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School Buzz

Mineola Students React To New SAT

Everyone, from educators, admission officers and parents to the edgy, nervous, tense, somewhat exasperated and much affected students, have an opinion on it.

 

“I am so glad that the essay portion is being taken away,” said Mineola High School freshman Emily Wood. “I was going insane trying to figure out how to write a excellent essay in just 25 minutes. It’s a big relief.”

 

Only time will tell whether the new SAT changes to be introduced in two years are good or bad and whether they will serve the test's purpose—to better assess students preparedness for college. The 88-year-old test will return to its original grading scale of 1600. The exam moved to a 2400 scale in 2005.

 

A chat with Whittney Smith, assistant principal of guidance at Mineola High School, reveals more.

 

“It will have three sections: Evidence-based reading and writing, math, and the essay,” said Smith. “The essay is optional and will provide a separate score. It will drop some of the obscure vocabulary it has traditionally used. The math section also will narrow its

focus, and reading comprehension questions will weave in information from other subjects, such as science, history and social studies.”

 

Smith said the new SAT would not deduct points for incorrect answers (currently a wrong choice loses one quarter point). The math exam will focus on three essential areas: problem solving and data analysis; linear equations and systems; complex equations and manipulation. Calculators will be permitted on certain portions of the math section only.

 

In the current SAT, Smith said, scoring points are deducted for incorrect answers and math section encompasses content from a wider range of high school-level syllabi. Also, calculators are permitted for the math section.

 

“The new redesigned SAT would require evidence based reading and writing, vocabulary focused on words that are widely used in college and career,” Smith said. Students would be required to analyze both text and data in real world contexts and the exam would include an excerpt from one of the founding documents or a text from the ongoing great global conversation, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution will be included. 

 

This year’s freshman will be the first class to take the new SAT in spring of 2016, according to Smith. The high school graduating classes of 2014 and 2015 will still take the current SAT.

 

“Students should continue to work hard in school, read, write, and improve vocabulary,” said Smith. “In the summer before your junior year, there are many test preparation options that parents and students can explore.  We offer classes at school as well as an online program to assist students in preparation.”

 

There is much debate and commentary on the SAT and what it measures is still the question, however there is no denying the fact that the SAT is among the most rigorously researched exams in the world and everyone who takes it is being measured against the same yardstick. 

News

The Village of Williston Park Board of Trustees passed a local law last week that establishes the authority for legal action on water bills that are $25,000 or greater. 

 

According to Village Attorney James Bradley, if a water bill remains unpaid for 90 days, he is authorized to commence legal proceedings for collection, and charge attorney fees for prosecution. Fees would be added to the unpaid bill and subject to non-payment penalties

 

“The person or entity responsible for paying the unpaid bill will be liable for the attorney fees,” Bradley said, while noting that the bill is an amendment of existing code.

The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Mineola. 

 

With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born. 


Sports

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.

 

Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries.  He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.

 

“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said.  “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”

Mustangs Shut Out Valley Stream

The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).

 

Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.


Calendar

Spooky Story Contest - October 1

Silver Sneaker Fitness - October 2

Live Music - October 3


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com