The Island Park Public Schools’ Jan. 27 Board of Education Meeting featured student achievements, district news and important information regarding the LIPA lawsuit.
The evening began with a spotlight on Students of the Month who represented each grade at Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School and Lincoln Orens Middle School. Kylie Harper (kindergarten), Brianna McNally (grade 1), Jonah Naccha (grade 2), Maya Lubold (grade 3), Denis Manzanares Pena (grade 4), Jameson Nurnberger (grade 5), Rachel Guzman (grade 6), Adrianna Fandaros (grade 7) and Daniella Kouletsis (grade 8) received medals and certificates of excellence. Kindergartner Melina Pothos, who was unable to attend her Student of the Month recognition in December, joined this group to accept her award and prizes. Principals Cynthia Cameron and Dr. Bruce Hoffman read remarks from the students’ respective teachers that described their excellent character and positive leadership qualities.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rosmarie Bovino shared positive announcements regarding graduates. The total Long Beach High School graduation rate as well as that pertaining specifically to Island Park students is 96%. The Class of 2019’s Island Park students attained Advanced Regents Diploma and Regents Diploma rates of 40% and 48.6%, respectively.
“The students are performing well, and I think that’s a terrific sign of things to come as we move forward,” Dr. Bovino said.
The meeting also included an update on the district’s lawsuit against LIPA and steps that are being taken to advocate for tax relief for the community. There has still been no decision rendered by Justice Emerson with regard to Island Park, although there is the strong likelihood a summary judgment will be issued in LIPA’s favor.
Nassau County’s settlement with LIPA to implement a PILOT, which has yet to be approved by the County Legislature, was outlined at a community meeting on Jan. 21 and can be viewed online at www.barrettsettlement.com. It is also on the district website.
The district is working with its elected officials to explore options that would mitigate the settlement’s impact on Island Park residents. This includes seeking passage of a state Senate bill that provides financial assistance to local governments (including school districts) that experience financial distress due to successful tax certiorari challenges or settlements. The district is also advocating for a change in its combined wealth ratio, a large factor in determining the amount of state aid allocated to school districts. It will additionally consider how unrestricted reserve funds can be used to help lessen the impact of PILOTs or new Property Tax Assessments, i.e., Adjusted Base Proportions on homeowners. To view recent reports and information, please visit www.ips.k12.ny.us.