What Do You Want to Know?

 

 

Do you have a question about something that's happening in the school district? If you have a question for which you would like clarification based in fact, please e-mail it to the district at questions@wi.k12.ny.us .  The question will be posted and addressed factually on this web site.
  
Date Posted:May, 2009
Question:'Kids Bowl Free All Summer’ is not free. The link requests a onetime payment of $23.95 in exchange for your free bowling pass.
Response:Kids bowl for free.....adults have the opportunity to bowl 2 games per day all summer by purchasing a Family Pass for $23.95. You do not have to purchase the Family Pass for your kids to bowl free. Information below is copied from the kidsbowlfree website.

"Once you register, you will have the opportunity to purchase the family pass. The Family Pass was created to allow four adult family members to enjoy bowling throughout the summer as well. The Family Pass starts from $23.95 and includes 2 GAMES PER PERSON PER DAY. The Family Pass covers up to 4 adult family members. You may have 1, 2, 3, or 4 adults on the family pass."


Date Posted:May, 2009
Question:Since Deer Park Schools have closed, what is the status of swine flu here in West Islip.....Deer Park isn't very far away.
Response:There have been no reported cases of the H1N1swine flu virus in West Islip. The district is being proactive and vigorously cleaning and disinfecting all appropriate areas.

Date Posted:May, 2009
Question:Many times you hear that a young adult who is suspended from school due to insubordination, is at home watching T.V., on the computer, texting or talking to friends as if he/she is on a mini "vacation". Wouldn't there be a possibility that a child or young adult could learn a positive lesson from their actions if a mandatory community or school service is required?
Response:By law the district may not impose community or school service as a penalty in a student disciplinary matter.

Date Posted:May, 2009
Question:Why haven’t the minutes of the April Board of Education meeting been posted on the district website?
Response:Minutes of Board of Education meetings are not posted on the website until after the Board has approved the minutes at a public meeting. Generally this action takes place at the following month's Regular Meeting of the Board of Education.

Date Posted:May, 2009
Question:There have been rumors that the new bleachers at the high school are being taken down for not meeting requirements. Is this true?
Response:According to James Bosse, district Director of Buildings and Grounds, the district has no information about any compliance or "requirement" issues relating to the new bleachers at the high school. There are no plans to remove them.

Date Posted:April, 2009
Question:Are West Islip residents who attend private school allowed to participate in sports. If they are, are there any limitations. If the answer is no, please state/quote where it states they are not allowed to participate.
Response:Students who attend private schools may not participate in interscholastic athletics of their home school district. This is eligibility standard # 6 - Bona Fide Student, as set forth by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. This information can be found in the state handbook. Further information about athletic eligibility is available at www.nyphsaa.org .

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:
I just recently heard that there was an approved pay increase of 15% for all of the administrative staff. Is this fact or just a rumor?  
Response:
All contractual employees, including teachers and administrators are scheduled to receive raises in accordance with their contract language or legal memoranda of agreement.  For example, when percentage and step increases are included, the anticipated teacher increases for next year range from 3.49% to 10.7%, and the 12-month administrator payroll reflects a 9.6% increase. The Board of Education has approached the majority of our contractual employee units regarding salary freezes, deferrals, give-backs, and retirements.  Discussions are on-going.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:On the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, why do I see red boxed (unexcused) absent days throughout the calendar. The tardy and early release days are also in red. I always call when I know my child will be absent, and I always correctly sign them out when we have to leave early. It also contradicts the term calendar to the left of the page.
Response:The attendance events in the parent portal are recorded according the district policy, as indicated in the notes on the bottom of the attendance screen in the parent portal. This is not a record of whether a parent called in an absence for a child, or signed the child out for early release. District policy has two classifications of attendance events. “School Initiated” events, such as field trips, guidance appointments, etc., which are recorded as “exempt” and noted in green on portal screen. All other events are considered “student initiated” and are considered, by policy, to be “unexcused” and are noted in red on the portal screen.

The term calendar on the left of the screen records attendance events on a period by period basis for students in the middle schools and high school. So, for example, if a student arrived at school during Period 3, the student would be listed as absent for Periods 1 and 2, and tardy during Period 3.
 

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:I just want to say that I’m I was not the only parent annoyed by delay in the completion of driver education certificates.  They were not all mailed on Tuesday.  Our envelope was postmarked Friday 2/27/09. In addition, did we have to incur the cost of postage and additional wait time when they could have been distributed at school – the same way the kids signed up for the program
Response:The driver education certificates were placed in the outgoing mail on Tuesday afternoon, February 24, 2009. We cannot account for the Friday postmark. We appreciate the suggestion to distribute the certificates in school. This is feasible for students who take driver education in the Fall. Unfortunately, the Spring semester of driver education concludes during or after the final exam period, and the Summer session will be completed in early August. For those sessions, the most expeditious method of certificate distribution will be by mail.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:Once Driver’s Ed. has finished, why does it take 6-8 weeks for the DMV form to be delivered? If quarterly grades can be submitted within a week, can’t Driver’s Ed. grades be done as well? I understand there is a limitation of staff, but the delay is excessive. I paid $340.00, and my son still has no senior license even though he has completed all steps, including his road test.
Response:All activities for the Fall semester of Driver’s Education were completed on Saturday, February 7, 2009. Grades for the lecture and in-class portions of the program were submitted on Friday, February 13th, the day before winter break. DMV forms were completed and mailed home on Tuesday, February 24th following winter vacation.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:Many Suffolk County school districts inform parents/guardians via taped telephone messaging either to home or a designated cell number, the closing of school due to inclement weather, school evacuations once the students are in a safe environment, etc. Why isn’t this practice implemented at West Islip?
Response:The district has investigated such telephone notification systems. The district is working with its telephone system vendor to develop a cost-effective system for emergency notifications. Several tests of the system were completed in the fall, with unsatisfactory results. We will not rely upon or implement the system until we are satisfied that it can reach all parents in a timely way.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:I would like to know what the school district is doing about “going green.” A lot of money is spent on work books and textbooks for the kids, yet my kids are always coming home with dittos to do their homework on. I would also like to add that with 3 kids in the district the number of notices I receive is overwhelming.  With almost everybody having e-mail address why cant notices be sent via e-mail? Thousands of dollars can be saved on printer ink and paper. By reducing our paper and ink usage we can do our part in helping conserve the environment and can be the start of more environmentally conscience acts with the hope that other schools following suit.
Response:The district has several initiatives to reduce consumption, limit paper use, recycle, and conserve energy. Staff memos are being distributed by email, teachers are asked to make 2-sided copies and reuse paper where possible. Multiple-page vacation work packets have been eliminated. The district participates in a toner and ink cartridge recycling program. The replacement of boilers under the bond project will result in better energy efficiency. As more parents access the Parent Portal for student information, the district will be able to reduce paper and postage costs for printing and mailing report cards. The district’s student information system will soon be able to be used to send email messages to those parents who have supplied the district with an email address. The High School’s “Go Green” student group is working to develop a plan to recycle paper. Currently the Town of Islip wants to charge the schools to pick up and recycle paper which presents a cost to the district. (Surrounding towns do not charge schools for paper recycling.) This group has also worked with the elementary schools to provide instruction to students on recycling and conservation efforts.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:Please tell me that there are plans to revamp the fields and track at Beach Middle School. All the fields are an absolute embarrassment, and the fact that the track there is 1/8 of a mile and is broken and littered with glass is just a pity. With the Athletic Programs that are in West Islip, one would think that there would be some priority with the condition of the fields that our children play on.
Response:Improving and maintaining high-level athletic fields during these difficult budget years will be challenging, but we will continue to work hard in that direction.

Our Buildings and Grounds department and our Athletic department have discussed the short and long term solutions for the Beach MS fields and track. This spring, the edges around the ball fields, track and long jumps will be cleaned-up and maintained. Infields will be groomed and outfields will be aerated properly.

Lastly, as part of a long-range solution which incorporates all district fields, based on available funds, consideration will be made to resurface the track and long jumps. In addition, the grading, grass and finishing of the football, baseball and soccer fields will be addressed as a major project.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:Is graduation rehearsal mandatory?
Response:Graduation rehearsal is mandatory with very few exceptions, each decided on a case by case basis.  Examples of exceptions might include illness, death in family, conflicting Regents exam, mandatory college orientation, etc.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:My 10th grade student has told me many times during the year that "Smart boards" expected by her teachers are in storage at the high school awaiting installation.  The teachers have stated that this situation has existed since the beginning of the school year.  After so much money has been spent on this technology, why aren't we able to get it functioning in a timely manner?
Response:Unfortunately, due to some staff illnesses and changes, and some technical issues, the process of installing the Smartboards was delayed.  At this point we expect that the installation will be completed no later than the middle of March.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:Does West Islip High School have a program that facilitates participation in the Intel Science competition? Why does our school not produce any finalists?
Response:Please see attached document.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:Where can residents find the financial reports explaining where the budgeted money is spent?
Response:The annual financial statements are posted here on the District web site. The Board of Education receives monthly financial statements throughout the year. Residents can request a copy of these reports by filing a Freedom of Information Request with Jeanne Koeper at District Office.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:I don't see anything in the dress code regarding piercings. Are piercings of body parts other than ears permitted?
Response:The District's dress code is designed to insure that student attire does not endanger health or safety, is not offensive, or disruptive to the learning environment. State regulations and the courts have consistently held that student dress may not be restricted unless it compromises health or safety, is offensive, or is disruptive to the learning environment. If a student displays piercings that are unacceptable under the dress code, it would be dealt with as a violation. Please refer to the question and answer below concerning enforcement of the dress code.

Date Posted:March, 2009
Question:How come West Islip Schools do not have teaching assistants in their classrooms?
Response:The District employs 41 teaching assistants in those classes or assignments where there is a need for such services. These assignments include various special education classes, regular education inclusion classes which enroll special education students who can benefit from such placements, and in Computer Labs, Math, Science, Technology (MST) Labs.

Date Posted:February, 2009
Question:

How come West Islip school district does not provide a reading/math
summer program for students grades 1-5?

Response:

During the summer of 2008, the district offered a limited, pilot summer reading skills reinforcement program to students completing Grades 1-5 who were identified as being at high risk.  If necessary funding is in place, the district anticipates offering a similar program again during the summer of 2009.  Exact parameters for the 2009 program have not yet been determined.


Date Posted:February, 2009
Question:

Why is it that the dress code in West Islip High School is not enforced?  Is it because of some “law” and the district can be liable?

Response:

When a student is identified as being in violation of the dress code, he/she is referred to the appropriate grade level dean.  The dean will ask the student to remove any inappropriate attire, or ask the student to modify his/her dress in order to be in compliance with the dress code.  The dean may offer a t-shirt to the student, if that will assist him/her in complying with the dress code.  If necessary, the student's parent is contacted to bring a change of clothing to school.  If a student fails to comply with this request, the student is assigned an appropriate penalty under the district's code of conduct.


Date Posted:February, 2009
Question:

Why hasn't the work on the football field and other various schools which were suppose to be worked on after the bond vote passed been started?  I have children in Beach Street and the High School and have noticed that no work seems to be getting done in these schools?

Response:
The bond project plans were submitted to the New York State Education Department, and we are still awaiting comments and final approval, which we expect this spring.  We anticipate breaking ground with field and track work, site work, and boiler replacements this July.  Due to the large scope of the bond work, we estimate construction will continue for at least 18 months which includes the summer of 2009 and 2010.

Date Posted:September 9, 2008
Question:
Why are Bayview's Math and ELA results substantially lower than the rest of the elementary schools' scores in the district?
Response:

The performance level on the New York State Math and ELA assessments vary from school to school due to a number of factors including the demographics and needs of the student population.  The scores reported include all students, American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, White, Students With Disabilities, Limited English Proficient, and Economically Disadvantaged Subgroups.  It should be noted that the scores of all grade levels, for all subgroups in all district schools are above their Annual Measurable Objective target values.  The district employs the same curriculum and materials in each of its schools, and teachers strive to meet the individual learning needs of each child.  The district has noted the discrepancy in the scores at Bayview relative to other district schools and has begun to implement strategies to improve student achievement including providing additional reading support services, and a review of the district’s mathematics program.


Date Posted:September 4, 2008
Question:Why does the high school begin its lunch periods so early?  My child's lunch is scheduled at 10:30 am.
Response:
The high school has four lunch periods, with the first one at 10:30 am.  This is done because of the cafeteria size, which requires the student body to be divided into four.  Accommodations are made for students with diabetes, etc. 
Since the high school classes begin at 7:20 am, it is assumed that students eat breakfast around 6:30 am, which explains why many are hungry for lunch four hours later.  Those who do eat during that first lunch period can stop at the school store to purchase a snack later in the day, or they can bring one from home.
The school day ends at 2:10 pm, so the first and second lunch periods are actually in the middle of the day for students.
 
Thank you for your inquiry.