Over the past few decades, Long Island parents and students have had to come to terms with various changes in both curriculum and standardized testing procedures dictated by the New York State Education Department. But none of these changes has caused such vocal and wide-spread outrage from both parents and educators as the implementation of the new Common Core standards and the high-stakes testing that accompanies them.
While the controversy over Common Core is multi-dimensional, ranging from concerns about the swift implementation of the program, the appropriateness of the curriculum and the loss of local autonomy, the Dec. 11 forum, sponsored and moderated by New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, focused specifically on the mandated testing regiment associated with Common Core, its effect on our students and the challenges our local school district teachers and administrators now face.
Carle Place High School Student Organization officers and selected class officers attended a three-day leadership conference in Buffalo recently. The weekend, which started with a trip to Niagara Falls, was part of the New York State Council on Leadership and Student Activities 2013 State Conference.
“The conference was an invaluable experience for the student leaders,” said Erika Fallik, Carle Place Student Organization adviser. “It provided an opportunity to gain valuable information on project planning, community service ideas and projects, team building and fundraising ideas. It was also a great venue to network with student leaders throughout New York State.”
The North Shore High School’s cast and crew of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare delivered three spectacular performances during the weekend of Nov. 22. The play was comprised of comedic twists of Shakespeare’s 37 works.
Each work was somewhat modernized and condensed to a few minutes to fit all of them into the performance. The quick changes of plot and characters kept the audience on the edge of their seats and yearning for more.
Although there were many acts, the cast was small and the venue was intimate. The seating surrounded the stage, enabling the cast to interact with the audience throughout the entire performance. The narrators of the play made it extremely easy for people to follow along if they were not familiar with each of Shakespeare’s works. The play was suitable for not only high school students, but adults as well. Many North Shore School District teachers attended the performances to have a laugh while supporting their former and current students.
Residents of the North Shore School District approved a $19.6 million infrastructure bond referendum last week to finance key repairs on a long-term basis in the district’s buildings. The vote was held Tuesday, Dec. 3; homeowners are not expected to see any increase in property taxes as a result of the bond, since the district plans to phase in payments as older bonds are paid off and phased out.
Christmas has arrived in Glen Cove. Keeping with annual tradition, the Winter Festival was held in Village Square the Saturday after Thanksgiving, complete with live music, hot cocoa, horse and carriage rides, and of course, Santa.
Throughout the afternoon, residents took advantage of the free horse and carriage rides around town and Santa was available to take Christmas gift orders and pose for pictures. Despite the brisk air and increasingly dropping temperatures,
about 100 people gathered to hear the Glen Cove High School Jazz Band perform Christmas carols and other pieces, followed by some songs from the Select Chorale. The vocalists gave a preview of their upcoming performance at the White House in DC, where they will have the opportunity to sing this Friday. The jazz band is an award-winning ensemble, led by director Nicholas Carbuto.
This is the season of giving, when people tend to think more about the needs of others. One particular organization in the community is devoted to giving to others throughout the year, though they do appreciate and rely on the generosity of others during the holidays. The Guardian Angel Family Crisis Center in Sea Cliff is devoted to helping women and children on a daily basis, and the needs of those they serve often become amplified this time of year.
Last month, the center extended its thrift store space and opened a holiday boutique, where children’s toys and clothing are displayed for purchase, as well as holiday decorations. Women's clothing is also for sale, and the space now has a dressing room. A special aspect of this holiday boutique is the Giving Tree, where those who wish to purchase a gift for a child in need can take a name from the tree to ensure the child’s Christmas wish is fulfilled.
Children at Gribbin Elementary
School prepared for Thanksgiving last week by singing songs, writing what they were thankful for on the table cloths, and making a poster of what they are thankful for.
Visitors to Nassau County’s Garvies Point Museum and Preserve were transported back in time on Nov. 23 and 24 when the museum held its Annual Thanksgiving Native American Feast. More than 1,000 people attended the two-day event, which showcased the lives of Native Americans. Numerous hands-on activities gave participants the opportunity to try their luck at spear throwing, corn grinding, cooking over an open fire and pottery making.
The feast was the perfect outing for several Cub Scout troops and group home organizations as well as for families from across Long Island. For Sea Cliff siblings Zeke and Uma it was a special day at a place they visit often and have strong ties to. Their grandfather had been one of the museum’s early volunteers. For the Ferrera family of Islip it was a new adventure. Renee Ferrera is a social studies teacher who had taken her classes on trips to Garvies in the past and always enjoyed it.
Residents have to wait a little longer to start receiving FiOS service. A second public hearing was held at Glen Cove City Hall last week regarding the proposed Verizon FiOS contract, and the agreement is not yet official.
Mayor Ralph Suozzi and the city council members heard from attorneys on both sides: Cablevision was not pleased with the adjustments made and still had not had a chance to view the final agreement. Councilman Michael Famiglietti asked to table the vote until they had a chance to review the final proposal and make sure that the terms given to Verizon were equal to those given to Cablevision; the council voted unanimously to table the vote until Dec. 10.
On Nov. 19, the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County held its Annual Tribute dinner at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation. More than 400 people were in attendance from all parts of Long Island along with many local politicians from the North and South shore. Grammy award winning artist Gloria Gaynor, known for her famous song “I Will Survive,” was a special guest.
The co-chairs for the evening Samantha and Keith Gutstein and Robyn and Jordan Linn were honoring John Cooper and Jack Foley for their deep commitment to the holocaust museum and educator Lori Gately. They also featured guest speaker Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, a German physician, whose father was a highly decorated Nazi officer. Wollschlaeger converted to Judaism, emigrated to Israel and served in the Israel Defense Forces and is now a family practitioner in
Florida. As an author and lecturer he has spoken all over the world about his life’s journey and the lessons of the Holocaust.
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