Manhasset schools receive funds for hot spots as network repair continues

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Manhasset schools receive funds for hot spots as network repair continues
Manhasset Acting Superintendent Gaurav Passi announced that the school board will be awarded with funds to rent hotspots as IT professionals continue repairs on the district's computer network. (Photo by Samuele Petruccelli)

The Manhasset Board of Education received $1,500 to rent 50  internet hot spots as IT professionals repaired the district’s computer network last week.

The funds were provided by the Manhasset Tower Foundation, acting Superintendent Gaurav Passi said at a board meeting Tuesday night. He said the hot spots will provide the district with “limited internet access” to allow students to continue learning.

“It’s important for the community to know that we’re working as diligently as possible to resolve the situation in a quick and careful manner,” Passi said. “Our classroom instruction may look different, but it certainly has not stopped.”

He said the repairs were still underway.

Last week, Passi sent an email to the school district saying that its email system and online instructional technology had been disrupted. An investigation was launched after officials were notified and IT professionals began to work on seeing which systems in the network were specifically impacted, he said.

The district, out of caution, shut its entire network while the investigation continued, he said. District officials did not provide a time frame on how long the interruption of email services would last.

Passi touted the work of the faculty in overcoming another obstacle in teaching.

“Our pledge is to keep the community informed of our progress as we work to methodically restore connectivity as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.

During the meeting, four people asked representatives of the board about the status of Superintendent Vincent Butera. Board President Pat Aiken said the district could not comment on the matter.

In September 2020, a Shelter Rock Elementary School teacher filed a complaint alleging that Butera made her feel uncomfortable after hugging her twice in school and frequently visiting her classroom to “just stand in the back and stare,” according to NBC News. Both incidents were described as “creepy.”

Butera said at a Manhasset Board of Education meeting in May that he was “disheartened” that the complainant had construed his actions as troublesome. Butera has been on a leave of absence since mid-May after an investigation by a law firm found that his actions violated the district’s policy on sexual harassment because they were perceived as unwelcome by the teacher.

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