Mamaroneck Gets New Principal and School Budget

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The first order of business at Tuesday’s Mamaroneck School Board meeting was to confirm Elizabeth Clain as the new principal of Mamaroneck High School.

She has been a Social Studies instructor at Mamaroneck High School for the past 15  years.  She received high accolades and a strong recommendation from the district’s superintendent, Dr. Robert I. Shaps.

Incoming MHS Principal Liz Clain

Ms.Clain accepted her new position saying “I am humbled to have been chosen principal (corrected, see below) of Mamaroneck High School.  It is a community that I live in.  It is a school that I have sent my children to.”  She continued, ” I plan to continue to lead as a teacher because that is where my heart is.  My role is supporting teachers so they could do their jobs which is the most important job in school.”

Later, the recommended budget was presented by Dr. Shaps.  He explained that he “enjoyed and felt a strong affinity to the group of citizens who comprised this years citizens budget advisory committee” and the goals of the collaborative budget process were to assess the effectiveness of current programs, explore efficiencies to reduce cost, examine the budget in a multi-year frame, remain transparent and work with unions to develop financially sustainable contracts.

The two guiding principles under which the budget was developed were academic excellence and an investment in professional development.

“I am recommending a budget of $124,507,167”, said Dr. Shaps. This is a 2.4% increase from last year and a 1.9% increase from budget to budget.  He said that the “biggest part” of the budget is enrollment.

“Enrollment drives personnel decisions, program changes and class sizes.”

He predicted a flat district enrollment which would be a slight or negligible increase in the elementary schools, 39 additional students in middle school and a slight drop in enrollment at the high school.

Dr. Schaps recommended the following additional staffing:

At the High School level:

.6 FT E(mployee) for language teacher based on the increasing enrollment in Spanish

.2 FT E for a pilot program in distance learning

.2 FT E for a drama teacher and .2 FT E for a dance teacher as part of restructuring the Pace program

At the Middle School level:

A general music teacher to balance music opportunities for students who do not participate in band, chorus or orchestra.

At the Elementary School level:

A redesign of AIS programs and services

1.0 FT E for regular classroom instruction “In total we seek to add 4.8 FT E positions across the district”, said Dr. Shaps.

 

Dr. Shaps recommended the following reductions:

At the High School level:

1.0 reduction for P.E. teacher and to expand the Interscholastic Sports waiver

.8 FT E reduction in the Apple Program consisting of a social studies, math, English and language teacher

At the Middle School level:

.6 FT E for a P.E teacher by reducing instruction time

At the Elementary level:

3.0 FT E reduction for regular teachers

1.0 FT E reduction for a special education teacher

1.0 FT E reduction for a speech teacher.

1.0 FT E reduction for a physical education teacher

1.0 FT E reduction for a teaching aide

1.0 FT E reduction for a teaching assistant Dr. Shaps suggested that class sizes adhere to the “current class guidelines established by the Board of Education.”

The total would be a 10.4 FT E reduction in staff and a 5.6% FT E staff reduction.

–Debbie Ausch is the owner of Prodigy Learning Center in Larchmont

3 thoughts on “Mamaroneck Gets New Principal and School Budget

  1. I am hoping that other parents will oppose this plan to resolve the school budget by axing Phys. Ed. teachers. We live in a nation where childhood obesity is a problem that has been recognized by the President and First Lady, and yet seems to be of no importance to our our own community. The plan to justify loss of excellent teachers according to the waiver for High School athletics is very poorly thought out. There are actually few students who participate in modified sports teams, and those that do tend to play more than one sport. Look at the rosters for Baseball and Hockey and you’ll see what I mean. There is already an abundance of free time in an Open High School, and a serious drinking/drug problem in our schools. By choosing to reduce physical education we are endorsing a couch potato life style and failing to prepare our kids to embrace physical activity in an informed, supported way. I have a deep respect for academic achievement. At the same time, research studies suggest that physical exercise is the most important ingredient in managing stress and promoting physical and mental health. Left to their own devices, most teens and preteens will choose to spend free/unsupervised time on Facebook or with a game control in their hands. We are likely forcing talented teachers to find jobs in other school districts for a plan that is detrimental to our entire community.

  2. I would think that is an editor’s mistake. Spellcheck would miss that one.

    I am so happy Ms. Clain will be princiPAL Of MHS. She a stellar teacher, well-liked and respected. She knows the school, its strengths and weaknesses, far better than an outsider. Great choice!
    editor: most definitely my oversight. Correct spelling is an important principle!

  3. Either she is humbled because she does not know that “principle” and “principal” are two different words, or because she realizes that the principal at Prodigy Learning Center does not know that. In both cases, not a good omen for educational quality.

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