Superintendent addresses the threat to NEASC status

Without an approved budget the Amity School District may be given at least one, if not two warnings, from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Superintendent of Schools Helene Skrzyniarz said.

Although both she and Amity High School Principal Edward Goldstone concurred that academically the high school is in fine shape, the deteriorating buildings and environmental problems will continue to hold the accreditation in jeopardy.

"I am sure we will be put on warning (status)," Skrzyniarz said, explaining that yearly she co-chairs a team of inspectors with NEASC. "It might be two warnings not just one."

Skrzyniarz said both the fiscal problems as well as the environmental issues are a concern.

Amity, which comprises Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge, has been in financial trouble since August 2001 when a two year, $2.8 million deficit was revealed. Officials from the state as well as school officials are currently wrapping up their investigations into how the deficit occurred and who was responsible.

The school districts' unprecedented 11th budget referendum took place Tuesday, after the Bulletin's press time. Voters have continuously voted down the budget calling for the resignation of five remaining board members when a controversial Tri-Town Amity Investigation Committee, in two-short months, called for their resignations.

Skrzyniarz also said she was concerned about the student and teacher morale.

"The warning signs are there. There is a lack of morale. Students and teachers are first thinking about the cost instead of the learning experience," Skrzyniarz said.

She also went on to praise the teachers for continuing to believe in the Amity system.

Skrzyniarz said that if they can't get a budget referendum passed, they certainly will not be able to bond for any remediation work. In addition, she said the bond rating will also be affected.