6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Smithtown, St. James and Accompsett elementary schools and the Nesconset Elementary School building.
The district proposes a $239,367,205 budget for 2017-18, a 1.41 percent increase from the current $236,027,619. The tax levy would rise 1.73 percent, from $183,981,742 to $187,169,883.
This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority is needed to approve the budget.
School taxes on the average single-family home would be $9,477.34, a 1.73 percent increase from the current $9,315.91. Teachers would get a 0.75 percent raise and an average 2.7 percent step increase.
The budget also calls for cutting 12 teachers, a school principal and five other staffers because of an elementary school closing. Three middle school teachers would be hired.
- District website: smithtown.k12.ny.us
There are three by-seat positions open. Incumbent Grace Plourde and candidate Matthew Gribbin are running for one seat, while incumbents Joanne McEnroy and Gladys M. Waldron are running unopposed. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Plourde, 48, is a real estate attorney and small-business owner. She has lived in the district for 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Pace University. Plourde has two daughters who attend schools in the district, and has been on the school board for six years.
ISSUES: Plourde said she supports lowering class sizes for elementary students and special education inclusion for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. In the past three years, Plourde said she has helped replace study hall for district middle school students with either Project Lead the Way — which consists of STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math — or additional science to “increase exposure.” She said the board has done a good job during her tenure managing its budget, despite decreased enrollment, school consolidation and school board officials never going above the state-mandated cap. “We made do. We just figure it out. The community is very much behind the board,” Plourde said. “We believe we have something special to offer.”
BACKGROUND: Gribbin, 39, is an elementary school teacher in the Half Hollow Hills district. He has lived in the Smithtown district for three years. He graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree and has a master’s degree in education technology from LIU Post. Gribbin has three children, including one who attends school in the district. His wife is a teacher in the Kings Park district. He’s a board trustee of the Smithtown Kickers Soccer Club.
ISSUES: Gribbin said his top priority is to get away from a heavy reliance on standardized testing. “One of the most important issues facing Smithtown, and all other districts, is the emphasis placed on standardized testing,” Gribbin said. “I would like to see districts regain the ability to make the decisions that they feel is best for their students and community.” Gribbin said he’s been involved in the politics of education for the past five years, and joining the school board would give him a way to “help my own community and continue my advocacy for children.” He said he’d fight for more local control. “There’s a lot of mandates coming down from Albany that takes decision-making away from local districts,” he said.