100 and identify yourself as DFREE so that my assistant will know to prioritize an appointment with you. I would much rather have a face to face conversation with you. We both care about Hampton Bays, that’s obvious. Maybe there is common ground to be found.

A safe and respectful Memorial Day to you and yours.

Lars Clemensen
Superintendent of Schools
Hampton Bays UFSD " May 24, 19 11:23 PM

Bel-Aire Cove Motel Closing Depends On When Monthly Tenants Move Out

DFREE, I will re-iterate my request again to have a personal conversation. In my execution of the school budget, we are not looking to evict anyone, I can explain that nuance again that I have explained multiple times publicly.

We have more in common, in support of Hampton Bays, than we do not. Your conclusions of me are based on incomplete information. I’m certain that, after a face to face conversation, we would find we are more aligned than not in support of HB and ALL the people and kids who live here. Please call me at 631-723-2100 x5106. Let’s not be anonymous.

Lars Clemensen
Superintendent of Schools
Hampton Bays UFSD" Jun 4, 19 9:34 PM

Hampton Bays High School Partners With CPI Developers, St. Joseph's College For Hospitality Course

Dear Baymen87,

You are right; STEM careers and manufacturing jobs are also needed, especially given that they can provide jobs to sustain a middle class life here. We are also developing partnerships in those areas as well. With the new offshore wind project in development, we know that there will be a manufacturing need to support the supply chain for this massive project. Water quality issues are also a growth industry in this region. Hampton Bays also offers a robotics program, Computer Science Principles and opportunities to learn coding. We are also in discussions with the Workforce Development Institute on creating manufacturing partnerships in the K-12 world.

Since our economy runs on tourism from around the world, we envision creating food and beverage managers, leaders in the industry and individuals who can lead and manage some of these destinations.

In short, this is one element of our career readiness work that we do for our students who like and excel in this field. We work urgently to meet that need locally, as well.

Thank you for your comments.


Lars Clemensen
Superintendent of Schools" Aug 12, 19 10:26 AM

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