Elementary Enrollment Projections Continue to Drop

Number of students in grades K-5 across West Islip expected to decline for the 2013-14 school year.

The total number of West Islip School District students will drop below 5,000 in the 2013-14 school year, with much of the decline seen at the elementary level.

At this past Wednesday’s first budget work session, Superintendent Richard Simon outlined the continued decline in enrollment, and the impact on the school district’s budget.

During his presentation of the 2013-14 draft budget, Simon’s initial report showed a projection of 115 fewer students at the elementary level. The result could be six fewer elementary sections, with Bayview, Bellew and Manetuck possibly losing two sections each.  

The school district’s declining enrollment has been happening for more than a decade, and led to the closure of two elementary schools — Kirdahy and Westbrook — at the end of the 2011-12 school year. In the 2001-02 school year, 472 students entered Kindergarten. In September, that number is projected to be 283.

Enrollment levels at the middle school and high school level change little in the coming school year.

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Beach Street Middle School’s will have a total of 580 students, up three from this year, and Udall Road Middle School’s student population will decline 14 to 589 students. The high school will have 1,676 students in the 2013-14 school year, down 55 from the 2012-13 school year.

A breakdown of student enrollment at West Islip’s four elementary schools is below.

Bayview Elementary Enrollment No. of Sections Kindergarten 62 3 First Grade 56 3 Second Grade 71 3 Third Grade 80 4 Fourth Grade 58 3 Fifth Grade 76 3 Totals 403 19 Change from 2012-13 -26 students -2 sections Paul J. Bellew Elementary Enrollment No. of Sections Kindergarten 69 4 First Grade 64 3 Second Grade 81 4 Third Grade 81 4 Fourth Grade 105 4 Fifth Grade 80 3 Totals 480 22 Change from 2012-13 -22 students -2 sections Manetuck Elementary Enrollment No. of Sections Kindergarten 73 4 First Grade 100 5 Second Grade 89 4 Third Grade 91 4 Fourth Grade 100 4 Fifth Grade 95 4 Totals 548 25 Change from 2012-13 -38 students -2 sections Oquenock Elementary Enrollment No. of Students Kindergarten 69 4 First Grade 76 4 Second Grade 67 3 Third Grade 84 4 Fourth Grade 93 4 Fifth Grade 90 4 Totals 479 23 Change from 2013-14 -29 students no change
enough already March 12, 2013 at 01:47 AM
so let me get this right, you wanna pay these people?we dont need to pay somebody to do simple math. i wouldnt give her a dime for closing the largest elementary school just so she could put her daycare center with a brand new playground and a brand new dropoff which by the way wasnt big enough to fit school buses but it sure as hell fits the parents minivan so they dont even have to get out of the car to drop off the kiddies.
Rich March 12, 2013 at 09:54 AM
That's the point, Enough Already. I was asking about a paid BOE made up of paid professionals hired by a committee made of our Superintendent and Principals. This BOE would be made up of retired professional who be hired by this committee and who would be impartial and professional in their decisions. This way our students could truly get the BEST, most professional, and impartial decisions concerning their education. And the taxpayer would get the most value from their educational tax dollar.
Wendy Regan March 12, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Here’s something interesting about the district’s lease with the preschool that bears the same name as the preschool the BOE’s VP owns: Why wasn’t South Shore Preschool required to pay a security deposit? BCBA Boxing was required to pay a security deposit; Bridges Academy was required to pay a security deposit but not South Shore Preschool---why? Part of being a consistently credible source is to admit when you’ve made a mistake and I made a mistake. Last week I posted that BCBA Boxing did not receive free rent as Bridges Academy (3 months rent free= $40,500), South Shore Preschool (2 months rent free=$13,000) received. Well, BCBA Boxing IS getting free rent---2 months of it ($6,000). So if you’re keeping a running tally, there’s another $59,500 that could have and should have been used to educate the students in West Islip's students, but instead it was given away. 2 million here, 2 million there, flushing away $59,500 without batting an eye, using the district’s snow removal budget to buy cardboard moving boxes. Yes, it’s all Albany’s fault.
pampatriot March 12, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Wendy, when you do a solid arrangement for your friend, obviously then you will have to offer the other organizations the same arrangement. How else can you TRY to fly under the radar?
Rich March 12, 2013 at 02:44 PM
That's exactly why we need paid professional watching over our tax money and making sure that ALL our children get the education that they deserve.
pampatriot March 12, 2013 at 03:53 PM
A proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to cap the salaries of school district superintendents at $175,000 per year ramped up conversation about what impact this idea would have on administrators across Long Island, including West Islip. West Islip School District Superintendent Rick Simon said he could envision some of his colleagues calling it quits because of the long-term effects it could have on their pensions. "I think it may drive some senior superintendents to retire at the end of their current contracts as a cut in their salary would have a significant impact on their retirement benefits forever," Simon said. "I also think a cap will have a disproportionate negative impact on Long Island as salaries here are higher for all education job categories given the higher cost of living." If the cap does get implemented, Simon's current annual salary of $215,000 wouldn't be affected until 2013, when his contract will expire but...but....this plan of Cuomo's won't be realized here in WI because Simon's contract was set to expire on July 11, 2013...it's now amended and now he remains until 2015 (nothing personal Simon) with an increased salary. So much for Cuomo's plan to cap the salaries to 175,000. when some expire, beginning 2013. There are ways around Cuomo's plan, and I'm so glad we were able to accommodate our Superintendent, because there isn't a principal for 38 years waiting in the wings somewhere on Long Island who would love to become a Superintendent too.
Albanese March 12, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Just another example that young families are leaving the island for greener pastures...
Rich March 12, 2013 at 08:08 PM
I think that the volunteer BOE has done the best job that they can but with all the complexities of economy, availability educational grants, importance of filling applications/forms needed to receive reimbursements that the district is intitled, trying to find the best tenents for our closed schools and the impartiality necessary to make the best decision for all our students in grades K-12, maybe the time is right for a BOE made up of paid part-time professionals. To make it cost effective we would need to make them no benefits positions so it might be best suited for a retired accountant, architect, or teacher. This way could bring their expertise to the BOE.
Maggie Kent March 12, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Out of curiosity, does anyone know how much is expended per year on sports programs, coaches, etc?
Donna March 13, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Reading pampatriots post with Simons quote about how a salary cap wouldn't work here because of the higher cost of living here on Long Island. Well duh you moron. Why do you think it's high? It's high to pay inflated salaries like yours. Can not believe this idiot has the job of running our schools. He's running them alright, right into the ground. He also is allowing corruption to go on under his nose. Just look the other way Simon and let Larosa do what she wants. Absolutely disgusting.
Missy March 13, 2013 at 05:14 AM
Maria~Most of your cruel and brutal comments are aimed at one specific person on the BOE. You have a right to disagree, debate, even say that you don't like her or how she conducts herself even to say that you want her off the board. However, to read your mean-spirited insults and not call you out on it would be like I was a witness to your abusive and indecent treatment of another human being and I was somehow condoning it. You are no better than a bully. Actually, it's worse because you are an adult AND you should know better. You are also starting lame rumors about the board receiving new cars from Atlantic for the Masera deal! Why???? I only hear hate & malice in your words. To think that you are responsible for raising a young person or people to be compassionate and beneficent is baffling to me. Disgraziata is the best word that I can think of.. You should not be allowed to bully people on here.
Maggie Kent March 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Missy...can you explain how it came to be that Westbrook, who was originally "safe" from closing, was closed at the last minute, which was decided by Larosa's input?
Missy March 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Maggie - Last year, I completely & totally believed the rumors that A. LaRosa was heard saying that Oquenock was going to close. I heard from "reliable" sources that she was overheard at a party saying it. I was furious! It seemed to me at that this was an unfair process. I stood up @ BOE meetings & said so much. I wrote it on patch. I learned a huge lesson from that whole process! After the vote, not one person stood up and spoke about that! A. LaRosa did NOT have ONE accuser!! I heard plenty of grumbling & complaining but not one of those parents stood up and publicly set the record straight. I learned that if you didn't hear words come out of a person's mouth don't believe what others say about another person. I said all of that to say this... I don't believe that she ever promised that to anyone. I believe that now because if she had promised that to me, I would have stood up publicly and loudly declared it. Maggie-Not even 1 person. From that day on, I gave her a clean slate and moved on.
Missy March 13, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Maggie - A. LaRosa & I are not friends. We do not socialize at all. A few of the people that comment on the patch are taking a debate and bringing it to a personal level. Using her name, accusing her of improper business dealings with no proof, calling her names. All of us have a right to our opinion, but we are wrong if we gang up on someone and bully them. It's wrong. If we know better, we should do better by our actions. Our children learn by watching us. I want to try to do better.
pampatriot March 13, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Actually Missy, when a person chooses to take a position in politics, like Peter King for example, their name is used, they are held to scrutiny, people question their motives, put them under a microscope, because they are making decisions and policies that impact the citizens they swore to serve. What would people say if Peter King, in his position, shared a business with a partner, hypothetically speaking, and low and behold an opportunity was presented to him (in his official capacity) for a facility with cheaper rent and other attractive amenities. He decided to set it up, broker the deal, and then remove himself from the equation because of appearances of impropriety. Do you think his constituency would question his motives, do you think that people would be outraged about the questionable association with the facilities new owner, even if the two ultimately parted ways? OF COURSE NOT. The man can't even escape the news as a fighter performing in an exhibition competition for a friend without people questioning the legality of his involvement, and people have a lot to say about his character, his abilities and call him names assailing his character. He also knows that this comes with the territory. When you become a public figure, especially on the local level, (he lives in Seaford) you accept this stuff is going to happen, with name calling aside, I for one think it should. None of our elected or public officials should be operating behind a cover of protection.
pampatriot March 13, 2013 at 01:19 PM
*OF COURSE*...NOT of course not.
Maggie Kent March 13, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Exactly. Just seems self-serving that it closes last minute and her "former" school is going in. Just not right. Westbrook was much bigger school and could have comfortably accommodated the children.
Missy March 13, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Hey Girls - you have a right to your opinion. The bullying shouldn't be. Peter King is a paid public servant. Going forward let's all strive to treat others with the same common courtesy that you & I would hope to receive.
Louis March 13, 2013 at 02:00 PM
It is ironic that The posters here continue to target one member of a seven member board. Why is that? I mean I have my theories but at the end of the day, Missy is correct. You cannot come on here and insinuate the woman did anything "wrong" or "illegal" without proper proof. Have any of you gone and asked the board president about impropriety? Have any of you spoken to her directly? Asked about the former business relationship? have any of you asked the former partner? Why is it that you cant get passed the closing of a school? A school which is now generating revenue for the school district? I honestly doubt that Oquenocks location would have attracted any tenants at all. At the end of the day are you all so bitter because what the board said they would do last spring-which was to rent out the leasable space- has actually been accomplished and you do not want to admit to this success? The enrollement continues to decline, just like the boe said it would. each building will have less children next year. So it was a little painful this year. So what! you do what you have to to adjust and get through it, just like we all do in order to provide for our families at home. Isnt that the very mantra of fiscal responsibility? Look at the bigger picture. And yes, stop with the bullying already.
pampatriot March 13, 2013 at 02:22 PM
So when a public servants behavior is questioned you call the people questioning that bullies? I know, it's a complete coincidence. The sun is shinning today, do you need proof? BTW, an elected official, public servant, paid or not, is held to the same accountability, scrutiny, and put under a microscope, it's how the constituency can determine for themselves what, if any, impropriety is going on. No one is exempt from that. I also take issue with anybody who has vehemently questioned the BOE in the past, to the point of having ugly discourse with their family members, but then shows up and does a 180, giving anybody else advice about bullying or lessons about treating others with common courtesy. Bizarre. It's focus, not target. People should ask the other members too why they felt this was acceptable to them. You might find one or two who didn't think it was, who knows. The reality is that Mrs. LaRosa recused herself during the vote on the lease, according to the minutes, why did she do that? Any guesses? I would love an answer if you have one. Me, being a dummy, just finds that very curious. Don't you?
Louis March 13, 2013 at 03:30 PM
No, not what I said at all. Bullying would be calling people names and making false allegations about things based upon gossip, innuendo, and assumptions. You have every right to question public servants. Publicly. When will you be doing this? Just let men know, I would like to be there to hear the answers you are given. By the way, where were you last month when the islip republicans were blatently abusing their offices and spending public money on jobs for their friends? Nothing to say on that one huh? Again there are seven members of the board. If you are questioning the actions of one, then you really are questioning the actions of all, but hers is the only name to get thrown out there? Why is that? I do not have to ask why she recused herself, I know why. I know because I have asked her to her face. I have asked her a bunch of questions, and so should you. You might learn something useful and factual.
pampatriot March 13, 2013 at 04:04 PM
As I said Louis, It's sunny out, do you need me to prove that to you? I know I have every right to question, and no, I don't have to stand up publicly to do it, who are you the speech police? Read today's Newsday editorial. Phil Boyle is being scrutinized like crazy, but I bet that's okay with you right? Just let MEN know? I don't know if that was a freudian slip or not, but my guess it was. Also, if you already got the answers, and you say you know why, because you have asked her to your face, why would you like to be there to hear the answers again? You make no sense. I guess you are satisfied. Other people are not. So you admit this IS about politics. You bring up the Islip Republicans? I believe that Mr. Boyle is being ripped apart for questionable practices on Newsday today. See, being scrutinized comes with the territory. So are you actually trying to say that it's okay because they all do it? Is that your spin? Like two wrongs make a right or something, "helping out their friends." BTW, DON'T tell me what I should do, who are you? Her name just might be raised on this subject matter in particular (but I am just a dummy so what do I know) because she is a BOE member who also owned SSCC, among her other titles. Now with the shuttered ES, the SSCC is moving out of it's previous location (next to planned parenthood) and into the shut down school. Coincidence. Business partnership dissolved, should people focus on her, or someone else?
pampatriot March 13, 2013 at 04:29 PM
How dare you try to connect the dots, you, you, bully you. The nerve that there are some pockets of WI where you don't hear {{{{{crickets chirping}}}}}. You're not following their agenda, didn't you get the memo? What happened in the past stays in the past, you shouldn't resurrect old news or try to connect it to new news. You might be onto something. Stay away from the elephant in the room!
pampatriot March 13, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Rich March 13, 2013 at 05:27 PM
P and T that is certainlly a lot of coincidences. No wonder so many of us still have a hard time moving on. Time for a BOE of paid professionals who can bring their experise and impartiality to our district.
pampatriot March 13, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Why are you withholding my comments?
Missy March 13, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Pending Approval Missy 12:02 pm on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Sorry that you take issue with me Pam. Not one accusation made about her has been founded on truth. Like I said, when anyone had the opportunity to publicly set the record straight with her regarding school closings not 1 person stood up. Where were her accusers Pam? I learned a valuable lesson from all of that. You can't believe everything that you hear or read. Maria Von Trapp accused the board of accepting cars from Atlantic, she called A. LaRosa a snake etc. That is bullying. I am also sorry if you find my desire to do better bizarre. If my words have made you feel defensive of your behavior, take a step back & ask yourself why. P and T - Maria Von Trapp didn't merely point out observations. You can all jump on me now for standing up to Maria but the fact still remains. Going forward let's treat one another with the courtesy & respect that we would hope to receive from another.
Donna March 13, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Missy fyi I am no bully. I am an annoyed taxpayer who once again feels like we got screwed by the system. I'm all for the district creating revenue but not at the expense of our children. Yes enrollment was down and cuts had to be made but I know for a fact the situation that would've created more money for was to close 1 elementary and 1 middle school and make remaining elementary schools k-6. That wasn't done because would've cut down on middle school sports.Who cares! It's about education not sports. I'll also say you're right that she is not only 1 on board but she lied to her friends at Westbrook that they were all "safe". LIAR!! She is self-serving. And for Louis about better leasable space. Do you live close to Westbrook? Well I do and I'm not thrilled about the extra traffic that might generate where my kids play. Not to mention what elements might be attracted to the boxing facility. But again since none of the board members live close I guess that's why they don't care.Trust me when they're all up for reelection none are getting my vote not just your precious Larosa.
Donna March 13, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Also Missy I didn't say the BOE received new cars for Atlantic deal. I asked if anyone else heard that rumor flying around. I was asking for confirmation. So before you start "bullying" me read the post correctly and then comment.
Greg Sleter March 13, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Hi folks. So, we're at the point on another story where commenters under what appear to be fake names are making accusations against some members of the community. It is our goal to have our comment section be a place where our readers can share their thoughts and opinions on important matters of the day. Sometimes we fall well short of that goal and are forced to shut down comments. We again ask all commenters to express opinions and not make personal accusations against others. Those that continue to do so risk having their accounts suspended. Thanks again for reading West Islip Patch. Best, Greg


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