As children all across Long Island head off to school, kids in grades 3-8 brace themselves for a new round of the New York State Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics exams. For the Floral Park-Bellerose School District, the number of students opting out of the state exams stayed relatively low among students. Across Long Island, local “opt out” movements made a huge splash, with nearly 20,000 students—or 10 percent of students in grades 3-8, opting out, according to figures compiled by the New York State Allies for Public Education.
In response to concerns from school officials, parents, and teachers regarding the level of testing administered to children in grades 3-8, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel joined 12 of Long Island’s school district superintendents, on Sept. 8, to present new legislation that would reduce the number of tests taken by students in grades 3-8.
SUNY Oswego has awarded $3,000 Merit Scholarships to a select group of students who are starting at the college in fall 2014. The award recognizes past academic achievement and potential for success. Local residents who have earned this award are: Akeile Barrett (majoring in biology) and Ian O’Halloran (majoring in public relations).
The Sewanhaka Central High School District honored five educators with the Superintendent’s Teacher of the Year Award and recognized staff members with 25 years of service to the district at its Opening Day Ceremony, which was highlighted by unique presentations and student-musician performances.
On hand to welcome teachers back to school was Dr. Cheryl Champ, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Tuesday’s first day of school at Our Lady of Victory felt more like a steamy day in August. Mrs. Augello and Father Tom were on hand to welcome the families for another enriching year.
— Submitted by Tricia GaNun
The Sewanhaka Central High School District interviewed three construction firms on Sept. 2 for the upcoming renovations to its five high schools. The district will announce its selection on Sept. 23. The firms and bids are unknown as of press time.
The district passed a $86.6 million bond referendum in May by nearly 2,479 votes. District officials plan to hold a bond groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alva T. Stanforth Athletic fields in Elmont, signaling the start of work. The site will be closed for 18 months.
As we approach the upcoming school year, we will be celebrating the 86th year of instruction in the Sewanhaka Central High School District. Before our students arrive in September, our professional staff will return on Aug. 27 and 28 for our opening day program, during which we will welcome new and returning faculty and staff. We also will honor our Teachers of the Year and employees who have been with the district for 25 years or more. Our goal continues to be to ensure that each child is provided with an education designed to meet his or her needs. We believe that our professional staff is instrumental in providing for this success.
There have been several capital projects that are underway and the goal remains to complete these projects prior to the beginning of the school year. The New Hyde Park Memorial High School gymnasium has been painted and a new ceiling has been installed. As a result, this facility is now one that is in the condition that our students deserve. At Elmont Memorial High School, a new elevator will be installed prior to the opening of the school year.
After rides and games all afternoon at Spirit Day, middle school students are invited to continue the fun at the Middle School Dance Party in the St. Anne’s School cafeteria on Saturday, Sept. 20. This year’s theme of “Frozen”, along with the school’s new air conditioning system, will transport students into a virtual winter wonderland of dancing and music.
“This is such a great event for our middle school students,” says event organizer Barbara Tranfaglia. “It’s a chance for them to continue the momentum of the day in a friendly, safe environment with their friends. We always have great music and it’s a really popular event.”
This September, the staff and students at Our Lady of Victory (OLV) School in Floral Park will have a fresh new perspective on things. More than 300 windows on the school’s two buildings were replaced, after enduring more than 20 years of weather and wear.
“It was time; we had been researching it for a long time.” said OLV Principal Peg Augello. “They had to be done; they were just too old.”
The Sewanhaka Central High School District renewed Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie’s contract for the next five years at a recent board meeting. Ferrie will receive no pay increase in 2014-15 at a $238,000 salary. The contract expires on June 30, 2019.
“You can’t get [work] done without a unanimous board,” Ferrie said. “This board took a leap of faith with the program plans for the district. We also have an excellent team [of administrators]. That’s an awesome team.”
The Sewanhaka Central High School District recently amended its student code of conduct to include the ban of e-cigarettes at its five high schools. School officials say measures were taken to address the issue.
“Some of the principals expressed a discomfort with attempting to discipline students when there was nothing in the code of conduct which would prohibit the possession of an e-cigs, rolling papers or things of that sort,” said Sewanhaka School Board President David Fowler. “The e-cigarette particular is something that has been brought up.” According to Fowler, student suspensions have been challenged during the school year, with children arguing certain items are not illegal paraphernalia.
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