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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

In an earlier column, Mayor John Watras shared some helpful tips on how to secure your property in preparation for a hurricane. The following are additional recommendations on what you can do now to be prepared in the event that a major storm hits Long Island.

As the storm approaches, customers should take the following steps to prepare for the arrival of either a hurricane or tropical storm:

New online company debuts

Two Long Island childhood friends, Scott Reich and Michael Winik, recently left their respective careers as an attorney and investment banker to pursue their dream of starting a business together, online food market OurHarvest.

“When Mike and I decided to start a business, we knew it had to reflect our shared love of food, address the lifestyles of our fellow Long Islanders, and be socially responsible,” said Reich.


Sports

Stretching tips for the high school athlete

Prior to the start of high school running season, Garden City’s Physical Therapy Options (PTO) had an opportunity to provide a presentation to members of Sacred Heart Academy’s cross country team. Team members gathered at Garden City’s New York Running Company to learn strategies and tips for a successful fall season.

PTO staff members Dr. Meghan Goetz, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and PTO Aide Mike Murphy discussed the importance of stretching to prevent injury and provided strategies and tips for success for the high school runner.

The league started on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Garden City’s Tullamore Park. It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. A uniform shirt and soccer balls are provided. Cleats and soccer shorts are recommended and players must wear shin guards. Age groups range from pre-k through 12th grade. Garden City residents and non-Garden City residents are welcome. Middle school and high school age volunteers are needed. No soccer experience is necessary. If you have any other questions, please contact Andy Garger at ajgarger@verizon.net or 516-775-8058.

— Submitted by the Challenger Soccer League


Calendar

Financial Options For Students

Thursday, October 16

Kids In The Kitchen

Friday, October 17

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, October 20



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