Grant Earmarked for Tech

    Just as the skies opened up Monday night, the Springs School Board convened its monthly meeting. About a dozen audience members sat through an unusually concise session. John Grant, the board’s vice president, presided. Elizabeth Mendelman, the board’s president, was away.

    Mr. Grant said the main focus of a recent board retreat was how best to improve communication between the district and parents. The board promised to ensure better Web site management and disseminate a forthcoming survey to gauge parent preferences.

    John Finello, the newly appointed district superintendent, explained that school districts must routinely subject their finances to an external audit. As a result, Alexandra Battaglia, a partner with R.S. Abrams & Co., an Islandia accounting firm, presented her findings. Ms. Battaglia said that Springs had a “healthy fund balance” and was “fully funded with their reserves.” The audit also found “no significant deficiencies.”

    In addition, Eric Casale, the school’s principal, offered updated enrollment figures. As of last week, the Springs School enrolled 723 students in prekindergarten to grade eight, with 250 students at East Hampton High School. In all, the district has 1,031 enrollees — or about 21 more students than at the same time last year. Pre-K enrollment has remained about the same.

    In other news, the board voted to grant Jessica Vickers, a reading teacher, tenure.

    Also Monday night, Mr. Finello said that Springs had recently received a $50,000 open grant through State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle. Last year, the school received a $25,000 grant, also for general purpose, from his office.

    Concerning the grant money, Mr. Casale said that he planned to consult with the technology committee to increase capabilities, particularly the use of Google Chromebooks in many classrooms — an expansion he hopes to facilitate among the lower grades.

    Before adjourning for the night, Pat Brabant, a parent of three at Springs, expressed concern about the increasing caseload of the school’s part-time social worker and psychologist. “We talk about bullying and it’s not being addressed,” he said. “We need a full-time person.”

    Dennis Donatutti, a Springs resident and former administrator, urged increased outreach to the Latino community, whose numbers have swelled in recent years. “In a school that’s more than 50 percent Hispanic, what are we doing as a district to more actively involve the Hispanic community in the education process?” he asked.