At the Springs School, the hunt for a new assistant principal continues.
During Monday night’s school board meeting, Dominic Mucci, the district’s superintendent, updated audience members concerning the administrative opening — a position that has gone unfilled since its previous occupant resigned in early May.
“We’ve received 166 applications for the position and we’ve gone through them once, twice, and three times. We’re not time-binding ourselves to say we have to have someone here by Sept.1,” Mr. Mucci said.
“We’re still on the hunt, but we haven’t found that match as of yet,” he said.
In early May, Katherine Byrnes resigned from her position as assistant principal. Dr. Byrnes, who was hired for a three-year probationary period a year ago at an annual salary of $120,000, not including benefits, oversaw special education, managed issues related to discipline, and evaluated teachers, among other duties. Louis Aiello, a former Springs administrator, has stepped in to fill her duties since she left.
Dr. Byrnes’s resignation coincided with a troubled time for the school. Less than a week after she left, the school reported that it had turned over information to the Testing Integrity Unit of the New York State Education Department concerning a possible irregularity related to a recent state assessment. The district has not said which staff member was implicated, and a final report has yet to be released.
Filling the assistant principal’s position has proved more difficult than some had initially hoped. Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, the former board president, said in an earlier statement that the school leadership was confident that it would will have the position filled by Aug. 1.
In other news, Eric Casale, the principal, discussed the school’s performance on the most recent New York State assessment, the first set of tests tied to the Common Core, a new, national set of learning benchmarks intended to promote higher-order critical thinking. At Monday night’s meeting, about eight audience members were present. Two board members, Timothy Frazier and Jeffrey Miller, were absent.
“Like every other district, when the scores came out, we were disappointed,” said Mr. Casale.
“But I’m confident in our program here and we’ve made tremendous strides and we will continue to make efforts. We do have a long way to go, but I am confident that we will continue to make progress in the years ahead,” he said.
With the start of school approaching, Mr. Casale said that enrollment is up. Come Sept. 9, he anticipates that about 712 students will walk through the front doors — roughly 40 more than at the same time last year. The increase, Mr. Casale said, is evenly distributed from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. In the meantime, improvements to the both the interior and exterior of the buildings and grounds are under way.