On April 23, U.S. News & World Report released its annual list of “Best High Schools” based on three data sources: U.S. Department of Education website (enrollment, ethnicity and other profile information from all public high schools in the United States), The College Board (Advanced Placement test data), and, if applicable, International Baccalaureate test data.
According to the U.S. News website, “U.S. News collected data on more than 21,000 public high schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia [and] joined forces with the American Institutes for Research, a D.C.-based organization, to evaluate schools on overall student performance on state-mandated assessments, as well as how effectively schools educated their black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students. Performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams was then used to determine the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work. Schools were ranked within each state, as well as on a national stage, so families can see how their public high school stacked up against rivals within the community and across the country. In the national rankings, 500 schools earned gold medals, 1,790 were awarded silver and 2,515 took home bronze.”
In order to clarify the complex budget issues facing Garden City Public Schools as it formulates the 2013-2014 budget, the district continues its “Question of the Week” feature to provide information and address concerns expressed by residents. A complete listing of the questions and answers will be posted on the district’s website: www.gardencity.k12.ny.us.
Question of the Week:
What exactly does the proposed 2013-2014 school district budget preserve, and what would be cut?
The 2013-2014 school budget retains nearly all aspects of the district’s comprehensive educational program, and will be “very, very close to what we have this year,” Superintendent Feirsen explained at the April 10 board of education budget adoption meeting. Two contributing factors, an increase in state aid and the Appellate Division’s reinstatement of the County Guaranty,” have enabled the district to propose a budget that requires no major changes.
Each month the district honors valued employees whose exemplary efforts improve the quality of our children’s educational experience in Garden City Public Schools.
This month’s “Employee Spotlight” focuses on Stratford’s custodian, Kevin Bauman. “In every school building, there are people working behind the scenes to make the school a wonderful place,” commented Stratford principal Eileen Vota. “At Stratford, we celebrate Kevin Bauman, one of our custodians. Kevin is not just our custodian, but assists within the district whenever he is called upon. For example, he is the district’s main painter, moving from building to building as needed. This year, he has assisted with all the timely construction matters, and filled in for other custodians, too. He has a keen eye for detail and takes great pride in his work.”
In order to clarify the complex budget issues facing Garden City Public Schools as it formulates the 2013-14 budget, the district continues its “Question of the Week” feature to provide information and address concerns expressed by residents. A complete listing of the questions and answers will be posted on the district’s website: www.gardencity.k12.ny.us.
The next question and answer concerns obligations for school improvement projects and the bonds to fund them:
Question of the Week:
In addition to mandated pension contributions, a second driver of the 2013-2014 school district budget is debt service. When will these obligations be fulfilled?
The middle school presented three performances of Bye Bye Birdie, including a special show for Garden City’s resident senior citizens, last month. The musical comedy is based on the life, and service induction, of an Elvis Presley-like character, Conrad Birdie. With direction by Kristen Aguilo, vocal direction by Nancy Menges, technical direction by Kevin Pollitt, choreography by Alison Fasulo, and backstage supervisor Kimberly Greenwald, attendees were treated to a stunning, high energy production that will be remembered for years to come.
Garden City High School presented its spring musical, The Pajama Game, an upbeat production of Richard Bissell’s 1954 Broadway musical (score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross) that was made into a movie in 1957 starring Doris Day and John Raitt. In addition to the regular shows, Garden City’s senior citizens were welcomed to a free pre-show buffet dinner hosted by the Garden City Teachers’ Association and a special performance of the musical.
The Pajama Game story unfolded as Babe (Alexandra Lambraia) and the factory workers at the Sleep Tite pajama factory demanded a raise from the new supervisor, Sid Sorokin (Andrew Petersen), and factory owner Mr. Hasler (Daniel McElroy). The Garden City School District wishes to congratulatedirector Katie Sckalor and producer Stephen Mayo, technical director Michael Stano, orchestra and musical director James McCrann, choreographer Jeanne Kennedy, production assistant Angela McLaughlin, student stage manager Jennifer Leary, and all the talented students in the cast, crew and pit orchestra.
We know that spring is right around the corner at Stewart School when the third- graders participate in the annual Fashion Show. Over the last few weeks, third grade students in Señora Gutierrez’s class have been learning the Spanish vocabulary words for clothing. They learned to describe what they were wearing, what a classmate is wearing, the color of the clothing, what body part the clothing is worn on, and the clothing worn in specific weather. The culminating activity to this unit is the annual fashion show. The students are partnered, and each one describes in writing the clothing their partner is wearing. Then as he/she walks down the cat walk, the partner describes the outfit to the audience. Each student is photographed, and all the photos are displayed in the third grade hallway.
The fifth-graders were busy learning adjectives to describe their appearance and personality. Activities included describing the physical traits of celebrities, and the physical and personality of a classmate, then trying to guess who was described. As a culminating activity, fifth-graders in both Stewart and Stratford schools wrote pen pal letters to each other. In the letters, the students described themselves, places they like to visit, their favorite food, day of the week, and information about their pets. The letters were exchanged, and the students recorded facts about their new pal and shared them with the class. In addition, fifth- graders at Stewart created a “Yo soy …” (“I am”) Quilt. Each student was given a rectangular piece of paper and wrote descriptive words around the rectangle, and then drew a self-portrait. These rectangles were then mounted on a large banner to resemble a quilt.
Fifth-graders at Stewart School presented The Tales of Hoffman, an opera by composer Jacques Offenbach in which a sensitive poet searches for true love only to have it slip away. He recounts his misadventures through song with reenactments of the circumstances of three lost loves. Congratulations to the two casts for a wonderfully entertaining opera, to director Amy Fletcher, musical director Kelly Grace, Robert Townsend on sound, Michele White for the beautiful backdrop, the students on the stage crew, and to the parents for costumes and support of Stewart’s 75th opera production.
“Look at that handwriting!” many parents gasp in horror when their children take pen in hand. “When I was your age, I wrote in beautiful script.”
While Mom and Dad may be “mis-remembering” their own youth, there is some truth behind their consternation. After all, the need for proficiency in penmanship has diminished with the rise of technology. Laptops, iPads and smart phones have made communication so easy, that for many students, traditional handwriting has been relegated to the land of dinosaurs.
Garden City’s Waldorf School has announced that Andrew Fallu, Waldorf’s music and choral teacher – and his a capella singing group Satellite Lane – will perform and compete in the March 30 New York Regional competition of the Harmony Sweepstakes.
“Out of the 100+ groups that applied for the New York regional this year, only ten were chosen to compete,” said Fallu. “My friends and I in Satellite Lane are so proud to be one of them.”
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