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From the Desk of Dr. Joseph A. Laria, Interim Superintendent of GC Schools: December 24, 2010

An Open Letter to Staff and Residents -
A Tradition Of Quality … A Future Of Excellence

Dear Colleagues and Residents,

Last month, I shared with you a vision for Glen Cove. This month I wish to express specifics as to how that vision can become a reality as we build upon Glen Cove’s Tradition of Quality so that we can create a Future of Excellence. What do I see for Glen Cove’s school district as we move into the second decade of the 21st century – together for children?

I see a district with a fully coordinated system of education – a continuum of discovery and skills development for all children. It is a district in which teachers and administrators – from pre-kindergarten to grade twelve – work together, by design, to create integrated and complementary curricula. It is a district in which each level of education serves expressly to prepare each child for the next level. And it is a district – a quality district – in which children and their parents always know what is required to reach the next level and are confident that the educators will help them get there successfully, with confidence and dignity.

I see a district that uses the social model of the family as the glue that binds us together. A district in which each member of the family shares each other’s joy and carries each other’s burdens – equitably and fairly. A district in which each member of the family has different needs and different abilities and each gains by contributing to common goals. A district of constructive compromise in which each member of the family gains by giving – a district in which the group and the individual interests compliment each other to the benefit of all.

I see a district that appreciates the value and worth of its staff – a district that steadfastly strives to respect and nurture the staff’s professional dignity.

I see a district that has certain, definite responsibilities:

• An economic responsibility to allocate its limited resources toward the attainment of unlimited educational aims;

• A planning responsibility to anticipate needs and explore methods for future improvement;

• A leadership responsibility to guide and assist in developing a learning atmosphere which encourages creativity, individualism, inquiry, and a healthy awareness and understanding of the world and of people:

I see a district that is not a board centered district, not an administration centered district, not a teacher centered district, but a child centered district.

I see a district that adapts different teaching methods to the varied learning styles of all children.

I see a district that establishes an atmosphere in which creative teaching and learning can flourish – a district that encourages attitudes of flexibility and not rigidity.

I see a district that promotes research and experimentation – a district that takes the best ideas from research of others, but will assume that it is possible to discover fresh, useful ideas of our own.

I see a district that encourages fine administrators, teachers, and support staff, to strive constantly for intellectual and professional growth.

I see a district that involves every staff member in the task of improving education – a district that provides top down support for bottom up reform.

I see a district whose major goals are:

• to provide the opportunity for all children to develop their talents to the limit of their abilities.

• to develop and sharpen in all children the basic transferable skills – the skills to perceive and solve problems, to understand, to communicate, and to deal with people as individuals and in groups, and to organize and to make use of information and resources.

• to motivate all children to discover the joys of learning and growing.

• to awaken and nurture each child’s appreciation of beauty and culture.

• to encourage in all children an awareness of their own worth and individuality and to lead them from this to an appreciation, sympathy, and understanding of all other individuals, of all races, religions and nationalities.

• to embrace diversity and to appreciate diversity as an asset to be nurtured and not an impediment to overcome.

• to widen the horizons of all children beyond their own home, community, state and nation, until these horizons are as wide as the universe.

• to quicken in every child a sense of responsibility and dedication to the progress of humankind.

• to teach all children to distinguish between what they know and what they only believe; and, how to discover that which they do not know and to use the knowledge that is required.

• to empower all children to reject rejection rather than rejecting themselves.

• to make all children aware that formal schooling is only a first step toward an education.

With a unity of purpose and with our having a common north, what I see for Glen Cove’s future can be transformed into a reality. With your help, involvement and commitment, we can maintain Glen Cove’s Tradition of Quality and create a Future of Excellence. Together for children… we can!