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Farmingdale District Respond To Connecticut Shootings

Local officials, parents address safety concerns

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/.

News

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in nearby Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

 

Event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event. 

It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.  


Sports

3rd Grade Division

The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets.  Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half.  The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board.  The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards.  In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.

 

—Submitted by Paul Caputo


William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and

Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.

 

Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico. 

 

The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.


Calendar

Networking Event - October 29

Halloween Parade - October 31

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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