What does class size look like in this budget?

The district has been able to maintain class size within the guidelines. At the primary level we are planning for 20 – 23 depending on new entrants. In grades 3-5 we are looking at 22-25 with about 25 in grade 6. The middle school and high school class size is based on the course. Again, we have maintained the appropriate number. 


Did the administrative staff offer a salary concession?

Yes, the superintendent and the central office team agreed last July to take a salary freeze for the 2011 – 2012 school year. 


Is it true that the Board of Education turned down an offer of $2.2 million dollars from the teachers’ union?

The superintendent met with the leaders of the 5 bargaining units to open dialogue in these tough financial times. Four of the five units have concluding contracts June 30, 2011. During the negotiation process with the teachers, a financial agreement was reached by both parties that would put forth a financial savings over the next three years for the district; however, the financial package was coupled with a demand by the teachers union under an as yet-to-be approved state regulation seeking peer control of appeal of teacher evaluations. The District asked to separate the proposals to allow the community to realize the benefit of financial relief, while continuing to negotiate the latter when the state makes a final determination. The teachers union refused.


Will there be AP classes at the high school?

We will continue to offer Advanced Placement courses at the high school.  The classes will be determined by student demand and enrollment.  It is important to note that we do not run a class without at least 17 students on the roster. 


Why did we change the start of the times for students?

In reviewing our transportation routes with our transportation vendor, we determined that we could minimize expenses if we simply shifted bus times.  By moving WING to a later start, we were able to reduce the cost of transportation by $250,000. 


What staffing was cut or maintained?

Three elementary positions along with a library media specialist were reduced. The three teaching positions were those reduced last year due to enrollment; however, we were able to restore them late last summer when we had some teacher retirements. It is important to note that the class sizes are still below the guidelines. This will impact the number of physical education and other special area staff. Students will still have access to the library at CRES and SES but it will be under the guidance of the current teaching assistant. This is not new for Islip. The remaining positions are due to reductions due to enrollment at the middle school. We currently have 3.4 non-instructional positions that will not be replaced due to retirements.   Please look at the budget presentations for more specific details.


Will programs be intact such as sports, music and academics?

We were able to maintain our sports and music programs.  Two-thirds of our students are involved in sports and music programs and clubs.  Research indicates that students who are involved in these programs have better academic success. As referenced above, the elementary library will be staffed by a teaching assistant. The core subject areas at the high school will be maintained with determination for electives on student demand and availability.