Catching Up with the Haldane School Board

Highlights from recent meetings

■ The Haldane school board heard a report that noted that the academic year began with about 75 elementary students learning remotely but that fewer than 20 remained by March. Teachers said that, as at the middle and high school levels, remote learning had a more negative impact in math than other subjects. (April 6)

■ Dismissed assistant football coach Kyle Sticca. (April 6)

■ Accepted a gift of $1,400 from the Haldane School Foundation to purchase outdoor desks for the elementary school. (April 20)

■ Accepted a $13,500 bid from Plastering by Nicholas for repairs in the auditorium/gymnasium. (May 18)

■ Approved a one-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the Haldane Administrators Association through June 30, 2022, that provides for annual merit raises of up to 2.5 percent. In addition, each union member as of June 30, which includes three principals and the director of pupil personnel services (but not the newly hired athletic director, who started July 1, or the superintendent, who has his own contract), will receive a one-time payment of $2,000. In an email, Superintendent Philip Benante wrote: “It is impossible to adequately address through monetary compensation the additional time our administrators spent managing a complicated year, which often included contact tracing in the late evening hours and weekends and limitations to take time off to be with their families during the holidays. The stipend serves as somewhat of an acknowledgement that this past year was very different from any other and the importance of steady leadership in what was a difficult time for our schools.” (May 18)

■ Approved a policy to allow teachers to cover the vision panels in their doors during an emergency as needed to “ensure an adequate safe zone” and authorized district employees “to temporarily block doors to slow the access of an intruder in an emergency so long as the means used to block the door do not require any special information or ability to allow egress so that occupants can leave the building quickly in such circumstances.” (May 18)

■ Awarded tenure to middle school principal MaryAnn Seelke, art teacher Angela Branco, librarian Terri Eckes and teachers Kieran Lynch, Dan McGroarty and Jessica Perrone. (June 16)

■ Abolished three full-time elementary school teaching positions and two full-time teaching assistant positions; the superintendent was instructed to notify the least senior employees in those positions that they would be laid off. The board also eliminated one full-time and four part-time teacher aide positions. (June 16)

■ Accepted the resignation of foreign language teacher John Schepisi, effective Aug. 30, and Marie Sgroi, a K-12 behaviorist, as of June 30. (June 16)

■ Rejected the bids for electrical and mechanical upgrades in its capital project as too high and put the contract back out for proposals. (June 16)

■ The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Tuesday (July 6).

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