Written by Massapequa Observer Staff Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00
Under sunny skies and cooler temperatures that signified the end of summer, more than 7,500 students from Massapequa returned to school with new backpacks, school supplies and a willingness to learn.
“We are delighted to welcome back our students and staff and look forward to a year of new growth on all measures,” said Superintendent Lucille F. Iconis. “Like all districts across the state, we are beginning a year with the full K-12 implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards, new evaluations systems for our educators known as APPR, which connect students’ academic growth to professional performance, and a new benchmark for achievement based on the widely publicized test scores on the more rigorous CCLS-aligned assessments. As we meet these state mandates and continue to operate under the state-imposed property tax cap, our main focus, as always, is to provide the best core instructional program for our students.”
To meet the new requirements for CCLS, the district has made some changes at the middle school level that will better prepare students for academic success. The most dramatic change is the school’s shift in operations to what is called a “house structure.”
This new organizational structure is designed to better meet the specific needs of students by making class scheduling more flexible and increasing continuity between students, staff and the curriculum on each grade level. The house structure is phase two of a multi-tiered plan to position the middle school for more rigor by the time elementary students instructed under the Common Core Learning Standards enter seventh grade, and to position current middle schoolers for more rigor when they enter high school. The first phase was the infusion of exploratory classes that enable students to discover interests and or/talents outside of the core curriculum.
After success with the reading intervention program Read 180, the district is excited to pilot Math 180 in middle school math support classes. The CCLS-aligned program boosts confidence and conceptual understanding through a technology-infused model centered on individualized, group and classroom learning.