Board Catches Heat Over Website

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While a number of vacancies in the district were filled at Monday’s board of education meeting, it was a resignation that garnered the majority of public input. Elliot Kaye, one of three individuals on Sag Harbor schools’ technology team, stepped down this week and one of his major tasks was managing the district website.

Teacher Marianne Terrigno was very concerned with Kaye’s departure. She said, as it stands now, the website is rarely updated and brought up the fact that if you click through the pages, some have Dr. John Gratto’s name on them as the superintendent and some do not.

“Now that we’ve lost Elliot, I can’t even imagine,” she said. “Even with the three of them, it was a disaster. I don’t know how the school is going to function technology wise.”

Parent Tom Gleason said, “The website itself, once again, we all know needs a tremendous amount of work. It is antiquated compared to so many school districts and it’s such a vital input area for us now.”

Gratto told the audience one of the current district goals is to utilize the website to better communicate with the public. He said if there is something not on the website currently that a parent would like to see, such as class reading lists, then to please contact the district and he would make sure it gets posted to the site.

Such information, like reading lists and homework assignments, are often posted by the teachers themselves on their E-boards, a tool that allows parents and students to access the information via the website. Parent Vanessa Leggard pointed out that not all of the teachers use the tool and said she believed they should.

“The teachers who do not use E-boards are the teachers who do not communicate,” she said.

Board president Walter Wilcoxen said using the tool was strictly up to the teachers.

“It’s a contractual issue between the district and [the teachers association],” said Wilcoxen. “I think everyone agrees with you. It’s a high priority and it’s a great tool and it’s going to get better.”

The other issue with the E-boards is they cannot be accessed on the elementary school’s website. Parent Chris Tice asked if they were going to be up and running for this school year.

“With a three person technology group the elementary website was incredibly neglected,” she said, pointing out that Kaye’s resignation would mean one less person on the job.

“To have an elementary school in this day and age that doesn’t have a well-functioning website is ludicrous.”

Currently a new elementary school website is under construction, said assistant principal Matt Malone. The new website will have a similar tool to the E-board called teacher pages and Malone said they hope to have it completed “as soon as possible.” 

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