Transportation running smoothly in Three Village

The safe transportation of students is the top priority for Barbara Gildea, the transportation coordinator of the Three Village Central School District, who presented updates to the Board of Education at its Sept. 17 meeting.
Gildea said it’s a collaborative effort to make sure the transportation process runs smoothly, as students, parents, school officials and bus drivers all play an important role in the process.
“Student transportation in this country is the largest public transportation we have,” Gildea said. “Our school bus drivers are second to none. They provide care for our children to and from school.”
Prequalifications for school bus drivers include having a commercial driver’s license with a “P” endorsement and with zero or minimal points. They must also get state and federal fingerprint clearance.
Before transporting students, SED-approved curriculum school bus driver training is provided to drivers upon hire. Drivers must complete the School Bus Driver Pre-Service course before they are assigned a route. After gaining employment, drivers must complete a 30-hour School Bus Driver Program course within the first year of hire. They must also complete two separate two-hour refresher courses annually. During employment, they’re required to undergo random drug and alcohol testing.
School buses are maintained and inspected on a regular basis, and preventive maintenance inspections are performed every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. The New York State Department of Transportation requires drivers to maintain daily inspection logs. School buses and logbooks are inspected by DOT-certified examiners every six months.
During the 2013-14 school year, contractors Suffolk Transportation Service (large buses) and Acme Bus Corporation (mini-buses) made 686 trips to athletic competitions, 334 educational field trips, and transported 180 nonpublic school students to 13 different buildings.
During the typical school day, there are 339 school routes for Three Village buses, all of which are equipped with video cameras.
“I’d like to commend Barbara and her office for the work done every day to ensure our children are transported safely to and from school,” Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich said. “Getting our students to and from school safely is a top priority.”
To view the PowerPoint presentation from the Board of Education meeting, visit the district’s website at

Three Village schools remember those lost on 9/11


Schools throughout the Three Village Central School District paid tribute to the brave men and women who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 in different ways on the day’s 13th anniversary.

While teachers in classrooms districtwide discussed the tragic events surrounding that horrific day, Gelinas and Murphy junior high schools held ceremonies to allow students and staff members to pay their respects. Outside Ward Melville High School, Old Town Road was lined with American flags to show solidarity and pride.

At Gelinas, student Liv Halvorsen led the entire building in the Pledge of Allegiance. Principal William Bernhard and Assistant Principal Corinne Keane asked for a moment of silence to honor all those who were lost on that day. Members of the Gelinas Chamber Choir, along with eighth and ninth grade band members performed at the tribute.

“The majority of you weren’t born yet when this happened 13 years ago,” Murphy Principal Vincent Vizzo told his students. “You touch my heart with the way you act as a Murphy family.”

At Murphy, military personnel were on hand for the flag raising. There was also a piece of metal from the World Trade Center displayed inside the school for the day.

After introductory remarks from Vizzo, the Murphy chamber choir and chamber orchestra performed “America the Beautiful.” There was a moment of silence, and the bell rang four times. Assistant Principal Kevin Finnerty talked about 9/11’s impact.

“The events of that day forever changed the lives of millions of people,” Finnerty said. “We will always look back at Sept. 11, 2011 with sadness, but today, we gather to honor those heroes who lost their lives.”

Photos courtesy of the Three Village Central School District and Greg Catalano

New security measures come to Three Village

Jack Blaum, the security and safety coordinator for the Three Village Central School District, made a presentation to the Board of Education on Sept. 3 to discuss new security protocols in the district.

The installation of surveillance cameras is complete, and there were already two cases at Arrowhead Elementary School where the new system helped identify those responsible. Blaum stressed a “team approach,” adding that if everyone works together, these situations can be quickly resolved.

There are also new security vestibules outside of each building. Staff members have color-coded identification cards that give them access, while visitors need to buzz in and show identification before being granted entry. New York State driver’s license readers create printed visitor badges for guests. There is also additional building coverage after school throughout the district. Two new people are now on patrol at each building from 2-10 p.m.

Also, the district now has direct contact with the Setauket Fire Department, which Blaum said saves considerable time in case of an emergency. Both the police and fire departments have access to the district’s surveillance cameras as well.

Blaum also discussed how all staff receives SAVE (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) training and a tutorial in the new lockdown procedures. Any staff member can call 911 or initiate a lockdown in the event of an emergency.

Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich and board members commended Blaum for his diligence in making Three Village as safe as it could possibly be.

“People are paying attention,” Pedisich said. “We are way ahead of the curve, and we should be very proud of that.”

A new school year kicks off in Three Village


Tuesday was a special day as the Three Village School District began the new school year in style.

Whether it was the first day for a new kindergartener at one of the elementary schools or for a senior in high school, students got to know their new teachers, peers and got acclimated to their new schedules.

The district wishes all students and staff the best of luck for the upcoming school year.

Arrowhead Elementary Slideshow

Minnesauke Elementary Slideshow

Nassakeag Elementary Slideshow

Setauket Elementary Slideshow

W.S. Mount Elementary Slideshow

P.J. Gelinas Junior High Slideshow

R.C. Murphy Junior High Slideshow

Ward Melville High Slideshow

Three Village School District welcomes new administrators

The Three Village School District is proud to announce the names of those who will take new administrative posts for the 2014-15 school year.
“We are very excited to have another great year in the Three Village School District,” Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich said. “I’d like to congratulate all of the new administrators and wish them the best of luck in all they do.”

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School
New Principal – William S. Bernhard
New Assistant Principal – Corinne Keane
Ward Melville High School
New Assistant Principals – Erin Connolly; Christian Losee, Ed.D.
Setauket Elementary School
New Assistant to the Principal – Danielle Flaumenhaft
Arrowhead Elementary School
New Assistant to the Principal – Kristen White
Nassakeag Elementary School
New Assistant Principal – Kristin Rimmer
New Director of Social Studies K-12 – Paul Gold

Transitional Lead for Physical Education and Health at Murphy and Gelinas – John Rufa

Coordinating Chairperson for Art and Technology – Jen Trettner