Port schools in strong financial standing: auditor

Luke Torrance
The Port Washington Board of Education during their October 2018 meeting. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

The Port Washington Board of Education received the results of an audit during its meeting Tuesday, and once again earned high marks.

“On the district’s financial statements, you did receive an unmodified opinion, that is the highest level of opinion you can receive,” said Tricia Lucas of public accounting firm D’Arcangelo and Co. “I’m happy to report that there were no significant deficiencies or material weaknesses noted in the internal control report.”

The audit examined the financial year that ended June 30. In addition to an audit of the school district, the money the schools received from the federal government was examined, as was money spent on extracurricular activities. The school received an unmodified opinion in those audits as well.

“I don’t know if anyone recognizes that these reports don’t get any better than where we’re at,” said board President Karen Sloan. “And it doesn’t happen just because, it happens because of the hard work that goes on in our business office … we recognize the [hard work] and we sleep well because of it.”

The audit report was followed by an update on the safety measure throughout the school district. The district decided to upgrade safety standards and technology after several high-profile shootings at schools in other parts of the country.

The district’s security coordinator, David Miller, briefed the board on the changes.

The schools have all installed the RAVE system, which allows any school staff member to alert the police to an emergency through a smartphone app. The system also sends information to police about security cameras and building floor plans. The same system was installed throughout libraries in Nassau County this summer.

Miller said he had worked with the police departments for Nassau County, Port Washington and Sands Point about using the system to respond to an emergency. Those police departments will also have officers stopping by the schools more frequently on their patrols.

“It would be a deterrent,” Miller said.

Security guards are patrolling the schools on nights and weekends. The district staff is receiving training. Miller said that the high school is discussing an ID-swipe system for entering the building.

At the beginning of the meeting, the audience was treated to a performance by Schreiber’s symphony orchestra. Superintendent Kathleen Mooney announced that next week would be “School Board Recognition Week” and congratulated the district’s athletic director, Stephanie Joannon, for being inducted into the Nassau County Athletics Hall of Fame.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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