Dear Connetquot Community,

I hope that this email finds you and your family safe and well. 

I am writing this in hopes of eliminating some of the misinformation that is currently being shared throughout the community.  At last week’s meeting of the Connetquot Board of Education, some very important topics were discussed and some impactful decisions were made.

What was acted upon:

As part of its on-going work to reduce operating expenditures for 2020-21 to align with current revenue estimates,  the Board of Education proposed and approved the abolishment of the following positions effective July 1, 2020: 1.  the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, 2.  the assistant superintendent for special services, 3.  the director of guidance, 4.  an elementary assistant principal, 5.  a high school assistant principal and the high school dean of students. Furthermore, the district approved a resolution to work to renegotiate our contract with Suffolk Transportation given our reduced service needs as a result of the school closure due to COVID-19.  

In an effort to continue to support our students socially and emotionally through this time of distance learning, the Board also voted to allow for continued student participation in clubs through virtual platforms. We realize for so many students school goes well beyond what transpires in the classroom and they find joy, inspiration and enrichment in the co-curricular activities they take part in and felt that this was an important way to help them stay connected. Those advisors who have access to and the ability to continue to facilitate club meetings and activities remotely will do so while our schools remain closed. Greater detail about this will be provided by each club advisor.  

Although we are uncertain as to what the future of this school year looks like, we are committed to not overlooking the important milestones that this year represents for many of our students. As such, the Board will be creating a community committee to help discuss ways in which we can celebrate and honor our students whose educational journey will reach pivotal junctions this June. These include, but are not limited to, moving up events and graduations. The charge of the committee will be to discuss and brainstorm ways to mark these momentous occasions should our mandated school closure extend beyond the most recent May 15 date.

Matters discussed but NOT acted upon:

During budget discussions, the Board also questioned what would be the potential financial impact if the district were to rezone and close John Pearl Elementary School. 

Following this request, at the April 16 meeting preliminary information as to the potential staffing implication and cost savings was shared. As a decision of this magnitude would require careful planning and consideration, that conversation generated new questions and additional information was requested by the Board of Education.

As such, the administration has now been asked by the Board to research what the rezoned school boundary lines might be for the remaining three elementary schools on the south end of the district (Bosti, Idle Hour and Sycamore), how long the bus routes might be for students moving to new schools and what other expenditures might be increased/decreased should this potentially occur in the future. Additionally, the question of what would become of a vacant school building was raised. To help better understand this, the administration will be speaking with other local school districts to find out what they have done with recently closed buildings.

The district is now in the process of gathering all of this information and will share it during a future public meeting, the date for which has not yet been established.

Where we stand now:

No final decisions other than those listed in the first part of this message have been made on the 2020-21 budget due to the economic uncertainty in New York State and in the absence of a state approved budget/school aid package. 

Governor Cuomo has provided dates by which a more realistic budget projection for state aid will be disseminated – the first of those is April 30, 2020.  However, yesterday, the Governor stated that without federal government assistance school districts across the state might be looking at a 20% decrease in state aid due to the economic deficit New York State is facing.  In Connetquot School District, the loss of 20% state aid would mean a decrease of approximately 11 million dollars in revenue.  Decreased revenue of that magnitude is debilitating to any school district.   When we receive the new state aid revenue projection, we, along with all other school districts, may need to rethink our entire budget and the tremendous impact that kind of loss in revenue would have on all programs and staffing. One way we can all help, is to call upon our district representatives in Congress to urge them to ensure greater support in the form of federal aid to our schools. Without that help, it might not be possible for our state to avoid such drastic cuts to public school funding.  

This is not an easy time to say the least, but please know we are committed to taking the time needed to digest the information being provided before any decisions are made.

In the meantime, we are all suffering – some from losses of loved ones, some from anxiety and isolation, some battling their own or a loved one’s illness, some from working day and night to fight against this horrible disease.  

These are the times when communities need to support each other, not tear each other down.  When this pandemic finally abates, will the hurt that we impose on each other be able to be forgiven, or will it keep the community at odds in a time when we are emerging frightened and stressed?

I realize that many of the topics being discussed can bring up questions, concerns and a host of emotions from individuals. Please, as we work through all of this, lets agree to stay connected in a positive way and not lash out behind a keyboard, without being able to see the hurt we have imposed.  Be kind, ask questions, seek to understand other’s points of view, without attack and censure. 

We are one community, let’s continue to make it a strong one. We will get through this, but only if we work together.  

Please stay safe and healthy.


Lynda G. Adams, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools