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School District Reorganizes For School Year

During the July 11 board of education meeting, the Levittown School District Board of Education and administration reorganized for the official start of the 2012-13 school year.

Re-elected trustees Ed Powers and Kevin Regan took the oath of office, which was administered by school district attorney Bob Cohen of Lamb & Barnosky, LLP. In addition, the board reappointed trustees Michael Pappas and Peter Porrazzo as president and vice president, respectively.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. James J. Grossane congratulated both Powers and Regan on their re-election to the board. “Thank you for making a commitment to serve the community,” Dr. Grossane stated. “I look forward to working with the board to ensure success of the students in our community.”

Previously, at a special public meeting held on June 27, Dr. Grossane gave a brief superintendent’s report that included an update about the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), saying that after dozens of committee meetings, the plan for the upcoming school year is complete, ensuring that the school receives its due state aid.

Dr. Grossane also followed up on a question asked at the previous board meeting about the status of the district’s Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). In addition to all of the coaches being trained to use the devices, which are located throughout the schools, they are carried to the fields for all contact sporting events.

A bill passed by New York State, in effect on July 1 of this year, called the Dignity For All Students Act or simply “Dignity” has been resolved by the Levittown Board of Education. The bill addresses bullying and bias-related behavior including, but not limited to, issues such as race, ethnicity, weight, sexual orientation, and gender that interfere with safety and learning of all students.

Dr. Grossane said the district is in compliance with the new law and has appointed compliance officers for each building. A committee is being formed to discuss how to deliver the information to staff, students, and parents for the start of the new school year.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Debbie Rifkin addressed the elementary school report cards, saying that a committee had been formed several years ago to revise the outdated measures addressed on the report cards, but had since ceased because of a possibility of New York State standards being passed for all school report cards. The Levittown district’s committee reconvened this year to work on the issue again.  

Some of the revisions for the new cards will be to reduce the marking periods to three. Board President Michael Pappas asked about the consolidation down to three marking periods, with a concern of still encouraging parents to check on their child’s progress outside of the marking periods. He said he thought if the first marking period was in November, this may be too much time from the start of the school year to the first marking period for parents to first learn the status of their child’s grades. Parents are encouraged to seek a conference with the teacher at any time throughout the marking periods if there seems to be any concern.

Another change will be to incorporate all special areas into a single report card marking period, that had previously required separate assessments and grading procedures.

Rifkin said at the beginning of the upcoming school year, workshops will be held for parents and teachers to discus report cards and how to analyze and understand the information on the report cards.

The next Levittown School District Board of Education meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Levittown Memorial Education Center at 150 Abbey Lane. The public session begins at 7:30 p.m.

Copies of the agenda are available to the residents of the district at the office of the board of education three days prior to the meeting date. Copies of agendas are also available three days prior to meeting date at the Levittown Public Library. Tapes of meetings are available at the Levittown Public Library.