District Receives Rebate from LIPA, Transition Students Honored with Scholarships

Students and teams honored, multiple action items approved at Wednesday's Board of Education meeting.

As a result of replacing thousands of light bulbs in its schools under its contract with Johnson Controls, a company focused on energy efficient construction, the Sachem Central School district received a $425,000 rebate check from LIPA.

At Wednesday's school board meeting held at Samoset Middle School, Danny Haffel, a representative from Johnson Controls, said that it was the biggest rebate check he has ever seen given to any of the 70 school districts Johnson Controls serves.

"I commend the Sachem Central School District for taking a major step towards energy efficiency and independence and reducing peak demand," said LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael D. Hervey. " I hope this project will not only serve as a model for other schools throughout the state but also as a unique learning tool for all students who will benefit from cleaner and greener classrooms.

Sachem upgraded the lighting systems and installed occupancy-sensors in classrooms and throughout the district"s buildings, replacing over 10,000 fixtures with energy-efficient high performance equipment and retrofitting approximately 17,000 fixtures. Through these improvements, it is estimated that Sachem will save up to 2,730,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year and reduce its peak electric demand by an estimated 834 kilowatts (kW). Through its participation in Efficiency Long Island, Sachem was able to offset the cost with a $425,000 LIPA rebate.

"These substantial energy efficient upgrades are part of the Sachem School District"s ongoing efforts to conserve energy, reduce operational costs, and educate our students about the importance of protecting the environment," Sachem Superintendent James Nolan said. "We thank LIPA for their technical and financial support through their efficiency programs and look forward to working with them again to make Sachem one of the most environmental-friendly schools in the state."

Also during the meeting, 10 transition students - five from East and five from North - received the James Waite Scholarship of $1,000 from Dove Electronic Components, Inc. Many of those students will either go on to BOCES programs or attend Suffolk County Community College in the fall.

Three students were recognized for essays they submitted to the Long Island Presidential Council Essay Contest. Kaylie Mancino from Lynwood (2nd grade), Georgina Needleman from Tamarac (3rd grade) and Cynthia Brand from Sequoya (6th grade) each wrote an essay based off the sentence "I feel creative in school when..." The essays brought in a total of $1,000 in prizes.

Student Valerie Zeffiro from East received recognition from Leg. Tom Muratore for her volunteer work in the community. In addition to being in several honor soceities, on the swimming and diving teams and playing the clarinet, Zeffiro has accumulated over 150 hours in community service and raised $10,000 for the Special Olympics with a Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser in March.

The North and East varsity Arrowettes and varsity Cheerleaders also received recognition for their performances at the national championship competitions in Florida.

Representatives from Johnson Controls gave a presentation outlining the progress of construction under its Energy Performance Contract with Sachem. So far, window film has been installed district-wide, as well as a lighting upgrade in every schools' gymnasiums. Solar panels were installed on the roofs of East and North, wireless clocks are now in classrooms and the exterior insulation and siding at Gatelot has been changed.

Coordinators of the Before/After School Academic Intervention Services (AIS) gave a presentation that reviewed the program's first year in the district. Several surveys showed that parents and students were ultimately happy with the program, so it will most likely continue next year. However, a state mandate will require that all elementary and middle school students who do not get a score of 3 or 4 on the ELA exams will be required to participate in the program.

Notes and News

  • School lunch price will raise $0.10, making it $2.10, starting July 1 as a result of a federal government mandate.
  • Linda DeBeer and Virgina Cotter were appointed the deans of Sachem East for the upcoming school year.
  • The July Reorganizational Meeting will take place July 6.
  • The next board of education meeting will take place June 15 at 7:30 p.m. in its normal location at the administrative annex in Samoset.
Theresa Oakes June 07, 2011 at 07:21 PM
Just following up to see if you are able to provide the answers to my questions from last week. Kindly advise. Thank you!
Alyssa Melillo June 07, 2011 at 07:40 PM
Sorry for the delay! I do not recall the Board saying what it was going to do with the LIPA rebate check. For the lunch price, it is for secondary schools. The federal mandate is a child nutrition bill which provides that students are to have healthier lunch options at schools, and in turn forces districts to raise the prices of lunches. For more information on the mandate, please refer to this article from The New York Times in December: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/us/politics/03child.html
Theresa Oakes June 07, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Thank you for responding Alyssa! I appreciate the clarification. The NYT article was very helpful. I guess Sachem is implementing the change across the district but doing so only at the expense of the secondary school kids at this point in time.
Barbara Roden June 07, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Both elementary and secondary lunch prices will be raised by 10 cents in september. You can see the price changes in the BOE agenda.
Theresa Oakes June 08, 2011 at 03:39 PM
So this is another increase on lunches when they were just raised this past school year. I guess they have no choice because of the federal mandate. I just hope the lunches reflect these healthier options.


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