Manhasset BOE views enrollment numbers, sexual harassment policy

Manhasset BOE views enrollment numbers, sexual harassment policy
The Manhasset Public Schools district discussed elementary school enrollment numbers and gender pronoun specifics in their sexual harassment policy at the Aug. 3 board of trustees meeting. (Courtesy Karina Kovac)

The Manhasset Public Schools Board of Education convened Aug. 3 to discuss the number of elementary school sections and a second reading of the sexual harassment policy to ensure compliance with legal standards.

At the meeting, the board finalized the number of sections required for elementary school students across various grade levels. Gaurav Passi, the superintendent of Manhasset Public Schools, shared enrollment data from Munsey Park Elementary School and Shelter Rock Elementary School.

The enrollment figures indicated that kindergarten enrollment, often the most challenging to predict, stood at 84 students with four pending registrations. Similarly, first grade enrollment was 87 students with two pending, while second grade had 116 students with one pending. The enrollment numbers totaled 105 students in third grade, 138 in fourth grade, 147 in fifth grade with one pending, and 128 in sixth grade with three pending registrations.

“We had projected five sections for grades six,” said Passi, “If the three pending packets register, we will have all sections at our guidelines. We are also aware of two families who have informed us that they have purchased a home in Manhasset and expect to register their children in the fall and their children will attend Muncie Park, grade six. If they do register, then we would have two classes that are over guidelines for grade six.”

Recommendations were made to address the need for additional sections at Munsey Park Elementary School. With enrollment figures in mind, the board considered the addition of another section to accommodate the growing student population. The expansion also considered the fact that some grade levels were on the verge of exceeding recommended class sizes.

Shelter Rock Elementary School also needed adjustments based on enrollment data. Kindergarten and first grade had 67 students each, while second grade had 91 students, prompting the addition of another section. Enrollment figures for other grades were third grade at 77, fourth grade with 98, fifth grade totaling 99 with four pending, and sixth grade at 127. An additional section for second grade was added to prevent exceeding class size guidelines.

The school board discussed budget implications related to the additional sections. Despite budget constraints, the board managed to allocate resources to ensure classroom size was not surpassed. A one-time retirement incentive was introduced to help fund an additional section. The decision not to fill an open IT position and to distribute the responsibilities of one employee between two schools also contributed to cost savings. The budget accommodated the creation of three additional sections, surpassing initial projections.

Trustee Ted Post acknowledged the challenges posed by budget limitations and expressed appreciation for the hard work put in by the board. “I certainly appreciate all the hard work in reviewing this and talking with us about this. I realize the budget is tight, and that’s a reality we’re going to have to deal with on an ongoing basis. But I really do appreciate the hard work from your team,” he said.

The board also addressed changes in the sexual harassment policy during the meeting. The second reading of the policy highlighted substantial modifications, including the inclusion of specific examples of prohibited behaviors. The Department of Labor and New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal provided guidance, which resulted in examples being added, including intentional misuse of gender pronouns.

The board engaged in discussions about the necessity of including this aspect in the policy.

“The legal advice we have received is that whether or not we had that in a policy in our sexual harassment policy, it is absolute law that you cannot allow anyone in our schools to intentionally misuse transgender preferred gender pronouns,” said Trustee Erin Royce. “So. we are not legally required to have it in our policies, but whether or not we put it there is absolutely law that we must enforce.”

Post voiced concerns about the potential challenges of enforcing this aspect and emphasized the importance of thoroughly understanding the implications. The board agreed to conduct another reading of the policy, potentially even a fourth if needed, to ensure a comprehensive understanding and implementation of the law.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here