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‘Question Of The Week’

There continues to be much discussion surrounding the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards with nearly daily press coverage on the topic. To address specific concerns in Garden City, Dr. Teresa Prendergast, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, presented a comprehensive report at the Feb. 4 Board of Education Work Session, after which parents posed questions and made statements. The district recognizes and shares many of the concerns expressed by parents and encourages communication with local legislators. As Dr. Feirsen explained, personal letters to these local officials can be the most effective in advocating for change. Dr. Prendergast’s report is available on the home page of the district’s website, under the “Information Updates” tab.

This week’s “Question of the Week” deals with testing. A complete listing of the questions and answers to date is posted on the District website: http://www.gardencity.k12.ny.us, under “Common Core FAQs.”

Q: Parents and teachers have expressed frustration about the number of tests students are sitting for due to the New York State mandates.  What has Garden City Public Schools done to reduce student testing?

A: Garden City was an integral part of advocating for a reduction in state-mandated testing. The district worked with the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), BOCES, and other professional organizations, and as a result, the duplicate eighth grade testing has been eliminated. The district also eliminated its Acuity testing for grades 3-8, which was originally implemented by direct guidance from the State Education Department. Garden City is seeking testing modifications for English Language Learners (ELL) and students with disabilities.

“We’ve amended our Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan and submitted it to the State Education Department for approval,” explained Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen. Under the previous state-approved APPR plan, Garden City students in grades 3-8 took pre- and post-tests in English language arts and mathematics starting in the 2012-2013 school year. The goal of these tests was to assess a student’s knowledge of the subject matter in the beginning of the school year to compare with the results of a similar test toward the end of the year. The difference was calculated as a “growth score,” and used as part of a teacher’s evaluation. The new plan eliminates these tests. “Administrators have also been working with teachers to identify other ways to assess students and still satisfy with the state regulations,” said Dr. Feirsen.

Watch this column in subsequent weeks for more answers to questions and concerns about the Common Core and other New York State mandates. If you are a resident of the school district and have a specific question you’d like answered about the Common Core or other pertinent education topics, please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

- Submitted by the Garden City Public School District

News

Residents needed to run

The Garden City East Nominating Committee is seeking residents of the East who are interested in being interviewed for the positions of village mayor, village trustee and school board trustee. These positions are subject to election by all village residents. The village mayoral and trustee terms are for two years beginning on April 6, 2015 and the school board trustee term is for three years beginning on July 1, 2015.

Any resident of the East who is interested in being considered for one of these positions must submit a letter of intent and a resume. This submission should note the position being sought; include their name, contact information, a statement explaining their reason for interest in the position, a summary of their professional background and other qualifications, including, although not required, current or prior involvement in village or school board positions or initiatives.

Donald Barrick, Life’s WORC Board Chairman announced that Janet Koch has been hired as the new Executive Director of Life’s WORC, a Garden City-based 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. Koch assumes this leadership responsibility as Peter Smergut retires after 20 years in this position. After a thorough and extensive executive search process, the Life’s WORC Board is confident Koch has the vision and skills consistent with the needs of the organization. She will assume her position as executive director on Monday, Nov. 3.


Sports

High School Jazz Class Added To Dance Conservatory

Dance Conservatory Director Felicia Lovaglio has decided to add a jazz class for students in 9th through 12th grades who are residents of the Incorporated Village of Garden City. This 55-minute class will be held on Saturdays at 4 p.m. beginning on Saturday, Nov. 8. The cost of this 20-week class will be $200. Preregistration is necessary by visiting the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave.

Adult Dance Performance Group Now Registering

The recreation and parks department offers an adult dance group that works on jazz and contemporary moves and leads up to a performance in a Dance Company Showcase. Whether you are a beginner dance student or someone who danced as a child and would like to try again, this program will help you achieve your goals. Classes will be held on Saturday mornings beginning Saturday, Nov. 8. Each class is 55 minutes long and the session will run through May. The cost of this program will be $220.  

Reminder

With the fall sports season upon us, the department of recreation and parks would like to remind all residents that pets are not allowed in any neighborhood parks, Community Park, or St. Paul’s fields. Non compliance with this rule will result in the issuance of appearance tickets.

Register For The Online Registration Option

Garden City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will offer the option of online registration with credit card payment beginning with its winter programs in early December.

In order for a family to use the online registration option, the family will first need to visit the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave. to verify residency and their family information and receive their password.  A list of instructions as to how to use the website will be included.


Calendar

 Murder, Madness & Poe

Thursday, October 30

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, November 3

Manhasset Comes To Garden City

Through November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com