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Surprise! NYS Comes Through For Herricks

At the April 3 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education, it was revealed that New York State’s recently passed budget has allotted a larger-than-anticipated amount of aid for schools; this has resulted in an additional $360,000 for the district to use for its 2014-2015 budget.

 

According to Board of Education President James Gounaris, the 2014-2015 Herricks budget was already adopted, on March 20; after the surprise boost in state aid, the budget was adjusted and re-adopted at the April 3 meeting, with the additional funds allocated toward restoring some budgetary cuts made to the district in recent years.

 

“We’re going to use the additional money that we have to hire more staff,” he said. “The biggest concern to those of us on the school board has been trying to find a way to reduce our class sizes. We’re down over 100 positions in the past three years.” 

 

The Herricks 2014-2015 budget, adjusted for the additional $360,000 in funding from New York State, now comes in at $107,594,911; the Board of Trustees unanimously voted at the meeting to re-adopt the budget to reflect this new amount. However, these new numbers will not affect taxes in the Herricks district, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Helen Costigan.

 

“We’re putting the additional funds into our revenue file, so this will not affect the tax levy at all,” she said. “This extra money will bring our budget up to a 2.84 percent increase, but out levy remains at 1.84 percent. That doesn’t change.”

 

Trustee Brian Hassan gave a final update on the infamous InBloom, which had drawn the intense ire of parents and schools across the state when it emerged that the company would be sharing sensitive data about New York students with various third-party companies. After vigorous lobbying from educators and parents, the state put an end to the unpopular practice. 

 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth describing the program as “so poorly handled,” noted it was initially slated to be nationwide.

 

“New York was the only one left in InBloom, which was originally supposed to go across all 50 states,” he said. “However, you can’t have a national database with no states being a part of it, so it appears to be really dead, which is great.” The plan is effectively dead in the water after New York’s withdrawal, he said. 

 

“InBloom is no longer an issue for us as far as data-sharing with third-party vendors,” Hassan said. “This was the result of a lot of hard work by people, not just in Herricks, but across the state, and it’s nice to see that our voices have finally been heard.”

News

Dedicating itself to brining freshly made burgers to its customers, Smashburger in New Hyde Park provides gourmet hamburgers, but with a twist.

 

Since its grand opening on Oct. 18, 2013, business at Smashburger has been a smash, says owner Irwin Kruger.

 

“The location has been great for us,” added Kruger. “We have good tenants that surround us. It’s conveniently located on Marcus Avenue, and there’s plenty of parking.”

At the July 18 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education, the school district addressed a recent response by the State Education Department (SED) in regards to a recent hot-button topic that has many parents, students, and teachers alike up in arms—the rapid and stressful increase in state assessment testing.

 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth recently received an email from Assistant SED Commissioner Dr. Julia Rafal-Baer, addressing the concerns of both parents and school districts in New York regarding the great deal of stress that many students have been put under as a result of what many have referred to “excessive state testing.” 

 

Many parents and school administrators argue these rob children of valuable classroom learning time in favor of multiple standardized assessment exams designed to gauge teacher performance, and

Rafal-Baer’s email acknowledged the difficulties that many students have been undergoing since the testing was implemented last year. 


Sports

The Sewanhaka Indians’ very talented lacrosse defenseman, Tyler Regnier, will be playing next season for the Division 1 Rutgers University Scarlet Knights.

 

Regnier started playing lacrosse as a third grader, when he played with the New Hyde Park Police Activity League, a youth lacrosse program.

 

“At first, I wasn’t too serious,” he said recently. “But I just stuck with it, a lot of training, a lot of travel and a lot of practice made it happen.”

Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness in Williston Park received belt promotions after completing a series of extensive exams.

 

Graduates

From New Hyde Park:  Jonah Khorrami to brown belt, Isabella Castelli to purple belt.

 

From Mineola:  Alexandra Santos and Kayla Toal to, Kayla Toal yellow belt, Jason DeJesus to Yellow/White Belt.

 

From Williston Park:  Mario Lombardo to red belt, Daniel Melore to blue belt, Grayson Lee to yellow/white belt.

 

From Garden City:  Alexandra Delgais: to brown belt, Jake Delgais to yellow/white belt.

 

From Roslyn Heights:  Suhani Jain to red belt.  

 

From Uniondale:  Isiah McClean to yellow/white belt.



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