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Unofficial Vote Puts Nesconset Elementary on Chopping Block

In an unofficial Citizens Advisory Committee vote, Nesconset Elementary and the Princeton Plan would be eliminated.

An unofficial vote by the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Smithtown Central School District resulted in a decision to close Nesconset Elementary and eliminate the Princeton Plan, a plan to group students in schools by grade and not by neighborhood, according to a Times Beacon Record report.

To close the budget gap for the upcoming school year, the committee looked at all nine elementary schools in the district, eliminating seven from possible closing leaving two schools – Nesconset Elementary and Mills Pond Elementary.

, showing up at public school board meetings en masse, wearing the school colors.

Nesconset Elementary parents are no strangers to public displays to urge the district to keep the school open, dating back to the , where three elementary schools were discussed for possible closure – Nesconset Elementary, Branch Brook Elementary and Dogwood Elementary.

The during the Feb. 8 regular meeting.

Ken Heard December 30, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Thank you, Second Opinion. One favors teachers, the other administrators. They are both very bright , but trapprd in NIMBY- land.
Pam December 30, 2011 at 02:33 PM
@second opinion-If you read all of motherhubbards comments it would most likely be T Knox. She always corrects people on who and whom-lol. Remember folks both Terri and Gladys voted on the contracts that we've been stuck with for the past decade. But everyone must remember our district is not unique- all districts are dealing with the fallout of the 2% cap, due to the generous promises made by local BoE's over the past decade-I know no one in the private sector that recieved an avg of 7-8% annual salary increases each and every year for the past decade. Most on the BoE do not do the math to figure out how much their promises will cost their communities in the long run. Why? Because it is their fiefdom and that is all that defines them. Term limits are needed for the BoE positions and that means independent community members must run for these positions- not wives of CPA's connected to public schools, not former BOCES employees or former SCSD employees that were paid well over 156,000.00 the year they retired and voted into office. Is anyone even paying attention to all the happenings in Albany?? You should- even Albany knows we (as a State) are no longer delivering a good education to our children. In the 60's, 70's and 80's NY was one of the best States to educate your child-now we are struggling to stay around #34. That should be everyones concern.
Ken Heard December 30, 2011 at 03:43 PM
MotherHubbard; Flattening step increases still means increases. In your mind , a 6% salary increase rather than 8% is a union giveback . A giveback is a freeze on all salary and benefit increases for a full five years. See above for half a dozen reforms that I recommend be considered
Taxed Out December 30, 2011 at 07:36 PM
What source are you using to get the 8% salary increase from?
Argile December 30, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Just got off the phone with Smithtown property tax dept. and my taxes just went up by $540!! Oh, and guess where almost all of it went? That's right, the school district. And these scumbags have the nerve to close a school down after all the money they get?
Ken Heard December 30, 2011 at 08:35 PM
2005-2010 Contract, starting on page 71. There are 18 step increases, higher increases with advanced degrees, and annual increases within the steps themselves. Also, the Empire center lists the salaries for all administrators and teachers. Over 100 earn more than $120,000 per year and scores more earn overt $100,000 annually
Candyee December 30, 2011 at 08:37 PM
My taxes also went up over $500 ..
Ken Heard December 30, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Welcome to our Putin-style faux democracy !!!
Argile December 30, 2011 at 08:42 PM
Yet Smithtown will be closing a school, there will be no layoffs, no concessions from the scumbag teachers union and yet our property taxes will continue to skyrocket. Is it just me or is something disturbingly wrong with this picture?
Candyee December 30, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Nothing will change . Is this anything new? Did anyone really believe it would?
Taxed Out December 30, 2011 at 10:08 PM
@Ken - So the 8% you mention is the max (8.09%), 3.93% for an average, and 2.76% as the min and that is without a contract. I'd be happy with that as my raise, even the minimum one.
One Opinion December 30, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Where were all you people last year when the school district put out a budget with a 4.9% increase in school taxes! Seriously the people in this town just like to complain and nobody wants to understand what is going on. To those who say they don't have time to go to a BOE meeting that is BS. I pay $7000.00 a year in school taxes and I make sure I undertand what's happening whether I agree with it or not. Didn't anyone pay attention when they voted on last years school budget! This tax increase should not have been a surprise to anyone who even read a newspaper!
john December 30, 2011 at 10:40 PM
MotherHubbard How about when Joe or Lou asked the administration if they can get a powerpoint from Northport school district and Joanne McEnroy told them they should makeup the powerpoint themselves. This is one thing I was referring to. Also, my comments regarding the cost of the buses the figure being used was supplied by Mary Augugliaro (a district employee in charge of buses) and because she said it will cost $1,100,000 a year we should believe it. I'm not convinced of that figure is acurate especially since this is the same employee that has done presentations in the past that were not acurate such as the savings we would have saved by increased walkers (but thats a whole other discussion)
One Opinion December 30, 2011 at 10:46 PM
@Ken, Second Opinion can you clarify those statemenst. Ken, you have made mistatements regarding this district and well as factually incorect hypothesis. I believe there are many changes that should be implememted in this distrcit. Sometimes I think the BOE is treated unfairly and other times the administration gets a bad wrap. Ken, please give me your example of my "NIMBY-land" ideas. Second Opinion, what the hell are you even talking about? Defend my position? Have you ever ever bother to read through an entire thread of comments?
One Opinion December 30, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Pam it would have been nice to see you on the BOE. These are topics that never seem to even get brought up by our current group. I was glad to read you were in the running for the open seat.
john December 30, 2011 at 11:23 PM
One Opinion, What did you expect some of these people are the same people who didn't understand the bus referendum. I would love not to complain but unfortunately I complain because I do know whats going on and I think that Smithtown district has some serious problems that this administration has not dealt with well at all. I also think that term limits should be set and that T. Knox and G. Waldron are part of the problem because of the prior year contracts that they have voted for and are forcing people to leave this area. Also there is a difference between approving a budget that truly helps kids succeed and one that keeps giving employees and administration more, and one that doesn't do there job effectively (b/c if they did we would have had checks and balances and would not have lost the $11mil in state aid) If we were really helping our kids the college readiness rate would be higher. Our drug problems would be dealt with. Our special education children wouldn't go to three and four elementary schools but would have consistency. Unfortuately this district does not seem to care about the kids any longer its all about employees and there is not a lot of accountability.
One Opinion December 31, 2011 at 12:07 AM
@SCSDDAD I know, you are right. I don't know why I am always surprised. However, I have to say that I disagree on your opionion regarding Special Education. The district has created very good programs for special need children by housing them together with other students based similiar needs. It allows for more resourses to be used for children with specific requirements. I know a few parents who have children in special needs programs and they are very happy with what the district provides.
Ken Heard December 31, 2011 at 02:30 AM
One opinion: You appear to favor the administration over teachers. The administrators are the same people who lost $13 million dollars in state aid, opened a budget gap of $16 million dollars, and increased school taxes this year by $400 to $500 dollars. Your own words : sometimes " the administration gets a bad rap" Mother Hubbard strongly defends the teachers. You both defend your own turf - your own backyard. The funny thing is you're both right. Both administrators and union have district residents marching a dolorous march down the road to perdition. Finally to One Opinion,, thank you for directly me to the 2005-2010 contract.
Ken Heard December 31, 2011 at 02:54 AM
Semantics is an interesting game. If you can control the language, you can alter perceptions. Example : Above, I said "closing schools" You said "reducing excess building capacity" . To the people who live in Nesconset, their soon to be closed school is not "excess capacity. It is a part of their lives and their children's lives. You paint a picture of an obsolete monolith overrun by sagebrush and prairie dogs. The community will be diminished by its absence. We would not be having this discussion if the administration didn't sink the district into a $16 million dollar budget gap. Their are two ways to close this gap community givebacks or union givebacks. Closing a well respected and beloved school is a community giveback, as are reduced school bus services, curtailment of certain sports and other extracurricular activities, etc. What about union givebacks ? The silence is deafening
Argile December 31, 2011 at 03:35 AM
Do you really think taxes will go down if the budget fails? You can't possible be that naive. If the budget fails the only thing that will change is services to the children will be cut. Nothing will change on the teachers/admistrative end. No union concessions, no layoffs, etc. Want proof? It's happening right now with all the budget cuts. It's so predictable that who really needs to go to a BOE meeting.
One Opinion December 31, 2011 at 03:22 PM
@ROBKOZ No, I do not believe taxes will go down if the budegt fails. My point is that it should not have been a surprise. The school taxes are going to go up another 2% next year too. In the long run the school district will loose money as more people are disgusted, grieve their taxes and the assesment rolls go down. My point is people need to understand that a good part of these tax increases is a direct result of the generous contracts that the district agreed too five years ago. That is why it is so important to pay attention to what is happening now with the STA negotiations.
Carla December 31, 2011 at 03:57 PM
@OneOpinion And who were the 7 board members who approved the generous contracts 5 years ago? They should be held accountable, just as the current board is accountable for everything the administration does or doesn't do.
Ken Heard December 31, 2011 at 05:18 PM
If a person is dying from a terminal illness, he doesn't have to understand the disease to know it is killing him. Understanding the medical condition doesn't delay the inevitable. Likewise, going to board meetings may help you understand why your taxes are increasing, but it doesn't delay the inevitable increase in school taxes. Pinning the blame for hefty school tax increases on failure for community residents to attend board meetings makes no sense. Active community support for pro community control of the school board is the answer. That is, a school board that answers to the interests of the residents, not the union. Everybody knows who the pro-union members are. It will also take the support of the two local newspapers - the News and the Times to detail ,step by step, the overly generous benefits enjoyed by union members and endorse BOE candidates who will stand up to the STA
MJH January 01, 2012 at 04:38 AM
The district has created special classes that meet the individual needs of those students because it is mandated law. But to SCSD dads comment referring to some students being placed in up to 3 or 4 different elementary schools (including summer services) is a practice that does occur in this district. Just look at the Children’s Autism Program housed at SJE. That program will be moved when a school closes. That means the average student in that program will have at least 3 moves prior to middle school. If you look at NYSEDs 200.6 Continuum of Services, those children that are being placed in the 3rd, 4th, 5th grade groupings do not all have similar needs. It’s impossible. What you would expect from a 3rd grader behaviorally and emotionally is much different than what is expected from a 5th grader. Maybe reading levels may be similar in some cases, but unless we are delivering an updated SSRS as a formal assessment to all those students (which we are not) then we truly do not know if we are within the 36 month state mandated range. I also would like to add that I want to meet a teacher who can implement a 3rd grade curriculum, a 4th grade curriculum, and a 5th grade curriculum with fidelity. Implementing 3 curriculums in one classroom is a practice this district needs to stop. I am glad that a few parents are very happy, but I would love to know about the other parents of the 1400 classified students.
john January 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM
MotherHubbard Do you remember when Joe and Lou asked the administration if they can get a powerpoint from Northport school district and Joanne McEnroy told them they should makeup the powerpoint themselves. Now do you remember hearingthat interaction or are you going to make believe you didn't read this.
john January 04, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Caria There's 2 board members left from back then Ms Waldron and Ms Knox
john January 04, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Even though the CAC voted to close Nesconset 20 FOR, 7 AGAINST AND 1 OTHER the vote to relocate NYA offices to empty clasrooms was 26 FOR, 1 AGAINST AND 1 OTHER. The adminatration won't do this because they think they are more important than the students
Ken Heard January 04, 2012 at 07:32 PM
@scsddad Moral: Accepting change is easy, so long as someone else has to accept it !!!!
Pam January 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Business Affairs meeting tonight at 7 pm-numbers are starting to be put together.
MotherHubbard January 05, 2012 at 04:54 AM
SCSDad - why would I "pretend not to read" a post? Yes, I do remember a version of that. I didn't take from it what you did, but that's not a surprise, right? I'm not clear how a Northport PPT would be particularly helpful to the Smithtown community.

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