Meeting of the Board of Regents | February 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Report on the Roosevelt School District
February 1, 2008
Goals 1 and 2
Issue for Information
Monthly report on work underway and progress made in the Roosevelt Union Free School District to support student success.
Reason(s) for Consideration
Requested by members of the Board of Regents.
Each month, the State Education Department provides a report to the Board of Regents on continued work underway in Roosevelt to strengthen student achievement, achieve fiscal stability, and to provide for a productive learning environment where all students can succeed.
The Commissioner of Education exercises fiscal and educational program oversight in the Roosevelt Union Free School District, consistent with Chapter 33 of the Laws of 2002. Each month, the State Education Department provides a report to the Board of Regents on activities and accomplishments in the Roosevelt School District. This month’s report is attached.
Building upon the work completed in the first half of the 2007-08 school year, members of the Board of Regents and State Education Department staff continue to work with Superintendent Robert-Wayne Harris, school district staff, and other partners to support student success and to help the district achieve fiscal stability.
It is recommended that the Regents review the attached update on the operations and oversight of the Roosevelt Union Free School District. Staff is available to provide additional information as requested.
Timetable for Implementation
update on work underway and progress made
in the ROOSEVELT SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Board of Regents and the State Education Department have significantly increased support and oversight at the Roosevelt Union Free School District. Building upon the progress made in the district in the first half of the 2007-08 school year, the Board of Regents and the State Education Department continue to work with the new Roosevelt Superintendent and staff to support student success and to help the district achieve fiscal stability. Highlights of progress made in the district this month include:
Governor and Legislature Approve Financial Package to Ensure a Strong Future for the Roosevelt School District
We are very pleased to report that the Governor and Legislature have approved a financial package for Roosevelt UFSD, which includes:
- $8 million to alleviate the budget deficit,
- a $6 million annual increase in state aid to support academic improvements, and
- a three-year extension of a $4-million annual aid advance.
The financial package, in combination with new leadership in the district, a strong Board of Education, and the Board of Regents and the State Education Department’s commitment to Roosevelt, marks a turning point for the future of the district. The Roosevelt Union Free School District and the State Education Department wish to thank members of the Legislature, particularly Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper and Senator Charles Fuschillo, for their help in obtaining the funding for the district, as well as Governor Spitzer and the Board of Regents for their ongoing support.
Leadership in the Roosevelt School District
Robert-Wayne Harris continues to work closely with Gale Stevens-Haynes and her colleagues on the Board of Education; Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education Johanna Duncan-Poitier and other State Education Department leadership; Dr. William Brosnan, Interim Executive Director of the Long Island Regional School Support Center; as well as other partners, continue to provide leadership in the district.
This month, the regional BOCES and the Long Island Regional School Support Center continue are working closely with Superintendent Harris and Roosevelt leadership to provide direct assistance to district administration and to help to review and update the 5-Year Education Plan.
Full-Day Kindergarten Now Available at Roosevelt
As result of a staff reconfiguration, the district is now able to provide a full day kindergarten program. This program will begin on February 4, 2008, and will be provided at no additional cost to the taxpayers of Roosevelt.
Facilities and Construction
The Director of Facilities, Patrick Mehr continues to work collaboratively with Department staff to manage and administer existing facilities and ongoing construction projects in the Roosevelt school district.
The middle school construction project is proceeding as scheduled and is expected to be completed this spring, 2008. Land remediation work is complete. The site is no longer contaminated and it is expected that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health will provide a full release for the occupation of this site after completion.
Soil testing results completed on the High School site shows that this location was not contaminated because of the land remediation work performed at the middle school site.
On-site auditing continues in the district. The Office of the State Comptroller is expected to release the second quarterly report on Roosevelt in the near future. A preliminary draft, which requires a response from the district, indicates that the district is moving in a positive direction, is controlling expenditures, and is on the way to concluding the year with an operating surplus. Continued implementation of the Comptroller’s recommendations and financial vigilance will be necessary to achieve long-term fiscal stability. Examples of work now underway to ensure a strong fiscal future for the district include:
- Work continues on the district’s 2008-2009 operating budget.
- Encumbrances continue to be updated and the Business Official, fiscal Administrator and Office of State Comptroller auditor’s are working together to ensure that spending stays within budget.
- The Fiscal Administrator and Business Official were able to re-secure the services of the district’s foster care consultant. The consultant is following-up upon the remaining outstanding invoices and will work with the District Personnel to secure payment of these receivables.
- Procedures have been instituted and a procedures manual has been developed for attendance reporting. Attendance is now being monitored electronically in the Power School System each week to ensure no errors are made. The attendance report has been submitted and accepted in the State Aid Management System. Attendance Data is critical to the District’s BEDS report and State Aid revenues.
- The District’s Business Official has updated all district insurance policies and submitted a corrected insurance questionnaire.
The Board of Regents and the State Education Department will continue to work closely with the Superintendent, the Roosevelt Board of Education, district administrators and teachers, members of the community, and other partners to address both short and long term priorities for the district. In addition, Dr. Brosnan continues to provide support to the district through the Long Island Regional School Support Center. Highlights of future next steps include:
- Development of a strong curriculum.
- Development of a five-year education plan that is consistent with the district’s fiscal plan.
- Complete major construction projects at the middle and high school.
- Continue to implement the professional development plan that supports teaching and learning.
- Continue to ensure that key leadership positions are filled.
- Continue to provide Department and local network support as needed.
- Strengthen guidance services.