Amanda M. Fairbanks previously worked in the editorial department of The New York Times and covered higher education for The Huffington Post. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The Hechinger Report, Education Week. A graduate of Smith College, she spent two years at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Sag Harbor with her husband and two young children.
The East Hampton Star
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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.
Paddlers for Humanity, an East Hampton-based nonprofit organization, has donated more than $80,000 to help fund youth mental health programs during the coming year at a handful of local schools.
During tight budgetary times, when many districts are being asked to do more with less, the money will help ensure that access to mental health programs not only continues, but expands.
At a sparsely attended meeting Tuesday night, the East Hampton School Board discussed enrollment, programs for English language learners, and went over plans to fill the open seat on the board and school lunches, as it had at its last meeting, Sept. 2.
During Monday night’s Springs School Board meeting, the board swiftly tackled business related to the start of school.
Eric Casale, the principal, provided updated enrollment numbers. As of last week, 735 students were enrolled in prekindergarten to grade eight, with 26 more currently being registered. At 761 students, such an enrollment would put Springs at 25 more students than at the start of school last year, and 70 more students than two years ago.
The East Hampton School Board had a full agenda Tuesday night, one that could be said to have gone from soup to nuts, just hours before the start of the new school year. Of particular interest were announcements that it had decided to appoint someone to fill the vacancy on the board left by Patricia Hope’s surprise resignation in July, that it would be posting a security guard at each of the three district schools, and that it had come up with a way to prompt those parents with outstanding balances for their children’s lunches to pay up.
At East Hampton High School, for the second year in a row, two girls have been named valedictorian and salutatorian. Georgia Bennett is valedictorian and Cameron DiGate is salutatorian. They are cousins. Georgia will play the lead in next month's production of "Grease" and was also the valedictorian of her eighth-grade class at the East Hampton Middle School. Cameron is a student council representative and a varsity field hockey player. Come September, Georgia is headed to Northwestern University, while Cameron is undecided.