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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

Stewart Manor Fire Department to host open house

You hear the horn sound multiple times a day, around the clock, but did you ever wonder what happens during the critical moments after a distress call is made to the firehouse? Who are the volunteers who are stopped in their tracks at the sound of that horn and dash off to help a neighbor in need? You’d be surprised to learn that it could be the gentleman you see walking his dog after work in the evenings, the woman you see standing at the bus stop with her children every morning, or even the young man you used to see playing with his friends in front of your house.

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.


Sports

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This Year Three hunt will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


Calendar

Going To The Birds (Sanctuary)

Saturday, April 26

Nassau Coaches Meet

Saturday, April 26

Making A Beautiful Noise

Friday, May 2



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