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From the desk of Dr. James Grossane: October 4, 2012

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome you back to the 2012-2013 school year. The district’s administrators, teachers and staff worked hard to ensure a smooth opening for our students, who arrived at their respective campuses ready to learn and grow.

During my first year as superintendent, our district realized many notable achievements by both our students and staff. Both U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek placed Division Avenue and MacArthur high schools on their lists of the top-ranked high schools in the nation. Most recently, Summit Lane Elementary School was identified as one of 250 New York State Reward Schools for its high performance. This honor places Summit Lane in the running for federal grant monies in accordance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These honors are indeed a testament to the supportive families and committed educators who assist students in reaching their goals each day. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Board of Education who have continually provided our students with opportunities for educational growth and success.

In looking forward to the year ahead, the district will face unprecedented fiscal and academic challenges. In May 2012, the community approved a 2012-2013 spending plan that, through careful and resourceful planning, complied with the governor’s tax levy cap without the district having to make any reductions to existing instructional programs. In the years ahead, however, meeting the state’s tax levy restrictions will become increasingly difficult, and it will take diligence and additional cost-saving measures for the district to continue offering its stellar programs. I am confident that the community will embrace these challenges and will continue to offer the best educational opportunities for our most valuable asset, our students.

The district will also continue to address several New York State Education Department initiatives and mandates. Levittown was one of 61 Nassau County school districts to submit on time an Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan for teachers and principals. Under the state’s APPR, each teacher will be evaluated on the basis of instructional delivery and student performance. The State Education Department will contact the district this fall with any proposed modifications to the APPR plan.

The district has also worked hard to realign its curriculum to comply with the introduction of the New York State Common Core Learning Standards. During the spring 2012 semester, the administration announced four curriculum associates who will now supervise K-12 content area in an effort to support teachers and students as they meet the challenges of the common core curriculum.

One of our greatest challenges is preparing students for the 21st century. The age of technology is continually changing, and the district is working to ensure that the needs of students and staff are met. In May, the technology department installed 400 SMARTBoards (800 series) and the component projectors in every classroom throughout the district. Another instructional component includes the recent purchase of 150 iPads to be utilized by special education students in select elementary schools.

Whether or not you have children enrolled in the district’s schools, I invite you to attend the numerous concerts, plays, art shows and athletic events offered throughout the year. Our students have been the benefactors of a home-to-school collaboration that has largely contributed to the extent of academic achievement and accomplishments attained at both the elementary and secondary levels. I am confident that together we can make this partnership even stronger.

News

Residents are in a fervor over Nassau County’s recent decision to remove 176 oak trees along a mile-and-a-half stretch of Seaman’s Neck Road.

 

“It’s outrageous,” said local resident Lee Gardner. “It changed the entire landscape.”

 

Like most of her neighbors, Gardner said she was shocked, since the county did not notify residents. 

Nassau County drivers are up in arms due to the recent implementation of school zone speed cameras, which have issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents beef with the county’s speed cameras stems from the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

 

Director of Nassau County Traffic Safety Chris Mistron said that while some residents were taken by surprise, summer school hours are still considered a violation period. 


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday Aug. 7. We had 33 golfers and a record 8  who scored under 40.  Low overall score was won by newcomer Ed Hyne with an impressive 33, his second low net in a row. Charlie Acerra scored a solid 35, and won low overall net with a 26; his best score in 4 years.

 

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more.  The league is a 100 % handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

Golfer Annie Park, 19, of Levittown came close at the U.S. Women’s Amateur tourney, but missed the cut, finishing at 149, 9 strokes over par and just one stroke away from the match-play cut-off. 

 

“I couldn’t make any putts, so then I had more pressure into my shots to get it closer,” Park said, “but obviously that’s not going to work.”


Calendar

Island Trees Board of Education - August 20

Theatre: The Normal Heart - August 22

KC and the Sunshine Band - August 23


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com