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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

The Garden City Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the 35th annual Fall Festival Street Fair set for Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Seventh Street. The chamber thanks the Garden City Hotel which will serve as the primary event sponsor.

JGS entertainment will return for the 16th year as master ceremonies providing music and vocals. There will be plenty of activities for the kids. Included will be the return of the two trackless trains carrying children 12 years of age and younger up and down Seventh Street sponsored by Coach Realtors and Garden City Teachers Association. There will be the traditional inflatable bouncy house sponsored by SMPL Technologies and the ever-popular money cube sponsored by Calogero’s and Leo’s. The Garden City Parks and Recreation Department will have giveaways and temporary tattoos.


Sports

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.

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.


Calendar

Garden City High School Homecoming

Saturday, October 25

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, October 27

A Map Of Artistic Inspiration

Saturday, November 1



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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