Superintendent Mark Secaur labeled the first of his weekly summer chats with the community a success after engaging with attendees during a cordial and vibrant hour-long session on Thursday inside the Smithtown High School East library.
“Such a big part of coming to a new district is getting to know people — having dialogue and having an opportunity just to chat,” Secaur said as the first Superintendent’s Chat community forum began. “In my experience, that’s the way you build relationships that are going to be helpful.”
Attendees asked questions on a range of topics, with one major thrust what safety requirements the state may impose for the 2021-22 academic year.
Secaur cited a letter sent by the district to the governor and other top officials in Albany earlier this week that implored the state to provide clarity to districts.
“The beginning of the 2021-22 school year is rapidly approaching, and as we work earnestly to prepare for the return of all our students, we are limited in what we can do until we receive clear guidance from your respective offices,” the letter stated. “Throughout the pandemic, school districts have worked diligently in collaboration with state and local agencies to provide for the health and safety of our students as well as their academic, social and emotional needs. Simply put, this collaboration needs to be a two-way street and the silence from Albany has become deafening.”
Secaur will continue to host weekly, one-hour open houses with the public throughout the summer.
The sessions are open to all members of the community. Advance registration is not required.
The High School West library will host sessions on Aug. 5 at noon and Aug. 25 at 2 p.m.
The High School East library also has two remaining sessions: on Aug. 11 at noon and Aug. 17 at 2 p.m.