Education Briefs: Communications Coordinator, Transportation Consultant Hired

District clerk Victoria Handy has been hired for additional hours as the communications coordinator for the Sag Harbor School District. Christine Sampson photo

Communications Coordinator Hired

The Sag Harbor School Board on Monday voted 4-1 to create the position of “communications coordinator” by adding 11 hours to the 29-hour-a-week position of district clerk, making it a full-time position.

Board vice president January Kerr and members Alex Kriegsman, Stephanie Bitis and Susan Schaefer voted in favor of the measure while board member Chris Tice voted against it. Board member Susan Lamontagne abstained, and board president Diana Kolhoff was absent from the meeting.

The motion was not without controversy, with board members clashing over exactly how to proceed. Ms. Lamontagne favored creating an overall communications plan for the district, while Ms. Tice favored surveying the parents, students and other stakeholders to gauge their communications needs and posting the job publicly to attract a wide range of candidates. Mr. Kriegsman said he supported the proposal of creating the 11-hour-a-week coordinator position and appointing district clerk Victoria Handy to the role. He ultimately made the motion to approve the position, which did not appear on the meeting agenda.

“I am agreeing with you on a survey,” superintendent Katy Graves said during the meeting. “I’m asking for 11 hours for help to start with it.”

Transportation Consultant Approved

The school board formally voted Monday to hire Transportation Advisory Services (TAS), an upstate consulting firm, to analyze the district’s existing school busing logistics.

The initially proposed contract was for $11,850, but the board also approved additional funding for the consultants to come visit Sag Harbor to deliver their findings and answer questions in person.

“It may be worth the investment to have them come and have that robust conversation,” Superintendent Katy Graves said before the board took a vote. “That’s the culture of Sag Harbor.”

The district is scheduled to receive the report from TAS by March 18.

2018-19 School Calendar Approved

During the 2018-19 school year, the first day of school will be on Wednesday, September 5, and the last day of school will be Wednesday, June 26, 2019, according to the calendar approved by the school board on Monday.

Superintendent Katy Graves previously said there are three snow days built into the new calendar.

Key dates include winter recess from December 24 through January 1, 2019, and mid-winter recess from February 18 through February 22, 2019. School will also be closed April 19 and April 22 through 26 for Good Friday and spring break in 2019. High School graduation is planned for Saturday, June 29, 2019.