The first Port Washington Board of Education meeting of the new school year on Tuesday night was a brief but passionate one.
Several local residents voiced their frustrations about the district’s holiday schedule and possible charges being brought against a guidance counselor.
Support for the guidance counselor was voiced when the meeting was opened up for public comment at the beginning. Although board President Karen Sloane said the board would not comment on or respond to any questions about allegations, a couple of local residents said that the person in question had a positive impact on their children.
The Port Washington school district declined to comment on the matter.
Several members of the community also requested that Diwali become a school holiday. Diwali is one of the most popular holidays for Hindus and is celebrated in the autumn each year. (Diwali falls on Oct. 19 in 2017.) In the 2017-18 calendar, Port Washington students have 26 days off between the first day of school on Sept. 5 and the last day on June 22.
Things moved quickly after the public session ended, with the remainder of the meeting lasting just half an hour. The board honored several students at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School who ranked in the top 10 in the 2017 National French Contest, New York-Nassau chapter.
Three new administrators addressed the board and public and previewed some of their goals for the year.
“My ability to speak… Spanish will enable me to bridge the communication gap and build connections between parents and the school community,” said Kimberly Licato, who will serve as assistant principal at both Sousa and Guggenheim elementary schools.
The next Board of Education meeting will be held on Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. at Paul D. Schreiber High School.