Updating Math and Security

    The Amagansett School Board voted unanimously to hire a consultant to develop a new math curriculum that will best prepare students for state tests.
    At its first meeting of 2013, on Tuesday evening, the board agreed to enter into an agreement with the Great Neck Math Enrichment Center. A consultant will analyze existing curriculums for all grades and identify strengths and weaknesses in mathematics; identify areas that require further staff development; collaborate with the superintendent, principal, and teachers to understand existing curriculum alignment as well as integration of current regulations; integrate topics in newly designed curriculum guides for grades three to six; examine existing resources and make recommendations regarding their integration in the newly designed guides, and deliver newly designed guides to the district and make adjustments based on feedback received.
    For this, the consultant will be paid $1,500 per day for a total of 21 days. The consultant, said Eleanor Tritt, the district superintendent, has proposed meeting with teachers to see what resources they are using at present and develop a coherent kindergarten through sixth-grade math curriculum. The consultant’s expertise in the state’s direction with regard to math curriculums will be valuable, Ms. Tritt said. “This will also contribute to staff development,” she added.
    “I think we would benefit from bringing in someone from outside,” Mary Lownes, a board member, said.
    Ms. Tritt also discussed with the board a number of changes made to the school’s security protocol. “A great deal of attention has been paid to what we need to do, what would be best for us,” she said. These changes include nametags for family members when they are onsite, and placement of a cart in the vestibule on which things to be delivered to students, faculty, or administrators will be left in order to limit visitors to the school. Everyone will be required to enter through the front door, Ms. Tritt said, and the door handles will be changed to allow doors to be locked from the inside while still allowing security personnel to enter.
    School officials will be meeting with a security company today, Ms. Tritt said, that will provide a preliminary assessment of the school’s security. A lockdown practice will be held next Thursday. Police officers will attend, and no one will be allowed to enter or leave during the lockdown. Parents will be notified of the drill, said the superintendent.
    In other news, the sixth grade is doing an excellent job interviewing alumni for the school’s “Then and Now” project, Ms. Tritt reported. Hugh King, East Hampton’s town crier, was due to visit the school this week as part of the project, and the board has set a tentative date of May 8 to present it. “Kids and alumni are loving it,” Ms. Tritt said.