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Aug 14, 2019 11:38 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Sag Harbor School Board Sets Goals, Reinforces Old Goals

Aug 14, 2019 12:36 PM

Finding the next Sag Harbor School District superintendent is one of the school board's top goals for the upcoming 2019-20 school year, board members said during a goals meeting on Monday, August 12. Current Superintendent Katy Graves is set to retire in early January 2020.

According to Ms. Graves, who was hired in July 2014, the board and administrators are working to find an “exceptional educational leader” who would meet specific characteristics identified by the school and community.

In early May, the board accepted Ms. Graves's retirement letter and voted to hire School Leadership LLC — a firm the district has used in previous superintendent searches — to help manage the process at a base cost of $18,000. Ms. Graves’ current salary is $233,175. The district anticipates an update from School Leadership LLC on the superintendent's search in September.

Getting into the goals-setting portion of the meeting, Ms. Graves praised the board for some of its achievements over the last five years as it looks toward future goals. "The board has done a lot of work," she said.

Looking at the board's goal to increase communication with district parents and residents, Ms. Graves said recording and broadcasting Board of Education meetings was one way it has tried to reach a broader audience. She also noted that in academics the district has increased enrollment in its International Baccalaureate (IB) program and that this year 20 Pierson High School seniors scored 1400 or higher on SAT exams with 1600 being the highest score possible to achieve.

Increasing safety in the district is another ongoing goal with the district enhancing security and safety management procedures at both Sag Harbor Elementary School and Pierson Middle High School.

“We’re living in a different world now,” Ms. Graves said, adding that the number of lock-down drills have steadily increased. She added that now, cameras are able to send live feeds to the police in case of an emergency. As one of its new goals for security in 2019-20, the board agreed to move forward with planning for a safety entrance at the middle-high school.

Working off the goal to implement the Seven Dimensions of Wellness — meant to address emotional, environmental and mental wellness throughout the district — Ms. Graves noted the district has moved the start time of school later twice.

“Research says that it is healthier for children,” Ms. Graves said, noting the district will continue to research that issue. It also created a Committee for Diversity and Inclusion this year, which Ms. Graves said would receive continued support from administrators as that committee works toward its own goals.

The district is also working to develop and communicate a plan for the Sag Harbor Learning Center and Sage Hall to enhance opportunities for students and the community and increase district revenue.

Ms. Graves said the Sag Harbor Learning Center and Sage Hall should be finished before September.

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