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BOE Seeks More Voices on Options to Repurpose Schools

Parents plan to submit petition to save East School.

Long Beach High School. Credit: LB Schools
Long Beach High School. Credit: LB Schools

The Long beach School District will hold a facilities utilization forum on proposed options for repurposing the elementary schools at the Long Beach High School, 322 Lagoon Dr. W, Lido Beach, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, when parents are expected to submit a petition that effectively calls for keeping East School open for students. 

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The idea behind the forum, which was postponed last week due to a snowstorm and will replace a scheduled Board of Education work session, is to make it a community-based meeting instead of a school-based meeting, in order to hear more varied voices on the proposed options, board President Patrick Gallagher told the Long Beach Herald. Gallagher said:

“I’m hoping that the larger community comes out and speaks their mind and expresses their opinion.”

The proposed options were presented at three prior board meetings in November, December and earlier this month. While two of the five options call for repurposing East School as an administrative building, two others would restructure the elementary school grades. One option would keep the status quo but place administration at Lindell School.

The district contends that the options are designed to make more efficient use of the district’s school buildings. At the last meeting, Superintendent David Weiss presented the financial data associated with the options, which are estimated to initially save the district about $1.6 million on a projected $123 million budget.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the school district is expected to receive a petition signed by more than 500 residents asking the school board to vote for keeping the status quo in an effort to keep East School open for classes. The petition reads:

“The proposed school changes will result in a savings of less than one percent of the more than $123 million school budget. Our children and community are worth more than one percent!”

The East School parent who circulated the petition, Sabrina Lomonte, told the Herald that while parents are likely to reiterate concerns voiced at prior meetings, they are likely to raise new issues at Tuesday’s forum, including zoning and construction and the new Superblock proposal to build two buildings with more than 500 apartments, which would bring more tax revenue and children to the district.

LBMom January 30, 2014 at 05:48 PM
i'm nospaz, it's not supposed to make the schools better, it is supposed to save money.
Hamburger January 30, 2014 at 06:10 PM
I think it might be too late to reverse the planned course of action. West School for one has developed the hazing curriculum for all new students. This will consist of, but not be limited to: Noogies, Indian Rope Burns, and Purple Nurples. During week 2, Upside down head-in-toilet swirlies will also be administered. Eating tar at recess will be done only in extreme cases, and only under the close supervision of the older students.
LBMom January 30, 2014 at 07:03 PM
Disingenuous how? I don't have an agenda. I want the best schools. I am not worried about which builidngs are used as schools and which are used as administration builidings. I don't want a builiding closed but that may be the outcome of this process. I want the BOE to look at all options (not only the ones that repurpose East School) and make fiscally responsible decisions for the future so we can have the best education for the best cost for our students/taxpayers. There were many options presented and some that weren't. I would like to see music, arts and sports for many years to come. I would like our district in the conversation when the best districts in Nassau County are being discussed. Right now, it is not. Additonally, I was led to believe that repurposing the school would save $1million annually, not just once. I had not read all previous comments because I just joined in when the additional meeting was posted. I agree. Whatever is done now is a band aid. The real money is in salaries/pensions/benefits etc. I think what ever is done now will only help very short term. A more difficult task lies ahead. I guess closing NIKE will be the next discussion before we get to the real issues.
Jack January 31, 2014 at 09:41 AM
LB Mom is correct. The property values on this island are based on the beach and the bay, nothing more or less than that. The Long Beach Public school system is similar to the the schools in Florida near the beaches. There also seems to be a trend of more single and older adults moving here negating the need for an extensive public school sytem in the future. Don't listen to the teacher's union socialist propaganda about doom and gloom in the schools.


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