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Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - 11:00pm

 sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier



Report on the Roosevelt School District



March 4, 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.

Proposed Handling 


For information.


Procedural History


              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.


Background Information


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


              Not applicable.


update on work underway and progress made


MARCH 2008


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:


Targeted Support to the Roosevelt School District


Funding has been identified through the Gates and Wallace Foundations to provide the Roosevelt School District with additional support focused on three priority areas.  Examples of work now underway with the targeted resources include:


  • Strengthening Guidance Services: A consultant has been hired to provide leadership in strengthening the guidance services provided to students in the district.


  • Improving Business and Fiscal Operations: Roosevelt leadership is working with an area college to identify and assign students to serve as business interns in the Roosevelt business office to support and enhance the district’s business and fiscal operations. 


  • Improving Data Collection and Reporting: In collaboration with the Superintendent, BOCES will assign staff, several days a week, to provide training and technical assistance to Roosevelt staff on the use of PowerSchool, the district’s data system.


The additional resources are being targeted to address priority areas in the district as identified by the Board of Education, Roosevelt leadership and staff, members of the Roosevelt community, parents, students, the State Education Department, the Office of the State Comptroller, and others.  This work will set the stage for systemic improvements in these priority areas for the future.


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.


Dr. Cathy Corbett will be starting as the head of the Roosevelt High School Guidance Department.  Dr. Corbett was the Chair of Guidance in Hicksville and also has experience working in Amityville and Wyandanch school districts.  Dr. Corbett has higher education experience as she has worked at SUNY Old Westbury. The district is happy to announce the appointment of Dr. Corbett to this important leadership position.


The Superintendent is also planning to hire an Assistant Superintendent for business before the end of the school year.


Full-day Kindergarten at Roosevelt


Full-day Kindergarten has been reinstated in the Roosevelt School District at no cost to the district or to taxpayers.  The full-day program was among the services cut in 2006 after the district’s budget proposal was rejected by voters.  Since that time, students have been attending a half-day program.  News of the full-day Kindergarten has been very well-received by parents and community members, including the Roosevelt Watch Society. Approximately 250 students are enrolled in Kindergarten at Roosevelt.  In an article that appeared in Newsday last month, Roosevelt Superintendent Robert Wayne Harris said he considered the return of full-day Kindergarten a sign the district is getting back on its feet and is just one of the academic improvements that will be made in the district.


Regional BOCES/Long Island Regional School Support Center Continues to Provide Important Assistance to the District


This month, the regional BOCES, Long Island Regional School Support Center, and Dr. Brosnan continue to work closely with Superintendent Harris and Roosevelt leadership to provide direct assistance to district administration. The Long Island Regional School Support Center (LIRSSC) staff has provided technical assistance to the middle school principal to assist with the transition from a 7-8 middle school to a 6-8 middle school (in a new building) next September. LIRSSC staff also worked with the Interim Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Funded Programs to assure alignment and agreement between the middle and elementary schools, and assisted the district staff in their review of effective Academic Intervention Service programs.


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.


Fiscal Update


On-site auditing continues in the district.  The Office of the State Comptroller audit reports that a combination of tighter spending and stricter revenue collection should produce an operating surplus in Roosevelt of $1.7 million for the school year ending in June. This latest report marks a dramatic turnaround for the Roosevelt UFSD. The OSC and SED will continue to monitor the progress of the district implementation of financial controls.


 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.


Next Steps


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:


  • Strengthening the 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.
  • Other