Few people attended Tuesday night's school board meeting. Photo: Dawn Bozuhoski

At a short and poorly attended Riverhead Board of Education meeting Tuesday night [watch full meeting video below], Superintendent Nancy Carney congratulated the newly elected Board of Education members. Amelia Lantz and Laurie Downs will be sworn in for a July 1 start, while incumbent Christopher Dorr, who polled third in the May 17 vote tally, will resign his seat to to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Lori Hulse. She left the board Dec. 31 to assume the position of Riverhead town justice. Dorr will be seated for the unexpired portion of Hulse’s term, which expires June 30, 2017.

“I think that it really says terrific things about our community that we had six people step forward to volunteer to sit on the board,” Carney said. “Many communities are struggling to get candidates to sit on their boards. I think it’s a testament to the involvement of the community,” she said.

Following a question by Sal Mastropaolo of Calverton, Carney confirmed that Dorr will have to officially resign from his previous term which would have expired June 30.

“That will be on the next agenda, this was already set,” Carney responded.

Former candidate advocates for return of nine periods
Former BOE candidate Greg Fischer asked the board to consider reinstating a nine-period day at the high school. Fisher said the district’s dropout rate is high and graduation rate is low. Other schools have been able to improve performance with nine-period days.

“Bay Shore, for example, who spends about as much as we do per student, was able to improve their statistics with nine periods instead of eight periods,” Fisher noted, adding “before we get into the new school year I was wondering if that could be something that the board could discuss.”

“I was hoping the board would consider this solution that Bay Shore has, as well they are able to, within their budget constraints, constraints similar to our constraints, to provide some of the core courses in Spanish, so that the kids that are struggling with ESL issues are not having to learn English and the course work, agenda items at the same time,” Fischer explained, adding that he was available to discuss the matter privately with the board.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

• accepted the official results of the May 17 election, in which the budget proposition passed 1,635 to 948 and the election of trustees with the following results (including 126 absentee ballots):

Amelia Lantz – 1,305
Laurie Downs – 1,217
Christopher Dorr – 1,210
Thomas Kruger – 1,129
Gregory Fischer – 977
Bradford Harnig – 618

• authorized the issuance of tax anticipation notes in a principal amount not to exceed $21 million, in anticipation of real property taxes to be collected in the current school year. The notes are paid off as property taxes are collected and paid to the district.

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