Centralization of Cold Spring Harbor School District
Three elementary school districts, East Side School District #8, West Side School District #11, and Lloyd Harbor School District #2, operated independently as kindergarten through 8th grade schools until 1958. Graduates of these schools attended high school at Oyster Bay #9, Huntington #3 (Simpson), or South Huntington #13 (Walt Whitman) on a year to year tuition basis. In the late 1950’s, these high schools said they could no longer accommodate our students due to their increasing student population, and our 9th graders remained in our school district. For this reason, a citizens’ committee was established in early 1957 for each of the elementary schools. The committees’ main purpose was to research options for educating our high school students. Three of the possible options proposed were:
1. Combining Lloyd Harbor and East Side School, and charging West Side School tuition.
2. Merge East Side School and Lloyd Harbor School with Huntington, and merge West Side School with Oyster Bay.
3. Centralize all three school districts for the purpose of building a high school.
In June of 1957, a consultant, Mr. Eldred, was hired by New York State to study school districts on Long Island that had no high school and advise their Boards of Education on the feasibility of centralization of these schools. Upon his review of our elementary school districts, Eldred recommended to the State that they approve the centralization for Cold Spring Harbor. The State felt that it was in the best interest of the children for the home districts to be responsible for the entire education of their children. On May 6, 1958, the State Education Department completed its final study of the proposed centralization for Cold Spring Harbor and agreed with the findings of the three boards and their citizens’ committees that centralization will give us a “decidedly superior school system”.
Thirty days prior to the vote, petitions were circulated in the community. The petition, signed by 85% of the voters, requested that the Commissioner of Education, James E. Allen, Jr. call for a vote on centralization. The vote was held on June 18, 1958 at each school, and a majority of resident votes was needed to become centralized. Majority ruled, 870 to 185, and the three schools became centralized with the main intention of building a high school. The newly formed central district was one of the smallest districts permitted to centralize in New York State.