The Great Neck Board of Education extended the deadline to apply to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee by a month, the board announced on Thursday, in light of the summer season.
The application deadline for joining the committee, formed two years ago to bring community members and school administrators together to discuss school community issues, was originally set to be Sunday, July 15. The new date is Wednesday, Aug. 15.
“We felt that a July 15 date was too short in the summer when people are busy,” Barbara Berkowitz, president of the school board, said on Thursday, “so we wanted to send a second notice about it.”
Berkowitz said that so far a couple of people who had already served for the first year applied to join the committee again.
The deadline to join the Citizens Advisory Committee is different from the Building Advisory Committee, formed in 2017 following the approval of a $68.3 million bond to fund infrastructure projects, and Financial Advisory Committee, which both have application deadlines of Friday, Sept. 14.
This is because the Citizens Advisory Committee has an earlier start date for their meetings, Berkowitz said.
Rebecca Sassouni, who first served as a parent member before coming to chair it as a trustee, described it as a way for members of the public to advise both board members and school administrators about issues important to them.
Sassouni said the committee focused on the bond referendum in 2017.
This year, she said, they discussed school district’s messaging, website, mission, and security following the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland and subsequent social media posts that put parents on alert.
Ultimately, Sassouni said the conversations in those meetings changed the school’s protocol to relay the “same information at the same time” to all parents and teachers when it comes to perceived threats.
“That was a concrete example of where the Citizens Advisory Committee expressed its opinion, they were heard, and then there was a turn around response,” Sassouni said.
In addition to a trustee chair, the composition of all three committees includes high schools, residents without children in the district, staff members, and parents.
The application can be found online at https://www.greatneck.k12.ny.us/committees.