Recent Stories: Education

Amanda M. Fairbanks
November 26, 2014
Antonia Alvarez proudly boasts of a daughter with big dreams for her future. Madison has her sights set on becoming a doctor — specifically, a pediatrician.

Earlier this fall, The East Hampton Star embarked on a project to spend time in a kindergarten classroom at the John M. Marshall Elementary School, chronicling how the year takes shape with personalities and interests just beginning to form. Though the idea was initially approved, the district withdrew its cooperation shortly after the publication of the first installment, citing concerns about privacy, security, and the potential for distraction.

Amanda M. Fairbanks
November 20, 2014
Since March, a group of very young students and their parents have participated in free workshops, making art and expanding the cultural center’s reach far beyond its annual summer gala.

Last week at the Watermill Center, just as dusk approached, a dozen dancers clad in black pants, black turtlenecks, and black socks were warming up, effortlessly moving through various ballet positions, from demi-plié to grand plié and back again.

As they moved, 10 families entered the room with young children in tow, all stunned into silence as classical music by Jordi Saval, a Spanish conductor and composer, played in the background.

Star staff
November 20, 2014

CMEE, Sima, and a Ballerina

Finger painting is always fun, but when you make your own finger paints it’s even better, and on Saturday at 10 a.m. kids 2 to 6 can do just that at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton. After mixing the paints, they will create their own masterpieces. The cost is $15, including museum admission, or $10 for members. On Sunday at the museum, Sima will read stories about fall at 11:30 a.m. The story time is free with museum admission.

Amanda M. Fairbanks
November 20, 2014

The East Hampton School Board convened a nearly two-hour education forum on Tuesday night, during which it explored the possibility of expanding its technology programs while facing lean financial times.

Richard Burns, the superintendent, explained that the district has cut $5 million in recent years since the imposition of the statewide 2-percent tax cap, while also adding classes in robotics, computer programming, and coding. But he foresees another challenging year ahead, with “probably a $600,000 increase budget to budget.

Janis Hewitt
November 20, 2014

For many years, the Montauk Public School has had a lenient attendance policy. School administrators recognized that since the hamlet is a seasonal resort, families often cannot take vacations in summer and do so instead during the winter months. Some vacationing families have used the time before and after school holidays to take extended trips, which adds to the number of school days their children miss.

Star staff
November 13, 2014

For Girls’ Empowerment

Teenage girls from across the East End have been invited to attend the Girls Health, Wellness, and Empowerment Conference on Saturday at Riverhead High School. The conference, which will run from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., will focus on motivating young women to take control of their health, fitness, and general well-being, encouraging them to “become strong leaders, employees, or entrepreneurs.”

Amanda M. Fairbanks
November 13, 2014

Following more than eight years of legal back-and-forth, the East Hampton School District’s ongoing battle with Sandpebble Builders will finally get its day in court. During Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Richard Burns, the superintendent, announced that a trial is set to begin on May 4.

“It’s the earliest date available based on courts, witnesses, and attorneys’ schedules,” he said. The board had previously expected the trial to begin later this fall. “It’s out of our control. It is what it is.”

Star staff
November 6, 2014

Recycled Art Extravaganza

The Parrish Art Museum’s annual fall festival on Sunday will be a recycled art extravaganza. The fun begins at 10:30 a.m., when Steven and William Ladd, whose exhibition “Mary Queen of the Universe” is at the museum through January, work with families to make scrolls from bits of discarded fabric.

Bash the Trash will lead visitors in making musical instruments from recycled materials, or attendees can make woven artworks inspired by “Alan Shields: In Motion,” another museum exhibition.

Star staff
October 30, 2014

The East Hampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force is sponsoring a student film contest for 3rd through 12th graders. Films must be between three and five minutes long and should address one of three topics: anti-bullying, diversity, or accepting others. Projects can be done individually or as a group. All who participate will receive a certificate giving them five hours of community service credits.

Amanda M. Fairbanks
October 30, 2014
Parents of East Hampton High School students received an automated phone call yesterday morning informing them that the school had been evacuated after administrators discovered a threatening message scrawled on a bathroom mirror.

Parents of East Hampton High School students received an automated phone call yesterday morning informing them that the school had been evacuated after administrators discovered a threatening message scrawled on a bathroom mirror.

Although the school said the threat did not appear to be credible, police conducted a thorough search of the building. Around 10:45 a.m., conditions were deemed safe and students returned to class.

Star staff
October 30, 2014

For Day of the Dead

The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, will be celebrated on Saturday at La Fondita in Amagansett, where kids can decorate paper skulls, play games, and enjoy some traditional Mexican treats from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The rain date is Sunday.

Taylor K. Vecsey
October 30, 2014

East Hampton High School was evacuated yesterday morning around 9 a.m. after a threat was discovered written on a bathroom mirror. Students were allowed to return to class about an hour and 45 minutes later after police and school officials searched the school.

“Police and staff at the school have deemed it to be safe,” said Town Police Capt. Chris Anderson. He declined to provide the details of the message, but called it “a very nonspecific threat.”

Amanda M. Fairbanks
October 23, 2014

Emotions ran high during a two-hour Springs School Board meeting on Monday night, during which time a recent state comptroller’s audit was discussed at length. Auditors concluded that Springs had accumulated an unrestricted fund balance nearly four times the allowable amount.

By 2012-13, the unrestricted fund balance, or rainy day fund, had ballooned to $3.8 million, or nearly 15 percent of the $25 million budget. State law requires that such funds be limited to 4 percent.

Star staff
October 23, 2014

Backpack Adventure

Most of the fun for kids this week is of the Halloween variety, but those looking for something else may find it at the South Fork Natural History Museum on Saturday, when Crystal Possehl leads kids 8 to 12 on a backpack adventure in the Vineyard Field behind the Bridgehampton museum. Kids will use binoculars, magnifiers, a compass, and other outdoor tools to observe and record their findings starting at 10 a.m. Reservations have been requested.

 

For Future Baby Sitters

Star staff
October 23, 2014

Looking ahead, the Family Service League will sponsor a free, all-day workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at Springs Presbyterian Church on Old Stone Highway in East Hampton. Titled Positive Parenting with a Plan, parents and professionals have been  invited to discuss such topics as children’s emotional well-being, strengthening families, and establishing a collaborative environment for addressing children’s issues. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Amanda M. Fairbanks
October 23, 2014

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the East Hampton School Board approved environmental assessments for the construction of new security vestibules at the front entrances of each of the district’s three schools.

“We’re upgrading the entrances to all three buildings,” said Jackie Lowey, a board member. “It’s part of the security audit that was discussed during executive session. This is the result of those conversations.”

Amanda M. Fairbanks
October 23, 2014
Though passionate and close-knit, the number of South Fork families who home-school their children is tiny, particularly when compared to the number of children enrolled in local public schools.

In the immediate hours after her house burned down last month, and once she and her children were safely being treated at Southampton Hospital, Judi Bistrian said her thoughts quickly turned to a Parrish Art Museum field trip that she and her two children had planned to attend.

“We were supposed to be getting ready for the Parrish, and I realized we weren’t going to make it,” Ms. Bistrian said.

Janis Hewitt
October 16, 2014

The Montauk Teachers Association issued a letter to the school board on Tuesday asking that the district take a tougher stance on its attendance policy. Students who take extended vacations often fall behind and struggle to keep up with their classmates, said Laura Schilling, a special education teacher.

After the meeting, teachers said that the stakes are higher now, since the state has imposed standardized testing, known as the Common Core, which the Montauk teachers have embraced, unlike many others statewide.

Amanda M. Fairbanks
October 16, 2014

Parents and school administrators were on high alert Tuesday afternoon, following news that Southampton Elementary School would shutter its doors for a thorough cleaning yesterday after one of its students had come down with enterovirus.

A letter from Scott Farina, the district’s superintendent, said that the student did not have enterovirus 68, a pernicious strain of an otherwise common virus that causes respiratory distress — and whose rapid and sudden onset is a particular threat to infants, children, and teenagers.

Star staff
October 16, 2014

Jack-o-Lantern Time

And suddenly it’s pumpkin-carving time again. Carve them too soon and they’re rotten by Halloween. Wait too long and what’s the point? On Wednesday, the East Hampton Library will provide all the materials for a carving session for kids 4 and older from 4 to 5 p.m. That includes stencils and a “safety carving kit,” not to mention battery-operated tea lights to make it glow.

Christopher Walsh
October 16, 2014

Citing concerns about privacy, security, and potential distraction, the East Hampton School District has withdrawn cooperation in a planned series of articles in The East Hampton Star that would have profiled kindergarten students at the John M. Marshall Elementary School over the course of the school year.

Star staff
October 9, 2014

Creature Camouflage

On Sunday at 10 a.m. at the South Fork Natural History Museum in Bridgehampton, Melanie Meade will lead a program for 3 to 6-year-olds on how animals camouflage themselves in nature. Kids will play an outdoor game and then do a craft inside. Advance sign-up has been requested.

 

Rocket Day

Amanda M. Fairbanks
October 4, 2014
Update: According to Kerri S. Stevens, Monday's board meeting to interview candidates was cancelled. No further information was available.

Update Monday, 11:02 a.m.: According to Kerri S. Stevens, the East Hampton district clerk, Monday's board meeting to interview candidates has been cancelled. No further information was available.

Three East Hampton residents are vying for an open seat on the East Hampton School Board.

According to Kerri Stevens, the district clerk, Charla Bikman, Stephen Grossman, and Deme Minskoff submitted their paperwork earlier this week. The deadline was Wednesday.

Christopher Walsh
October 2, 2014

The East Hampton Library’s children’s addition, which opened in June, has paid immediate dividends in the form of a marked increase in participation in its children’s summer