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Desk of NHP Superintendent Robert Katulak: December 24, 2010

Students in all four schools have been busy working on building ELA and math skills that were designated needing improvement from item analysis of the NY State assessments. Two of the four buildings already exhibited their musical and artistic talents at the annual Christmas concerts. Tomorrow will be the Hillside Grade School concert and Wednesday will be the Manor Oaks School concert. All students have been generously involved in service projects to help those less fortunate than us.

Our professional staff continues to grow and contribute to the program plans of our district. This afternoon our Social Studies Curriculum Committee members turn-keyed some strategies for implementing our new program and shared with teachers the social studies framework and timeline for implementation. They are currently working on the design of some district formative assessments that would contain document-based questions. These will replace the social studies state exam the state did away with due to financial reasons. The principals have been busy putting some finishing touches on our District Reponse to Intervention Program Plan that we developed collaboratively. This plan is due to the state by 2012, however, we implemented it in the 2009-2010 year for grades kindergarten – 2 and in this year grades kindergarten – 6. Each principal and director has either met or scheduled an appointment with Michael Frank and myself to review their budget needs requests, keeping in mind that we want to have a minimum increase percent wise in all areas other than salary and benefits.

Everyone is looking forward to the holiday break to share the time and celebrate the season together with friends and family. I hope that everyone here has a joyful holiday, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.