Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00
News of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, CT, struck fear in parents around the world. Although 90 miles away from the tragedy, local schools, including those in the Farmingdale School District, checked and rechecked their safety procedures and policies.
Superintendent of Farmingdale Schools, John Lorentz said, “In the wake of this heartbreaking event, district administrators and staff have reviewed all safety and security measures to assure the community that our students and staff are safe in our schools.”
Lorentz assured that students’ safety is always top priority within the school district. “Through extensive training and a series of drills, which include fire drills, secure perimeter drills, shelter drills and lock-down drills, our staff is prepared to protect our students and assist them to safety in the event of an emergency.”
Jackie Costello, whose daughters attend Northside Elementary and Howitt Middle School, is now trying to respond best to their questions and concerns. “I had no idea what to say [at first] and they didn’t ask; I am going to have to talk to them.” She said other parents and neighbors were trying to keep it very simple, not saying too much to their own children. “They are all going to come home and ask questions today; they are going to want to know if they are safe,” Costello continued. She expects that someone will be talking about it at school in the days following. “It’s senseless for them to not feel safe, but how much should I say?” Naturally, she said it was much easier to have already discussed it with her son, who is 18 and attends Oneonta State College.
Assemblyman Joseph Saladino told Farmingdale Observer, “From this tragedy, I hope that my colleagues and I will bring the appropriate changes to state government to better protect our children and the public at large. Among other issues, New York needs to do a better job providing mental health care and seeing to it that insurance more fully covers all treatments for behavioral health. This a time when we need to count our blessings for the health and safety of our children.”
Superintendent Lorentz also confirmed that the Farmingdale School District holds regular safety committee meetings, which include representatives from Nassau County police and Farmingdale fire departments. In addition, he said, “Our school psychologists, counselors and social workers are available to speak with our students to offer support during this emotional time.
In addition to parents looking for reassurance from their own school district, they also look toward local officials for proactive measures and policies. Senator Kemp Hannon voiced his commitment to “taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of our school children, and all school faculty, staff and employees, and to curtail gun violence.”
Mental illness is another area of focus, said Hannon. “I stand with my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor to seek answers and remedies so that a tragedy like Newtown, CT, is never repeated.”
Assemblyman David McDonough told Farmingdale Observer, “While New York State has some strong gun laws, we call upon the federal government to react to this by passing legislation to make it much more difficult for people to obtain assault weapons that have been used in these incidents we have seen too much of in the recent past.”
By the end of the school day on Monday, Dec. 17 the Farmingdale School District had aggressively reached out to the parents with safety and procedural information, both sent home with the students and posted on the district’s website. The letter to parents and residents can be found at http://farmingdaleschools.org/.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00
Farmingdale School District officials are alerting parents to review safety concerns with their children, after last week, when a high school student reported that an unidentified male was following her while she walked home from school.
The individual, who had followed the student down Lincoln Street, also attempted to have a dialogue with the student, who entered her home safely and without incident.
The following day, both the parent and the student reported the incident to school administrators. In response, Farmingdale High School Principal Glen Zakian sent a letter to parents in the district, alerting them to the incident.
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
Over the weekend, people filled the streets of downtown Farmingdale, to bring in the merriest of holiday’s in fashion... with the annual holiday parade, presented by the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce.
“Saturday was very well attended and the parade ended up competing with the FHS Championship game,” said Chamber President Beth Mignone. “The Chamber received a lot of emails asking to have the time of the parade changed because they wanted to be at both events... which shows you how close the town really is, and how involved our residents are.”
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
The Farmingdale Dalers, ranked first in the division (11-0), came out to defend their title as Nassau County champions against the no. 3 seed, the Massapequa Chiefs (8-3), who attempted to take it away. The Chiefs, after losing to the Dalers 33-8 in week 4, would of liked nothing better then to defeat the Dalers in front of 4,000 people at Hofstra and grab the title. The rivalry was all the talk this week and the Nassau County Police had extra Officers all around the stadium at Hofstra.
Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00
The Giants faced off against the Jets in the girl’s grades 9 – 12 Super Bowl last Sunday. The two teams were evenly matched, having split the two regular season games. But it turned out to be the Giants’ night, winning by a score of 18-7. The Giants played short-handed all season, with a roster of only five; and all five girls contributed greatly to this victory. The Giants took the opening drive and scored a touchdown on a short pass to Kat ‘Safety Dance’ Krieg who made a good move to get free and run it in from 25 yards out. It looked like the Jets were going to tie it when the fleet-footed Myasa Evans broke free on an end run but Jessica ‘Steady’ Scire came all the way across the field and made a touchdown saving flag. A few plays later Hailey ‘I’m retiring’ Lospitalier intercepted in the end zone to thwart the Jets’ scoring chance. The Giants capitalized when they drove the full field and scored a second touchdown on a short pass to Krieg. The Giants expanded their lead in the second half to 18-0 on another short pass to Lospitalier. This followed a beautiful bomb pass from QB Theresa ‘Air’ DeSantis to Krieg who was run down just short of the goal. The defense played outstanding, especially Hanna ‘Wild Girl’ Berge who made several diving, touchdown saving, flags. DeSantis was on target all night long, finishing with three touchdown passes and many completions which helped control the ball and the clock. A well-deserved win by the girls against an outstanding team.