Springs School Staffers Have New Contract

    After two years of legal back and forth, more than two-dozen employees at Springs School have a collective bargaining agreement with the district. It was approved unanimously on Monday at a meeting of the Springs Board Education. Each member of the Civil Service Employees Association had similarly voted in favor of passage.
    The C.S.E.A. represents 26 school employees — each of the school’s teaching assistants, teacher’s aides, and nurses. Custodians and bus drivers are part of a separate bargaining unit, whose agreement is still being ashed out.
     “The C.S.E.A. leadership and the administration have worked very hard at the bargaining table to produce an agreement that is fair and just,” Kathee Burke Gonzalez, school board president, said on Monday. “It balances the contributions of our dedicated staff with the economic pressures facing our taxpayers.”
    The five-year agreement is retroactive and will last until June 30, 2015. It calls for a longer workday, an increase in each employee’s health insurance contribution, and a modest salary increase — 1.5 percent for each of the first four years of the agreement followed by an increase of 1.75 percent for the fifth and final year.
    In other matters at Monday’s meeting, Eric M. Casale, the Springs principal, discussed on the adoption of Common Core State Standards, a national set of learning benchmarks, which have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. With Springs students scheduled to take state exams beginning next week, Mr. Casale said it was “an anxiety-filled time.” By the 2014-15 academic year, the Common Core stipulates that all schools must administer online assessments — rather than paper-based versions — to track yearly student progress.
    The district recently received a $25,000 grant through State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle in this regard. It recently spent $23,280 from the grant to purchase 60 Chromebooks, a personal computer manufactured by Google, and $1,720 to fund Rachel’s Challenge, a character-building program that began earlier in the year. In addition, a $2,500 grant from the Hamptons Marathon went toward the purchase of other mobile learning devices.
    Also at the meeting, Mr. Casale announced that he had been selected to attend a summer training program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education on closing achievement gaps, and officials said plans were under way to build a new vestibule and access ramp at the front entrance of the building. Construction will take place over the summer so that student and faculty traffic will not be affected come September.
    The school has hired Jessica L. Datz to work as a special education teacher for a three-year probationary period beginning on April 15. She was one of 339 teachers who applied to fill the vacancy.
    The fourth and final district budget work session will be held in the school’s common room on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.