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District eyes Greenport, Mattituck as receiving high schools

The Mattituck-Cutchogue Junior/Senior High School is part of

The Mattituck-Cutchogue Junior/Senior High School is part of the Mattituck-Cutchogue Union Free School District and is one of the largest schools on the North Fork. (Jan. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

The Oysterponds School District voted Monday night to designate both Greenport and Mattituck high schools as receiving schools for its secondary students, and negotiations with both districts are under way.

Oysterponds, an elementary school district in Orient, has sent its secondary school students to Greenport High School on a tuition basis since 1977.

The board voted 5-2 to add Mattituck as a choice. Two board members — Krista de Kerillis and Dorothy-Dean Thomas — dissented.

Oysterponds Superintendent Joan Frisicano said the district paid $1.8 million tuition to Greenport this year for 75 students in grades 7-12. The district has estimated $1.5 million for next year’s tuition costs, although the contract is under negotiation.

Calls to both Greenport and Mattituck-Cutchogue school districts were not returned.

Oysterponds school board president Deborah Dumont said the idea is to give parents a choice.

“The only way, in my view, for parents and family to have control is to give them a voice,” she said. “It does not criticize or laud one [district] over the other. It is simply a choice.”

Last spring, the Oysterponds school board voted to void a 2012-14 contract extension with Greenport agreed to by the previous board, claiming the newly elected trustees were only a month away from taking office when the decision was made. In June, the Greenport school district appealed the legality of the decision to the State Education Department but lost.

Mattituck High School is about 17 miles from Oysterponds School, according to MapQuest. Greenport High School is less than 6 miles from Oysterponds. Bus transportation costs have not been confirmed, according to officials.

If a contract is negotiated, a referendum would be put before voters on whether to consider Mattituck as a receiving district, Dumont said.

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