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From the desk of Dr. Charles Murphy: November 23, 2011

Written by Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00

At this most thankful time of year, we would like to wish the entire Island Trees community a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday. Naturally, Thanksgiving means a lot more than football, pilgrims and pumpkin pie. The holiday is centered on giving thanks for all of our blessings.

However, when it comes down to it, the holiday revolves around people – family, friends, and loved ones. It’s about all of the essential people in our lives and the blessings they give us.


Letter: Supervisor Murray Thanks Voters

Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00

The electoral process is at the core of our democratic way of government in the United States of America. From Presidential elections all the way down to local government contests, the will of the people is central to our way of life. Accordingly, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in the Nov. 8 elections. I am honored to have been re-elected to another term as Hempstead Town Supervisor and I am eager to embark upon new challenges and maintain key priorities over the next two years. Thank you!


Letter: What Is a Veteran?

Friday, 18 November 2011 00:00

A veteran is someone who will miss his sister’s or brother’s wedding.

A veteran is someone who will miss his son or his daughter’s baseball game. Just keep this in mind, we wake up in the morning and go to work or out to play. One can go to school of their choice; one can find a job of their choice. One can do what one would like to do (almost); one can wear the clothes any way we choose. That is why we call America the greatest country.


From the desk of Dr. Charles Murphy: November 16, 2011

Written by Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools Friday, 18 November 2011 00:00

Parents are the most powerful and needed force in educating children. They set the expectations for future success. After all, a child spends about 900 hours a year in school and 7,800 hours at home. Naturally, a parent’s job is not an easy one, especially today when we’re all pulled in a million different directions in our work and home lives. We all try to prioritize what’s important and how to manage all of these priorities, including our most important priority – our children. It’s like anything else in life – if you put a lot of time and energy into your children – the fruits of your efforts will be bountiful. If you do not, most of us know how this story ends. I’m asked over and over what parents can do to help their children succeed. Read to your children from infancy through the elementary grades. Read to them, read to them, and read to them some more. This modeling and practice will not only emphasis the importance of reading, but will enable your child’s vocabulary to grow exponentially, as well as create a tremendous foundation of knowledge. Equally important, reading to children creates a powerful parent/child bond – a connection that will provide a lifetime of memories for child and parent.


Letter: An Open Letter to President Patricia Mahon and the Members of the Island Trees Board of Ed

Friday, 11 November 2011 00:00

A recent article on the Internet, from November 1, 2011 (that can be found at is a preliminary promulgation of NYSED Assessment score rankings pitting Island Trees against eight contiguous districts. These districts were not “cherry-picked.” There was no flawed methodology, skullduggery, or black magic used during this research.

There’s an old axiom; “numbers don’t lie, people do”. If you were to place IT in the center of a map, you could draw straight lines to Plainedge, Hicksville, Wantagh, Levittown, Bethpage, etc. If you were to drive from the IT business office, you could arrive at any of these eight other districts within 10 minutes.


Letter: Don’t All Volunteer at Once

Friday, 11 November 2011 00:00

Imagine living in a community that has no churches, charities, museums, sports leagues, art galleries, historical societies, fraternal organizations, youth centers, or senior citizens services. Hard to imagine except in the worse inner-city slum or in some rural backwoods? Not really. These institutions depend on volunteers to keep their doors open and fewer and fewer people volunteer.

In a society where people watch a few hours of TV a night, spend hours Facebooking people they’ve not seen in 20 years about what they had for lunch, and sufficiently wired into computer games in their cell phone to resemble the autistic in their disconnection with the rest of the world, it’s difficult to get people to donate a few hours a month in the community. (I’ll doubtless receive flack about the autistic comparison, but I have a profoundly autistic nephew. It kills me that he’ll never hold a job, enjoy the eloquence of literature, get married, or wonder at scientific discovery. Yet in many ways, those who chose to isolate themselves from the rest of their community out of apathy are no less tragic).


From the desk of Dr. Charles Murphy: November 2, 2011

Written by Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00

Many years ago, I was engaged in the process of gaining an Irish passport. Ireland grants citizenship to descendants. For example, if your grandparents were born in Ireland, you could apply for citizenship based on descent from Irish grandparents. At the time, I was looking into opportunities in Europe, but unfortunately the international rules and regulations were impossible to overcome.

However, I found out dual citizenship in one of the European Union countries was a way around the red tape. The application process required specific documentation - birth and marriage certificates - tracing back the lineage to Ireland.


New York to Seek NCLB Waiver, Improve Test Security

Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00

Statement of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)
Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer

Today’s decision by the state Board of Regents to seek a federal waiver from the strictures of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is welcome news for school districts across this state that were facing unrealistic expectations, such as requiring 100 percent proficiency in English/Language Arts and mathematics by 2014.


From the desk of Dr. Charles Murphy: October 27, 2011

Written by Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools Friday, 28 October 2011 00:00

The common AP? CUNY? SUNY? GPA. On site registration? Four-year schools.  SATs. Two-year schools. Naviance? Class rank. Financial aid. There is so much to learn about the college application process that managing the process can not only be overwhelming to students, but to parents as well. Stressful may be an understatement. The college selection process is a culmination of thirteen years of schooling – kindergarten through 12th grade. Children spend over 2,300 days in school leading up to the process and one could say this is the true final exam for higher education. In fact, our children only get one good shot at it from high school, so we want to make it count. But how?


From the desk of Dr. Charles Murphy: October 19, 2011

Written by Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00

Island Trees students are fortunate to receive science instruction from a number of outstanding teachers, as well as take part in many top notch classes. Recently, I was able to spend time with two of our science teachers – Dr. Andrew Sass and Mr. Joseph Manna. Dr. Sass is MIT educated with a PhD from Purdue University. For two decades, Dr. Sass has cultivated the Island Trees Physics program, including developing our AP Physics C class.


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