7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Finley Middle School, Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club, Landing Elementary School and Connolly Elementary School.
The district proposes a budget of $82,486,118 for 2015-16, a 4.04 percent increase from the current $79,281,428. The local tax levy would increase 2.04 percent, from $64,780,719 to $66,104,265.
This increase is equal to the state's tax-cap limit of 2.04 percent, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget. Taxes on the average single-family home would increase 2.06 percent, from $6,520 to $6,654.
Teacher salaries would increase by a half step plus 1 percent. The budget calls for the addition of two teachers and the elimination of one administrator, one clerical worker and three teacher assistants/monitors.
Five candidates are running for three at-large seats. Gail Nedbor-Gross is the only incumbent in the group that also includes Maria Venuto, Steve A. Dorcely, Kate Glinert and Amy Franklin. Terms are three years.
Gail Nedbor-GrossBACKGROUND: Nedbor-Gross, 60, is the director of financial operations for Rapid Access Communication Enterprises Inc., an information technology company. She has served on the board since 2008 and lived in the district 30 years. She received a bachelor's in management engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1977 and a master of business administration from Baruch College in 1987. She has two adult children who graduated from Glen Cove High School. She also served on the Parent Teacher Association at Finley High School.
ISSUES: Nedbor-Gross said that while serving on the board and its audit committee, they've cut costs and personnel. She said they will request the actual expenditures from the budget to see whether expenses have been overbudgeted. "You can save a couple $100,000 here and there and it adds up," Nedbor-Gross said. She said the board needs to review policies on standardized testing. "Are they effective? Is it something we support or not? And what do we do about it?" she said. The school system needs to prioritize Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in the curriculum through budget choices. "It's the wave of the future," she said. "Students today need to be more informed and learn about it at a younger age."
Maria VenutoBACKGROUND: Maria Venuto, 49, is executive director of a nonprofit arts organization, Standby Program, in New York City. She is a filmmaker who received her bachelor's in media studies and American studies in 1987 and a master's in media studies in 1990, both from University at Buffalo. She has a daughter in the Landing Elementary School and another one in the Deasy Elementary School. She serves as co-president of the Parent Teacher Association at Deasy and as PTA cultural arts chair at Landing.
ISSUES: Venuto said she wants to find alternative funding through grants to protect classes in science, social studies, music and the arts that she said "are being squeezed out by testing and budget cuts." Venuto said her experience in the nonprofit world, which relies on grants, would be useful for the district to secure money for its programs. "The business model that a lot of school districts have is kind of antiquated," Venuto said. "Schools have to look at their business model and try to think about different ways to fund -- whether it's more grant writing, community foundations work or other earned income streams." She said doing fundraising for programs at the schools her children attend has given her insight into the district's needs.
Steve A. DorcelyBACKGROUND: Steve A. Dorcely, 38, is the principal at Urban Action Academy High School in Brooklyn. He has worked in several New York City schools since 1996 in different administrative roles and as consultant. He received his bachelor's and master's in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2002 and 2004, respectively. He received a master's in education from Bank Street College of Education in 2007. He has two children in Glen Cove schools.
ISSUES: Dorcely said he would increase the amount and the methods of communication between the school district and parents. "Communication with parents, or to the public, is really absent," Dorcely said. "We're not provided with detailed information about hiring, about special education services." Dorcely said he wants the district to communicate with parents about curriculum and instruction in multiple languages via video, email and regular mail. A summer program that helps middle school students prepare for high school should be reviewed and possibly expanded, he said. He also said students should be taught technological skills needed in the 21st century, including computer programming.
Kate GlinertBACKGROUND: Kate Glinert, 43, is an attorney in private practice who also is of counsel to several law firms. She received her bachelor's from Clark University in 1993 and her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2000. She has two children at Deasy Elementary School and is involved with the PTA.
ISSUES: Glinert said the biggest issue she would address is a "deep disconnect" between the board and parents. She said one way to foster greater public engagement would be to alternate the biweekly board meetings with administrative duties and speakers on issues of concern to parents like testing, the Common Core curriculum, special education and English as a Second Language. "Board meetings need to be used by the public more," Glinert said. She said standardized testing should be reduced. Common Core "on its own has some benefits -- it is serving to create higher standards, but the emphasis on testing and the way the core curriculum is being used to evaluate teachers' effectiveness is not what the test is designed for," she said. She also said the board should look more carefully at teachers' records before awarding tenure.
BACKGROUND: Amy Franklin, 51, is a senior account clerk in the Glen Cove city controller's office. She previously worked as a bookkeeper in Glen Cove, as the vice president of a home heating oil company and in consumer banking. She received her bachelor's in economics and geology from Colgate University in 1985 and a master of business administration from Hofstra University in 1990. She also has served as treasurer for the Glen Cove school district and the high school PTA. She has three daughters, two of whom graduated from Glen Cove schools and one who is in Glen Cove High.
ISSUES: Franklin said her financial background would be an asset. "Everybody comes from different backgrounds and there's really not many other people on the board who have as strong a financial background as I do," Franklin said. "I can understand the school district budget." She said the district should provide better information about actual expenditures than it provides now. "It's hard to know without seeing what actually was spent to know where economies can be found," Franklin said. The district needs to fill a number of vacancies, such as a head of human resources, to give it more stability: "There are so many positions that just haven't been filled and I don't understand why." She also said there is too much standardized testing but would want to be sure that any changes would not reduce state funding.