Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
In a symbolic stand against pressure from the New York State Education Department, members of the Levittown Board of Education recently rejected the changes to the special education curriculum.
Based on the most recent set of rule changes to the statewide Common Core, the Levittown school district, as of July 1, 2013, can no longer dole out IEP diplomas to special education students.
According to Special Education Director Lisa Carelli-Lang, the state education department has determined the individualized education program [IEP] diploma is “arbitrary” and not “aligned with the Common Core curriculum.”
Based on a decision made by the state Board of Regents in June, as of the 2013-2014 school year, districts statewide are required to offer Career Development and Occupational Studies [CDOS] Commencement Credential as an alternative certification for students with severe disabilities who are eligible to take the New York State Alternative Assessments.
The state-mandated curriculum associated with the new credential aims to give special education students a more meaningful education than provided by IEPs. It prepares eligible students to take the state's new "alternative assessments," which allegedly will provide employers a better gauge of job-readiness.
“I think students with this diploma will leave in a better position to present this to an employer,” Lang said.
However, the trustees did not feel as optimistic as Lang.
“So we’re giving kids more work and taking away the right to a diploma?” asked Trustee Frank Ward. “The state is wrong with this point.”
The Levittown Board of Education voted 5-to-1 against the implementation of the CDOS Commencement Credentials for students with severe disabilities, with the only vote in favor from the Board President Kevin Regan, who explained that it was a pointless decision.
“It’s a moot point,” said Trustee Michael Pappas. “It has to be done anyway.”
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
On March 7, members of the Division Avenue High School PTSA held their fourteenth annual Sweeps and Chinese Auction fundraiser. According to First Vice President of Division Avenue High School PTSA Laura Brown, there were about 150 Chinese auction baskets and 30 bingo prizes that were given out during this year’s event.
The PTSA has been organizing this event for the past 14 years, but it only started to get bigger in the last three years. It is now the largest event that the PTSA has to organize every year. “It wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of the custodial staff, and all the PTSA members,” said Brown. “We reserve tables now because there’s probably 400 people in there.”
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Jessy Davidson, a student at MacArthur High School in Levittown, organized and held a blood drive at the John Theissen Children’s Foundation on Wantagh Ave. this past weekend.
Davidson, a junior, hopes to earn a small college scholarship through the New York Blood Center Bloodstock Scholarship Program by hosting this blood drive. If at least 30 donors come through, she will qualify for the scholarship.
Anyone who is in high school is able to participate in this scholarship, according to Davidson.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees track program is pleased to announce that four members of the team will be participating in the New York State tournament. Students honored include:
Alexa Dolgos with a personal best of 1.37 in the 600 meter run; Alyssa Mustafa with a personal best of 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the long jump and a personal best of 36 minutes 1.3 seconds in the triple jump competition; Andrew Zabala with a personal best of 43 feet 5 inches in the triple jump; and Joe Stanco with 47 minutes 10.5 seconds in the shot put.
— Submitted by Varsity Track Coach Joseph Manna
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees Bulldogs Wrestling team finished the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 18-8. The team defeated Syosset in the Dual Meet Championship playoffs 34-27, and then lost to Plainedge in the second round 48-29. The team had a strong season and was ranked no. 8 in Nassau County. The Bulldogs entered 22 wrestlers in the Nassau County Qualifying Tournament, out of which, eleven of the team’s All-League grapplers qualified for the coveted Nassau County Wrestling Tournament. Six wrestlers also received All-Conference honors, with one wrestler earning a wildcard into the tournament, for a total of 12 Island Trees wrestlers competing.