7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Burns Avenue School, Dutch Lane School, East Street School, Fork Lane School, Lee Avenue School, Old Country Road School and Woodland School.
The district proposes a budget of $134,781,267 for 2017-18, a 1.85 percent increase from the current $132,332,014. The tax levy would rise 1.48 percent, from $98,937,594 to $100,402,028.
This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority is needed to approve the budget. The district said it was unable to calculate taxes paid on the average single-family home because Nassau County has not provided the necessary assessment information.
The district said it estimated teacher salary increases in 2017-18 for budgeting purposes but declined to reveal the number because contract negotiations are continuing. The district is planning to hire four new full-time teachers, three full-time teaching assistants, a new full-time accountant to replace a contract position and a new part-time clerical employee, as well as add additional hours for three part-time teachers.
The district also is planning to add the following courses: high school fashion merchandising and intermediate algebra; middle school global conversations — in which students study global challenges such as health and clean water issues; American Sign Language; double-accelerated math and science; and a second-grade bilingual class. The district also plans to add a new section of preschool and to open a parent center.
A proposition asks voters if the district should establish a $6.5 million capital reserve fund for building improvements and track and field upgrades. The district said the funds would be transferred from existing balances in other funds, and would not result in a new cost to taxpayers.
Another proposition asks voters if $60,000 from the tax levy should fund educational services for the Hicksville Gregory Museum.
- District website: hicksvillepublicschools.org
There are three by-seat positions open. Incumbent Kevin J. Carroll is being challenged by Kyle Singh. Christopher Amato and Kevin Asher are running for another seat. Sunita Manjrekar is running unopposed. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Amato, 43, has a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and a master’s degree from the School of Education with a minor in education from LIU Post. He teaches high school biology and bilingual remedial biology in the Brentwood district. In Brentwood, he is co-chair of the secondary science committee for both the high school buildings, and is former co-chair of the school improvement team, former liaison to the alternative high school program and a union delegate. He has a daughter attending a Hicksville district school and a son entering kindergarten in the fall. He is a lifelong district resident.
ISSUES: Amato said that, as a parent, resident and teacher, “I bring quite a lot of intellect and experience to the table so the learning curve won’t be as steep.” He said a key responsibility as a board member would be to ensure that Common Core, next-generation science and English-as-a-new-language standards, among other standards, are “implemented properly.” He said he also will work to “maintain a fair and efficient tax burden for the community.” Hicksville has students from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and Amato said it is important that the district make “an accommodation for them, so they feel at home . . . something where you let them know we recognize you’re part of the community and you matter in this school, too.”
BACKGROUND: Asher, 53, is a bank sales manager. He has a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University. Asher is treasurer and president-elect of the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club. He is a lifelong district resident.
ISSUES: Asher said his financial background would help him review budgets and make financial decisions for the district, and his management background would help in union negotiations. He said if elected, he would get up to speed on issues the board faces. “I don’t know much about curriculum,” he said. “That’s one of my learning curves.” Asher said his role as board member likely would be primarily as a steward of a district that appears not to have major problems, to ensure it stays on the right path. Even so, Asher said, he would “look outside the box” to ensure the district is remaining innovative. Asher said he would visit civic and community organizations — including those representing different ethnic groups in the district — to get residents’ opinions about the schools. To determine how he would vote on a proposal, he said he would “ask the other board members, as well as the superintendent’s office, but also the teachers, who are actually teaching it.”
Kevin J. Carroll
BACKGROUND: Carroll, 52, is a vice president/compliance manager for a bank. He has served on the school board since 2011. He has a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College. Carroll’s children attended or are attending district schools. He is a lifelong district resident.
ISSUES: Carroll said that when he joined the board, “it was kind of frowned upon to discuss any board topics with the community and with the staff . . . In the six years I’ve been there, we’ve really changed that, where it’s a much more collaborative, much more open environment.” That has helped the board in decision making, he said. Carroll said that during his tenure, the board has reduced the maximum size of some classes, began a long-term process of providing iPads to all students, and added a number of extracurricular activities, including a varsity boys swimming program. Carroll said he wants to remain on the board to see through a number of initiatives, including a bond planned for the November ballot that would fund a number of projects, including the construction of a swimming pool at the high school, the renovation and technological upgrading of the high school auditorium and the renovation of the high school cafeteria.
BACKGROUND: Singh, who will turn 18 on Election Day, is a senior at Hicksville High School. He is planning to attend college in the fall to study political science, but will continue living in Hicksville. He teaches writing to younger students at the public library and runs an unofficial school astronomy group. He has lived in the district for more than five years.
ISSUES: Singh said that as a student, he would bring a unique perspective to the board. “It’s important to have people who are directly involved with the school to have a voice as to what goes on,” he said. “I believe there’s a strong disconnect right now between our local school board and our community. I want to bridge that gap.” Singh said the board needs to do more outreach to residents, and called for events at which residents can discuss issues directly with board members. He said the board also needs to provide simplified explanations of budget and other terminology, and of programs and policies, so residents better understand what their district is doing and how it affects students. Singh said the district should create more mentorship programs that link high school and middle school students and should create an anonymous online way to report cheating. He said he is opposed to the class ranking system, which he said “fosters over-competition.”