The Levittown Board of Education met Wednesday with a full agenda for their final meeting before the start of the 2012-13 school year.
After a heated debate across the table at the Aug. 8 meeting, the board approved a motion to enter contract with Kaplan Inc. for an SAT prep course, but before going forward, the board presented new details from the company's contract to the public.
"It's been brought to our attention that the information given to the board was not correct," said Board President Mike Pappas, who expressed his disappointment in the high cost of the Kaplan course at the last meeting.
The SAT Prep course costs $200 per student, compared to the $25 cost of the previous program, which was taught by school faculty. There was talk at the last meeting of the possibility of offering families an option of which course they wanted.
"The information that we received today conflicts with what we received previously," Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane explained. "It states that we can offer the course, however, if we offer it in lieu of our current program, it becomes an impartial equity and we might be liable for the entire cost of the course."
Kevin Regan said that regardless of the misinformation, the district is obligated to honor the course and its contract considering 60 students have already signed up and paid for it.
"I think we're being totally unfair to consider not offering the course," said Regan. "At this point in time, we need to move forward. To sit here tonight and debate is just unfair."
Pappas assured that he didn't intend on taking the course away, but that he was not pleased with the new presentation of information.
In other news, representatives from Chartwells, a dining service geared toward schools, presented new state guidelines for school lunch. In order to be a reimbursable meal, schools must follow new meal requirements including a minimum serving of fruits, vegetables and grains.
Board trustee Peter Porrazzo said although it is now mandated, he was unsure it would really benefit the students.
"I feel like we're going to end up with a lot of vegetables in the garbage and a lot of hungry kids," said Porrazzo.
Helena McKenna, Chartwells District Manager, agreed that it will be a difficult transition, but education and encouragement are key in providing healthier options to students.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Debbie Rifkin also delivered a presentation to the board on the district's academic standing. While the district stood at the county average in most areas in this year's state testing, they rarely surpassed surrounding districts like Island Treees, Hicksville, Wantagh and Seaford.
"I think the entire administration agrees that we have room for improvement," Rifkin stated. "We are taking this very seriously and are just as concerned as our residents. Our next steps are to meet with principals and determine a plan of action."
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