By Madison Kane
On Thursday Dec. 22, the Jericho Union Free School District held their monthly Board of Education meeting.
The meeting began with a moment of silence for the loss of two former employees of the district. Victor Manuel, Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs, then began to talk about the recent trip that 130 high school students went on to Disney World. Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Ivy Sherman, then summarized the trip, as she was a chaperon for the time being. Students, besides having the opportunity to spend time at the parks, performed at Disney Springs as individual performing groups. Dr. Sherman said, “They were incredible. They glowed. It was beyond heartwarming.”
“The behavior of the students was incredible,” she added.
The next item of conversation was the new school food service provider, Aramark, that was brought in early December. The purpose of changing the food provider was to include more variety and fresh fruits and vegetables in the lunch options. About three or four weeks in, a lot of positive feedback was being heard. 1,089 lunches were served on Tuesday, Dec. 20, which broke the record for most school lunches served in a day. Victor Manuel said, “The variety that’s there and will continue for the balance of the year. We are really excited about it and we can just see it with the number of students purchasing lunch…We look forward to the board visiting the cafeteria at the end of January/beginning of February.”
Manuel, in place of Superintendent Hank Grishman due to his absence, read a letter to Mr. Grishman and the board on behalf of Allison Edelman, the President of the Jericho Joint PTA Council. The letter entailed information that summed up the council’s December meeting, including distribution of new Jericho apparel, life skill classes setting up a pen pal program, and a presentation from Dr. Patrick Fogarty, Director of Educational Technology, about password protection, online security, school accounts and more.
Jericho High School’s own Student Council Presidents, Ruby Shanker and Patrick Zhao, briefly explained some of the events that have been going on at the school over the course of the month.
They spoke about the new school musical, Jericho Talent and Fashion show, high school band concert, the Disney trip for band, orchestra and chorus students, Spanish classes dressed up in Argentinian colors for the win, Poetry out loud, Christmas spirit week, and course information night.
Jill Citron, member of the Board of Education, called upon Manuel to discuss the new property tax exemption for low income senior citizens and people with disabilities in Nassau County. The county asks school districts if they want to sign on for the same exemption. If they would like to do so, they would need to have done so by Jan, 2. Jericho currently has 37 residents that fall under the category that meets the need for the exemption, who, on average, make $37K per year. What this resolution does is increase their salary to a range of $50K-$58K per year. Manuel said “What we are recommending here is to go along with what the town has already approved and the county has already approved and provide this additional exemption for our low income senior citizens that live in Jericho and for our persons with disabilities that live in Jericho as well.”
The meeting closed out with Citron reading through the agenda and the resolutions.
—Madison Kane is a sophomore at Jericho High School