The Village of Garden City has always rightfully prided itself on its school district thanks to its consistently high level of achievement on the academic side of the ledger. Much of it can be traced to the advocacy of Garden City parents, an assertion that was bolstered by the results of a 2014 parent engagement survey according to Superintendent of Garden City Schools Dr. Robert Fiersen, who went over the numbers at a recent school board meeting.
Having begun the survey last spring, Fiersen discussed the district’s motivation, saying, “There is a strong association between parent involvement with a child’s education both at home and at school and student performance in school—it is also related to improved student behavior in school and improved attitudes about schoolwork.”
“Receiving the Schools to Watch Re-designation Award and meeting Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy were highlights of our trip to the 10th Annual National Forum Schools to Watch Conference,” explained conference attendee Kimberly Greenwald. “It’s nice to see so many people working together to make learning a meaningful experience for students.” Greenwald, the 6-8 reading specialist and Anti-Bullying coordinator at Garden City Middle School, attended the conference recently held in Arlington, VA with middle school guidance counselor Robyn Weiner and middle school science teacher Melissa Wolk to accept the Schools to Watch (STW) award on behalf of the entire middle school.
Garden City Middle School science teacher Mark Czachor recently participated in the fourth annual National Grid Foundation Teaching Green Institute at Molloy College. Forty-eight Long Island high school and middle school teachers became students and learned a variety of sustainability concepts they can now share in their classrooms. Pictured from left to right are: Executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College Neal Lewis; Dr. Maureen Walsh, dean, division of education and Lou Cino, dean, division of continuing education and professional development, Molloy College; Mark Czachor, and board member of the National Grid Foundation Board member Bob Catell.
Garden City Public School’s Legislative Affairs Committee convened for the 2014-15 school year with deep discussions about methods and avenues toward the committee’s goals of assessing the impact of existing and proposed state and federal education legislation, promoting legislation that supports the district’s mission, and communicating vital information to Garden City residents.
With so many issues facing public education, the committee plans to focus its efforts in two areas: Advocacy and Education.
There was plenty to talk about when two representatives from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) met with Garden City Public Schools’ district and school leaders late last month. Elizabeth Williamson, Supervisory Education Program Specialist with ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach, and Jacquelyn Pitta, Region II Communications Director, spent several hours with Garden City’s educators for a two-pronged information-sharing session. Williamson and Pitta shared online support resources available for educators during the first part of the meeting. Folders filled with brochures available from ED on a variety of topics from grant making opportunities to bullying prevention were also provided for district and building leaders.
Below are brief bios of new Garden City School District employees:
Nicole Bass holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in childhood education from Adelphi University. She served as an elementary leave replacement teacher in Copiague Public Schools from September 2013 to June 2014. Bass holds initial New York State certification in childhood education, grades 1-6, and students with disabilities, grades 1-6. She will be filling in for Lauren Lavelle, who is on child care leave.
During a recent board of education work session, 6-12 social studies curriculum coordinator Jeannette Balantic presented a comprehensive review of the district’s social studies program. This was the first curriculum review since the district began implementing the new Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) in 2011-12.
“With CCLS, SLOS (Student Learning Objectives), and APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) much of the focus in schools has been on 3-8 ELA and math,” Balantic indicated. “The members of the Curriculum Review Committee are true social studies enthusiasts—the review process provided us with a great opportunity to review and reflect on the work we do, gather data, and develop an action plan for the future of social studies in the Garden City School District.”
Garden City Public Schools launched a new, user-friendly website, www.gardencity.k12.ny.us, just in time for the start of the school year. The site retained the same web address, but offers many additional options. The custom template for the district’s eight home pages and 1,000 support pages utilizes a responsive design that adjusts the viewing size to many phone and tablet screens.
This week, the Garden City Police Department and the Garden City School District helped launch the AAA NY 69th Annual School’s Open—Drive Carefully campaign by placing a large 20’ by 2’ banner on the fence of the Stewart Avenue School to remind motorists that thousands of children across Long Island will be starting or returning back to school. Garden City School Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen, Police Commissioner Jackson, and the AAA Traffic Safety Division selected this location because it is a highly visible area traveled by many motorists. In addition, the police department posted several large “School's Open—Drive Carefully” posters at select locations throughout the village. Commissioner Jackson states that the police department, the Garden City School District, and the AAA Traffic Safety Division distributed these posters and banner in an effort to increase the safety of all students.
All seven buildings have been made ready for the arrival of nearly 4,000 K-12 students on the first day of school—Tuesday, Sept 2. The board of education and administration wishes each and every Garden City student a successful 2014-15 school year,
Over the summer break, many district-wide facility projects were completed. These include a variety of projects made possible through funds in this year’s voter-approved budget.
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