New sports classes proposed for Roslyn schools

New sports classes proposed for Roslyn schools
Roslyn school board President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy and board Vice President Clifford Saffron, pictured at a Board of Trustees meeting, were both re-elected for their sixth terms in this year's school elections. (Photo by Jessica Chin)

By Jessica Chin

The Roslyn school district athletics director proposed new elective courses, including yoga, self-defense, crossfit and wellness, for the district’s high school in his 2017-2018 budget presentation Thursday night.

The athletic director, Michael Brostowski, proposed a 9.5 percent increase for his department’s 2017-2018 budget to $1,444,957, up from $1,319,281 this year.

“We’re going to be increasing supervision, which is a large portion of that increase, and purchasing new equipment, the other large part of that increase,” Brostowski said.

Increasing supervision would increase security and create a safer environment for all the games in the district, Brostowski said.

Especially since some high school games have become more contentious, “it would behoove us now to have that extra supervision,” he said.

Other new additions Brostowski requested include a new cheerleading team for the upcoming fall season, a weather station, new bleachers for the tennis team, two batting tunnels for baseball and softball, and girls’ lacrosse headgear. Brostowski also hopes to expand health education to students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

School board members and administrators applauded Brostowski’s proposal to add the new elective fitness classes.

“This is really progressive thinking, this is the kind of innovation that we want all our department heads to bring to the board,” Clifford Saffron, the school board’s vice president, said.

The board president, Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy, said she was concerned about whether the course electives would fit into the students’ already intensive schedules.

Brostowski said he would work to get students to buy in to the new courses and fit them in their schedules.

Also on Thursday, the district’s assistant to the superintendent for administration and special projects, Kevin Carpenter, also presented his 2017-2018 budget proposal at Thursday night’s board meeting.

The proposed budget of $2,936,853 for the 2017-2018 year would be a very slight reduction from this year’s adopted budget of $2,937,063.

“It’s a modest reduction, but we’re asking for a reduction of $210 so we’re keeping it level,” Carpenter said.

Two areas see large decreases in his budget. One is equipment with a reduction of $108,000, and the other is in the oil budget by about $90,000.

This is largely due to the lower price of oil in the market, Carpenter said. Projected increases in natural gas and electricity prices also drive increases in those parts of the budget, Carpenter said.

Carpenter’s proposal includes money for new floor machines, new radios for better communication and border collie dogs to control the goose population.

“The border collies are not there to injure the geese, they’re there to harass,” Carpenter said. “If they’re harassed, they’ll find another place.”

This method of control was recommended by Geesepeace, a national organization dedicated to controlling geese in a caring manner, and is already in use in the Town of Oyster Bay, Carpenter said.

The district’s total $107.8 million budget would increase spending by about $2 million and increase revenue from property taxes by about 0.64 percent, an average tax increase of $90 per year per homeowner.

The Roslyn school board is set to adopt the 2017-18 budget in April, said Barry Edelson, a district spokesman.

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