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Getting A Gold Star

School district fiscals

receives zero stress rating

The Garden School District recently received a “zero stress” rating by the Office of the New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in a fiscal stress test.

Announced at a Garden City Board of Education meeting on Tuesday evening, Jan. 14, Assistant Superintendent for Business Dana DiCapua described the rating as “strictly a snapshot based on a series of calculations having to do with where the district is financially.”

DiCapua said a fiscal stress test, which will be performed annually, was given to districts across the state, and was based on a series of parameters and an algorithm formed by the comptroller’s office.

While pleased with the news, Trustee Robert Martin questioned the merits of the “stress free” rating, saying, “how can they honestly say that any school district is stress free when we are under the restrictions of a cap on revenues, under restrictions under the percentage of revenues we can hold—none of which make any reasonable, fiscal sense.”

DiCapua responded by saying the results indicate that the district’s fund balance is “where they [NY State Comptroller] want it to be,” reserves are not over funded or under funded, and the district’s cash is “being handled in a correct manner.”

Superintendent of Garden City Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen expressed an understanding and appreciation for the rating, saying, “it’s a sign of good fiscal management—meaning we’re using our resources prudently,” however agreed with Martin by saying, “we’re not a stress free district.”

To coincide with the news of a stress free rating, DiCapua announced that the district was successful in refinancing one of their construction bonds, from the low fours to an interest rate of 1.46, which the district will see a savings of slightly under $194,000.

In other news

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Teresa Prendergast spoke on recent news of the federal government granting a waver to the New York State Education Department to eliminate “double testing.”

“In previous years, eighth grade students who accelerated in mathematics and who were enrolled in a regents algebra course, were required to not only sit for the grade eight math assessment, but also for the algebra regents exam in the spring,” Prendergast said.  “We look forward to the fact that beginning this spring, our eighth grade students who are accelerated in mathematics and will be currently sitting for common core algebra one curriculum, will not need to sit for the grade eight math assessments.”

For the district’s middle school, where students are predominantly located for acceleration, Prendergast said will be a “welcome relief,” where 58 percent of the eighth grade are accelerated in mathematics.

“It’s one less state assessment they have to sit for,” Prendergast said.

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