Written by Dr. James Grossane, Levittown Superintendent of Schools Friday, 05 October 2012 00:00
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.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
Members of the Island Trees School District Board of Education are currently mulling a proposed $59.6 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, which would increase the district’s spending by .82 percent from last year. According to Island Trees
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Murphy, the tax levy for the 2014-2015 year is also estimated to increase by .82 percent, which he boasted falls well below the 2 percent tax levy threshold mandated by the state.
At the first of an ongoing series of budget workshops, on Feb. 26, board members highlighted sections of the proposed 2014-2015 budget, including the Island Trees Public Library, Arts and Music programming, Curriculum and Instruction and Supplies, to try and find any savings.
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:00
Almost 100 years later, the Levittown Community Council learned what life was like for the soldiers during World War I. Last week, the group welcomed Martha Kinney, an instructor from Suffolk Community College and a specialist on the topic who has more than 25 years of service in the military, five of those in active duty in Kuwait.
“The lives of the soldiers were much more detailed then just fighting in the trenches,” Kinney said.
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.