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School Closures to Result in Approx. 45 Staff Cuts

Rick Simon said termination number is a "very close estimate."

Superintendent Rick Simon recently told Patch that the closure of Kirdahy and Westbrook Elementary schools will result in an estimated 45 terminated positions. 

As reported last week, the topic of the two school closings was still in the forefront for some parents at last Thursday night’s BOE meeting at the high school.

While Simon mentioned the district is still working on finalizing the exact number of positions that will be lost, he said that 45 "is a very close estimate."

RELATED: Original school closure story has collected over 1,900 comments

The list of positions include:

  • 18 teachers
  • 2 administrators
  • 2 principals
  • 2 secretaries
  • 8 teacher assistants
  • 2 nurses
  • 6-8 cafeteria aids
  • 5 custodians

As a result of the above terminations, the district will be saving approximately $2.8 million in salary and benefits.

MARY February 17, 2012 at 09:26 PM
so where did the Patch get this info?
Concerned February 17, 2012 at 10:12 PM
A the PTA meeting last night, Simon quoted the 45 positions being excessed do to schoolclosings - he also quoted the savings of said positions equaling $1.5M. Back of the napkin that's $33k per year per FTE - and that includes benefits. It's the little people here that are getting hurt. Simon also indicated that the current 11 positions that have either elected separation may be replaced. He was non-committal in terms of NOT replacing them. The larger issue at hand - insuring the long term health of the district is being avoided !!!!! We need pay freezes, give back of perks, larger contributions for benefits, and an overall re-look at the benefit structure.
wiseol'owl February 17, 2012 at 10:48 PM
The adminstrative postions will be replaced. The retireing principal will be replaced with 1 from a closed building, district will need a director for music & arts, the retiring asst. superintendent will be replaced. Possibly not being replaced is the other director I think of language( maybe someone else can "find time" to absorb those duties.) Don't forget the district has not been assured that our 2nd asst. superintendent Dr. Parvey willn't be replaced. Other principal who should be excess due to building closure will inevitably be place in D.O. somewhere(perhaps as a director).Balance of the retirements were 6 teachers which will prevent 6 teachers from being let go. Net savings to the district the salaries of 2 principals in regards to adminstration. And yes the balance of savings will come from teachers&other low end paid non-professionals. The BOE protects the adminstation&neglects the student needs & that will likely not change til they run out of student needs to take. I'll keep saying it & hope all listen- last year teachers got layed off, teachers took pay freeze, teachers gave 2 % more on healthcare, students lost planetarium, es foreign language and jv9 sports(there was talk of bringing back so apparently league didn't fold), IN the August 11th minutes you'll find that while others lost &taxpayers coughed up 7% increase- the BOE gave Mr. Simon a contract extension(closed amendment may have other changes) & other admin. personel benifits. IT HAS TO STOP!
Glenn Denzler February 18, 2012 at 12:42 AM
It is unfortunate...Simply put, West Islip does not have the tax base to afford the costs imposed on it. Consolidation of Suffolk school district admin is probably up next. No need to have the hundreds of BOEs etc. With budgets going up 6% to 8% every year for the last 15 to 20 years eventually something had to give. Pensions and salaries have to be paid per contract and paying $12,000 a year in taxes (net out of pocket) as an average for most in the District is not somehting that can be afforded. The understanding of same , and the submission of budgets, should have been considered 15 and 20 years back, before we got into the mess we are in now. Really sad.
Gerry February 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Which assistant super is retiring? Many districts don't have a director of art and music. Does this position need to be replaced right now? The 6 teachers retiring may not balance anything out. The 18 teachers being lost are at the elementary level due to building closings. I believe only 1 of the 6 retirees is an elementary teacher.
wiseol'owl February 18, 2012 at 02:48 AM
@ Gerry, The asst. super. retiring is Debbie Vertovez for special ed. As far as the director for music/arts being replaced-We have a fantastic program and alot of talented young people. If our present program can be credited to Mr. Jones then I think if we can find someone (preferably from in the district) who can maintain the programs level of excellence it should be filled. As far as the 6 retirees I think 1 is an ES librarian, 1 is an ES resource room instructor and 1 is an ES art teacher, so at least 3 of the 6 retirements will mean someone does not lose a job. One of the most disturbing things is that we still have no commitment from the district that Dr. Parvey's position will not be refilled. Given declining enrollment at ES the postion never should have been created, now considering there are 2 less buildings to oversee it is certainly not a needed postion. For many years the district had a much larger enrollment and 1 superintendent and 1 asst. worked out just fine.
Rich February 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Good leads Lauren. We have tried writing to the BOE and Mr. Simon and they were uninterested in the helping our children or saving our schools. If everyone who is following this injustice on the Patch or Topix will sit down and write to Sen. Owen Johnson, Sen. Schemer, Sen. King, NYSSBA, NYSED, NYS Board of Regents. Include these points. BOE not taking recommendation of its own Search Committee, BOE ignored the testimony of the majority of public that testified at their own meeting, voted on school closings at a secret meeting which took place several weeks before the scheduled meeting for the vote, impact of the deficit was dumped completely on grades 1-5 resulting in overcrowding, poor teacher to student ratios, loss of computer labs, and dispersal of our children in out Integrayed Special Needs Program, loss of 1.5 million due to negligence and not filing paperwork, choosing to close the school with our Inegrated Special Needs Program because of its "potential marketability" but keep open a school with severe mold problems found by the NY State Inspectors, don't forget the BOE giving Mr. Simon an contract extension, perks and bonus all while our district is in debt and they are closing our schools. I believe they slipped in his extension, perks, and bonuses, during summer when schools are closed and we are not watching.
wiseol'owl February 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Rich I know I'm not a Patch favorite poster, But it was far far more than just Mr. Simon getting anything: READ THE AUGUST 11, 2011 MINUTES!!!!! It was Mr. Simon, it was directors, supervisors and WE NOW EVEN PAY OUR ASST. SUPERINTENDENT $25.00 PER MEAL FOR LATE NIGHTS. It is done EVERY year in the summer months without any disclosure to the community during the budget period! It has been done for the past 3 years regardless of WITA givebacks, extreme tax increases or loss of program to the children. It was done last year even though the ES children lost programs. Programs that we were told we could not afford to keep like the planetarium and foreign language, but somehow the BOE felt a priority to open contracts that were not even up for renewal and reward non-union, non-represented employees!!!
Rich February 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM
The time for posting is over. I have written to Sen. Owen Johnson & Shumer, Congressman King, NYSED, NYSSBA, and Newsday. If everyone of the other 2,157 parents whose Elementary School children are going to suffer by the BOE's decision can write a letter or two, maybe we can get this disaster reversed for our children.
Michele February 19, 2012 at 02:57 AM
@Rich I spoke to Sen. Johnsons aide and was told that unfortunatly the Sen. can't do anything about what is going on. What is going on is IMMORAL but not illegal. If it were they could go to the comm. of Education. They are VERY aware of what is being done. I told him that I didn't believe that there was a plan in place for our inclusion children and was told to have people send letters and emails about that. Then the Senator would have something to bring to the Comm. of Education. It is illegal not to have a plan for these students(although I'm sure that knowing this the board is scrambling to come up with something. They aren't beyond lying as we all know)
Gerry February 19, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Not only do they not have a plan, they probably won't have adequate room for the integrated students. The numbers show there are not going to be any extra classrooms. Where will these students go for their support time? They deserve to go to a real classroom. Where will they go when they have special modifications on their IEPs? Many of them most likely have separate locations for tests or similar modifications on their IEP's that would require them going to their support room at various points in the day. If all integrated classes rotate times in one support room (as will probably be necessary because of the lack of classrooms) the room won't be available to them at any time other than their scheduled time. It will be very difficult to follow through on the IEP. This does not seem to be a good plan.
Rich February 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Michele the aide may have told that Sen Johnson was unable to do anything. But something unable is not the same thing as unwilling. I am very sure that if the Senator get phone calls, emails, and letters from just some of the 2,157 parents whose ES children are having their education destroyed by the BOE, he WILL do plenty. All it takes is a phone call from him to the BOE and Mr. Simon to get the ball rolling.
Rich February 19, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Always remember we the parents of the Elementary School children are 2,157 strong. Sen. Johnson will listen and eventually the BOE and Mr. Simon must listen. We are an incredibly STRONG VOTING BLOCK when we stick together. We can save out schools.
Rich February 19, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Quick thought. A very easy way to contact your representatives. Most of us hear from our Representatives by email each week. Simply hit the respond button and let them know what's happening to our schools and our children. Maybe they can get some honest answers from the BOE or maybe they can help us find ways to to keep our schools open. But they more people who are aware of this disaster, the better chance we have to solve it correctly. So when you hear from a Senator or Congressman asking for a donation, tell them what We need in West Islip.
Gerry February 19, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Yes, Michele is right, they are not above lying. Here is something that really bothers me (and it does not affect my children,just really bugs me). All along we were told even if your child goes to a school that remains open, they may be redistricted. We were promised the lines would be drawn in a fair way and anyone could be moved. Now it seems Mr. Simon wants to move the least amount of children. The lines are being drawn in a way that does not make sense. Ex. It would have made sense to send all of Kirdahy to Bayview and move some of Bayiew's children to Bellew (areas near Keith Lane, etc that used to go to Bellew years ago). Seems that is not being done and Kirdahy children will be split and some will get sent to Bellew even though they live a lot closer to Bayview. Also had Manetuck and Westbrook stayed open, they would have been large enough to accomodate all of the north children. Because of the small size of Oquenock, Westbrook's children will now be split 3 ways - Manetuck, Oquenock, and Bellew. When Mr. Simon and Mr. Gellar were asked what will happen to the families that have children in Udall and now their other children will be sent to Bellew (Will they get sent to Beach or Udall? Will families have children in 2 different middle schools?) they said they don't know yet. Seems this should have all been worked out before a decision this big was made.
Rich February 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Another good reason for an investigation by a higher authority. Mr. Simon and the BOE have not done things fairly or balanced yet for our students. Why would it change now with redistricting. We need the NYSSBA or the NYSED to investigate what is going on and to get some truthful answers.
Rich February 22, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Please write to these officials: Congressman Peter King 1003 Park Boulevard Massapequa Park, NY 11762 Phone: 516-541-4225 Senator Charles Schumer 145 Pine Lawn Road #300 Melville, NY 11747 Phone: 631-753-09 Senator Owen Johson 23-24 Argyle Square Babylon, NY 11702 United States Phone:(631) 669-9200
Rich February 22, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Contact these People: NYS School Board Association Thomas J. Nespeca - President 24 Century Hill Drive, Suite 200 Latham, New York 12110-2125 NYS School Board Association Florence D. Johnson - Immediate Past President 24 Century Hill Drive, Suite 200 Latham, New York 12110-2125 CHANCELLOR Merryl H. Tisch New York State Education Department 89 Washington Avenue Board of Regents, Room 110 EB Albany, New York 12234 VICE CHANCELLOR | Milton L. Cofield New York State Education Department 89 Washington Avenue Board of Regents, Room 110 EB Albany, New York 12234
Rich February 22, 2012 at 04:26 PM
And please don't forget: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224
Rich February 22, 2012 at 04:26 PM
If any one would rather take this issue to a higher authority than keep posting, here are some points to to mention in your letters We have tried writing to the BOE and Mr. Simon and they were uninterested in the helping our children or saving our schools. If everyone who is following this injustice on the Patch or Topix will sit down and write to Sen. Owen Johnson, Sen. Schemer, Sen. King, NYSSBA, NYSED, NYS Board of Regents. Include these points. BOE not taking recommendation of its own Search Committee, BOE ignored the testimony of the majority of public that testified at their own meeting, voted on school closings at a secret meeting which took place several weeks before the scheduled meeting for the vote, impact of the deficit was dumped completely on grades 1-5 resulting in overcrowding, poor teacher to student ratios, loss of computer labs, and dispersal of our children in out Integrayed Special Needs Program, loss of 1.5 million due to negligence and not filing paperwork, choosing to close the school with our Inegrated Special Needs Program because of its "potential marketability" but keep open a school with severe mold problems found by the NY State Inspectors, don't forget the BOE giving Mr. Simon an contract extension, perks and bonus all while our district is in debt and they are closing our schools. I believe they slipped in his extension, perks, and bonuses, during summer when schools are closed and we are not watching.
Marianne Bowden February 23, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Interesting article in todays Newsday about Syosset Admin salary and fringe benefits. I cant believe the taxpayers are ok with it. BTW they used WI for one comparison.
Rich February 24, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Anyone interested in following the issues concerning the BOE and our Elementary Schools, can go to the Topix forums at : http://m.topix.com/forum/city/west-islip-ny/TLUINTND2H5O4L748
Deb K. February 24, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Thanks Rich for all the info and the time you put in to get the message out. Hopefully more people get involved and take action. Another good contact is Arnold Diaz Shame on You investigative reporter : http://www.myfoxny.com/subindex/news/shame
Rich February 25, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thanks Deb K. I will drop him a line too.
Julie C March 15, 2012 at 09:36 PM
This is not true Mrs. Pratt, the current principal at Bayview has been let go. She is a wonderful principal who cares about all the students and has a great relationship with the special needs students. The district is making a hugh mistake letting her go.
wiseol'owl March 15, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Julie C. - yes Mrs. Pratt will no longer hold the position of ES principal; however she may very well move into the D.O in the capacity of Executive Director of Elementary Ed.. This was a position the was created and tailored with the excess that was necessary in the ES principal position.
MARY March 16, 2012 at 02:30 AM
so...they needed to cut positions to save money and yet a position which was to be cut to save the district money had a position created and tailored so this person wouldn't lose a job. what about the paras and aides that only make a small fraction of the salary..where are the positions created for them?
wiseol'owl March 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM
@Mary, There aren't any but then again I also haven't heard of any 'incentives' offered to the paras or aides who've been with the district (some for 20+ years) to retire. Some positions just hold a greater value to the district than others I suppose. Hopefully the BOE and Mr. Simon will realize that paras and aides are of great use to the students and staff (which they have worked to preserve) and won't hit those groups so hard with the excessing. There are after all still the same # of children in the district they are just dispersed differently; but they will all still need lots of help, attention and extra eyes to take care of them.
wd May 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Well the vote is in they are letting go 6 cafeteria aides. I just don't understand how they can let go 6 aides when we still have the same amount of children in the district. There is going to be more problems in the cafeteria and playgrounds now. Lets hope we don't have any kind of emergency. Becuase with more students and less aides somethings will go wrong.
Rich May 11, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Not to worry wd, it's okay to fire 6 low paid cafeteria aids who really need their jobs even though it will certainly impact our children. But the good news is that the BOE never re-negotiated with the Administrators do their benefit packaged are completely intact. Vote for Montes and Zotto for a change in how the BOE does business.

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