Closing the Year on a Positive Note

    Congratulations to graduates and gratitude to teachers and the PTA were offered by Eleanor Tritt, the district superintendent of the Amagansett School, at the school board’s meeting on Tuesday morning.

    “We had a very wonderful closing of the school year,” Ms. Tritt told the board. “Thanks to the teachers for orchestrating a great end of the year. The PTA has continuously supported our school programs and faculty, and we thank them for everything they do. All in all, we had a very wonderful end-of-year-activities celebration.”

    Mary Lownes of the board said that the many Amagansett students graduating from East Hampton Middle School and East Hampton High School were a testament to the Amagansett School and its effectiveness in preparing students for their subsequent education.

    Ms. Tritt told the board that teachers are evaluating mathematics textbooks and testing materials from Singapore Math Inc. for grades three, four, and five. “The teachers tend to feel that Singapore Math is probably the series they would like to go with,” she said. “Singapore Math seems to have a practice for the students that follows a more logical progression.”

    The program, she said, is well established and has consistently delivered positive results. She told the board that the GO Math! program, which she said is in use at East Hampton schools, is also under review, and that a recommendation would be made to the board once more information has been received from the publishers.

Canning the Calendar?

    Also considered was a change to the school calendar that is traditionally printed and mailed to parents each year. Citing the cost of printing a color calendar, Ms. Tritt asked board members how they felt about ending the practice in favor of putting the calendar online. This, she said, would also streamline the process of creating and issuing the calendar, allowing it to be updated in real time. In addition, changes could also be issued in hard copy and mailed to parents, she said.

    “Mine was like my bible when my kids were here,” Victoria Smudzinski, a board member, said. The physical calendar, she said, was “a handy tool to have.”

    It was very useful, agreed John Hossenlopp, the board’s president.

    Ms. Tritt suggested an approach in which an abbreviated version would be printed and issued, and other content, such as plans and policies, posted online.

The Auditors Cometh

    The school’s auditors recently visited the school and will return in August, Ms. Tritt said. Ms. Lownes, who leads the board’s audit committee, reported on the committee’s meeting. “I think our house is in order,” she said. “We’ll be meeting again in September to go over the findings. If there’s anything that they find in the midst of it I’ll get a call, but we don’t anticipate that.”

    Ms. Lownes praised the “meticulous record-keeping” of Cheryl Bloecker, the district clerk. “Even though the state demands everything online, auditors still have to touch everything,” she said. “We have to keep all those files going, and they can go back many years. . . . Each time they come, they hit different areas, just to make sure that our house is in order.”

    The board also authorized Roxanne Ecker, the treasurer, to transfer $74,348 from the workers’ compensation reserve fund to the general fund for the purpose of payment to the East End Workers’ Compensation program.

    “Our expenses have exceeded the premiums we’ve been paying,” Ms. Tritt said. “The fund has notified us that we have several options: either to pay this $74,348 [in] excess expenses over what we paid,” or “to increase the premium that we pay over the next few years.” The latter option, however, would impact the budget, she said.

    “The purpose of reserves is to cover an amount such as this, so I recommend that it would be prudent to pay this amount. Hopefully, if at any point there are excess funds, we would try to replenish that.”