Who could have predicted that a chance encounter at a PTA convention in upstate New York would be all it would take to get the state Deputy Commissioner of Education Ken Slentz to appear for a parent-teacher forum in Levittown?
“We have a lot of people in our community who are concerned about the [state] curriculum,” said Levittown PTA Council President Patricia Genco. “Hopefully [Ken] will put their concerns to rest.”
On Jan. 29, Slentz came to dispel myths surrounding the learning standards adopted by New York and 45 other states in the nation.
After reviewing several proposals for the 11.3 acre property that currently houses the Geneva N. Gallow and Stephen J. Karopcyc schools, the Island Trees School District has announced it plans to sell the property to a developer for construction of 160 to 247 condominium units for residents ages 55 and up.
Presently, the school district spends over $200,000 a year to maintain both Gallow and Karopcyc school facilities, which have been closed for conventional classes for more than 20 years. According to school officials, the sale of the property will not only reduce maintenance costs by $200,000, it will also provide at least $500,000 per year in new tax revenue. The district will gain $700,000 per year by relinquishing the property, plus money made from the land sale.
Last year, Nassau BOCES closed its special education preschool program at the Geneva N. Gallow Elementary School on Farmedge Road. Although the Gallow School has been closed to Island Trees students for over twenty years, the BOCES lease has been a significant revenue stream for our district. In fact, not only did it offset the maintenance expenses for the entire Farmedge property, but it also helped fund our own district programs.
In response, the district searched for a new tenant for the Gallow School. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a new occupant for the building. Without a tenant, the Gallow School has become a financial burden for the school district, as well as a target of vandals.
On Sunday, Feb. 2, there will be ceremonies held nationwide to commemorate the bravery of “The Four Chaplains,” men of the cloth who gave their lives in a 1943 World War II battle so that others could survive. One of those solemn ceremonies will be held in
Roslyn Harbor at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, with ceremonies beginning at 2 p.m.
“It’s not about what they meant to the Levittown community, but what they meant to society as a whole,” said Levittown Veteran Andrew Booth, a former commander of the Nassau County American Legion. “These four heroes sacraficed their lives by giving up their lifejackets.”
A special election will be held Feb. 11 for the Nassau County Legislative District 2 seat, which oversees parts of East Meadow.
Robert Troiano held the title of District 2 Legislator until earlier this month, when he took a position as Director of Operations with the Town of North Hempstead. Up for the position now is Siela Bynoe, who was nominated by the Nassau County Democratic
Committee, and Republican nominee Pepitz Blanchard, who lost to Troiano for the council seat in last November’s election.
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $137 billion spending plan will increase education aid by $807 million for the 2014-2015 school year, but school officials say it will still put them up against the wall.
“Clearly the district is disappointed with the state aid allocations,” said Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “Although the Governor's budget increased school aid three percent, this figure didn’t materialize in Island Trees.”
Based on the preliminary budget figures, the Island Trees Union-Free School District will receive $158,000 less than last year, or a total $14,102,719—a decrease of 1.11 percent.
Parents in the Island Trees School District are up in arms after learning the district terminated Coach Michael Bonsignore. Many parents wondered what motivated the board to let go of a coach who had vastly improved the football program and led a scholar-athlete team this year.
According to Michael's father, Carl Bonsignore, the Island Trees Superintendent, Dr. Charles Murphy, and Athletic Director Dr. James Kramer met with Michael and a union representative over the holiday break to inform him that the district “had decided to go in a different direction.”
A surprising non-agenda item left parents gasping in shock, as Levittown Schools Superintendent Dr. James Grossane announced his resignation from the school district, effective June 30, 2014, the same day his three-year contract is set to expire.
Prior to his tenure as the superintendent of the Levittown Public Schools, Grossane served as assistant superintendent for support services in the Massapequa school district. Before that he served as the principal of Massapequa High School.
Grossane was hired to serve the role as superintendent of schools by the Levittown Public School District in 2011, at an annual salary of $225,000. He would go on to succeed former Superintendent Dr. Herman Sirois.
The Levittown Board of Education has opened a new chapter in what has been an ongoing debate in the district over the years—What to do with the Laurel Lane school?
Built in 1956 as an elementary school, the 13-room school house would be home to several tenants over the years. It was most recently used to house the district’s alternative education center, but when the program was relocated to the Levittown Memorial
Education Center, in 2009, it left the building empty for the past four years.
When Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 to deliver his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech, he envisioned all races and religions coming together and living in peace. Those words, so eloquently spoken, made us think and inspired us to be better people and slowly, over time, change did happen.
Reverend Terry Yvette Cissé, the interim Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown, had a similar dream of bringing different religions and races to her church, and on Sunday her dream came true. Reverends from around Long Island, along with a Cantor, joined together in a musical celebration. “I am excited to bring this event to Levittown," Rev. Cissé said. "It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring this community together and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.”
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