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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

Garden City environmental group

participates at expo

More than 2,000 Long Islanders enjoyed the festivities at Captree State Park as Assemblyman Joseph Saladino hosted the ninth annual Marine and Outdoor Recreation Expo on Sept. 15.

Attendees learned about sustainable sources of energy as well as ways to protect the planet, especially the island’s marine environment from people like local environmentalist Betsy Gulotta. There were demonstrations in camping, boating, water safety, renewable energy, wildlife and environmental education, fly fishing, arts and crafts, face painting, clowns, touch tanks, balloon animals and plenty of rock and roll.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Back to school means back to the Garden City Public Library. September is not only back to school month, it is also Library Card Sign-up Month. A library card is the most important school supply of all for both students and their parents. This September be sure your library card is in your wallet. If you don’t have one, sign up for a new one for you and for your children.

The Garden City Public Library offers programs for adults and for children of all ages. In addition, the library provides access to an extensive collection of books, periodicals, music CDs, audiobooks, and DVDS. The library also provides online access through its website www.gardencitypl.org to authoritative electronic databases as well as to downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, and music. With a valid library card, you can register for programs, borrow materials and museum passes, and access electronic resources.


Sports

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

2014-15 Garden City Recreation Department Dance Conservatory

The Garden City Recreation Department’s Dance Conservatory Program is pleased to announce the start of registration for its upcoming 2014-15 season. Director Felicia Lovaglio, along with Mary Searson and the rest of her staff, are excited to start off another fantastic year. The dance conservatory offers classes to Garden City residents ages 3 through adult which are non-performance based. Age is determined by the start date of the desired class. The schedule and fees for this year’s youth classes are as follows (all classes are 55 minutes long unless otherwise noted):

Note: Registration is by mail only until Sept. 23. Participants MUST be the required age by the start of the program in order to register. Each session costs $220 for 22 weeks of class.


Calendar

Village Board of Trustees Meeting

Thursday, October 2

Benefit Yard Sale Goes To The Birds

Saturday, October 4

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, October 6



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