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Health And Wellness Curriculum Discussed By NS Board Of Ed

New federal school lunch program portions scrutinized

The North Shore School District Board of Education meeting, held on Thursday, Sept. 20, centered around two discussions: the health and wellness curriculum, which is currently slated for changes and possible expansion, and the status on the extra-curricular activity clubs that are active for this school year.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Rob Chlebicki and Don Lang, director of the physical education department, presented their findings on how the district’s curriculum fits in with national and state standards and said they created a “North Shore standard” that incorporates what they feel are the most comprehensive and relevant areas for education, keeping in line with the questions that the board of education had previously given to them. Chlebicki said the next step is to get all of the health teachers – most of whom are coaches with busy schedules– to set a time to begin writing and refining the curriculum.

Lang mentioned that some of the tools currently being utilized in the health classes, such as role-playing scenarios, have had a positive impact on students’ decision-making processes. However, he said that currently, health education stops after one semester in ninth grade, which may not give them enough tools to make healthy decisions later in their teen years. He said they are working on addressing the expansion of the health curriculum into the high school, perhaps by tapping into community resources and bringing in guest speakers. He noted that some other positive changes have been noticed as a result of the current courses, including helping students identify and deal with stress, knowing who to talk to when students need support, and making healthier meal choices, which he attributed to the changes in the cafeteria offerings.

Chlebicki said two areas that teachers in the district do not currently address are response to failure (how to deal with failure) and abortion; he said that both topics need to be looked at and potentially included in the curriculum to give students a broader knowledge base.

Trustee Tom Knierim brought up the issue of technology as related to health, and Chlebicki said that the classes do address technology on a lot of different levels, from the safety aspect to new applications for detection of certain health problems.

Board President Carolyn Genovesi noted that a lot of the technology issues are personal family values, and that parent education is also important, as students’ knowledge of technology may surpass a parent’s in some cases.

During the discussion, the new federal guidelines set in place for the school lunch program was brought up. Assistant Superintendent for Business Olivia Buatsi said that the guidelines are very “rigid” in terms of how much protein and calories students can receive, and they must keep track of everything. Furthermore, they are not allowed to differentiate between students receiving a free or reduced lunch and those paying.

“The district gets reimbursed for every meal served, but we must meet all of the components,” Buatsi said. “All of it must be documented.”

She said those who can afford to eat more can purchase their food a la carte; currently, she said the plan is to discuss the issue with the parent associations, and the board members requested further details on a breakdown of the guidelines as well as a report on the discussions with parents to determine if a new direction needs to be considered.

“Middle school and high school boys who are active in sports are not getting enough protein,” said one parent in the audience. “Many kids are going off campus for food.”

The board also discussed the status of clubs, after having requested a report last year on how much teachers get paid for leading the clubs, how many students are enrolled and what proof is required of teachers showing that the clubs have met and remain active.

Trustee George Pombar took issue with the minimum number of students required per club, currently set at five. He said he felt it was too small and not worth the cost to the district; after much discussion, the board agreed to raise the minimum number to eight, but to leave an exception that principals can make a case to keep a club active for smaller numbers if they felt it appropriate.

“We need to look at the greater good of the club, not just the number,” said Knierim. “I think it’s good to have a place for every kid.”

News

The 1907 Courthouse building is now known as the Marguerite and Joseph Suozzi Building, marked by a special ceremony held at the North Shore Historical Museum on Sunday, Aug. 3 to a packed house.

 

“It’s a great day for the Suozzi family and a great day for the museum. We are so grateful for the Suozzi family for this generous donation,” said Brian Mercadante, president of the museum.

 

Mercandante then gave some history on the building, which was built in 1907 by the Town of Oyster Bay, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and the Gold Coast was in its heyday. He described how it came to be a museum, explaining that Tom Suozzi came up with a plan for redevelopment during his term as mayor of Glen Cove in the 1990s.

Several local artists are featured in an exhibit hosted by LIU Post, now through Aug. 27, titled “Endless Summer – Visions of Long Island.” The exhibit is a fundraising event for the Nassau County Firefighter’s Operation Wounded Warrior (NCF-OWW), a non-profit organization centered on providing much-needed items to the wounded men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

 

 Photographer Roni Chastain of Glen Cove is one of the featured artists.

 

“I am thrilled to be participating in an exhibit to support the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior,” says Chastain. “Our war veterans deserve to be supported for the work they do to protect the USA. I do believe in giving back and have volunteered to photograph several fund raising events over the past few years. This includes Komen Walk for the Cure, Hope in Motion, Kids Triathlon. I will be photographing the walk for Gift of Life in September.


Sports

Kristen Gillman earned a come-from-behind two-up victory over Brooke Mackenzie Henderson in the 36-hole championship match of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, being conducted at the 6,297-yard, par-70 Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove. The final match was held on Sunday, Aug. 10.

 

Gillman, 16, of Austin, Texas, was three down through 26 holes to Henderson, 16, of Canada. But Gillman, a junior at Lake Travis High School, birdied five of the final 10 holes to complete the remarkable rally.

Sailing fans from Glen Cove are invited to the 32nd Knickerbocker Cup, or K-Cup, Race, hosted by Port Washington’s Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, which will include three of the top-10 world-ranked match racing skippers. 

 

The racing competition will be preceded by an opening ceremony and welcome cocktail party, followed by an All-American BBQ Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. 


Calendar

Good Reads - August 13

Sunset Serenades - August 14

Wine Tasting - August 15


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