Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 11 January 2013 00:00
In September 2010, the Mineola School District became one of the first districts on Long Island to institute iPads into the daily learning of its students. Eighty-two fifth-grade students and ten teachers received the devices.
The initiative was considered innovative among the realm of teaching and now Mineola is being recognized for its foresight into the future of education. District Superintendent Michael Nagler announced the district’s iPad program for the 2012-13 school year was selected as the Apple Distinguished Program of the Year. Apple has recognized 103 programs nationwide.
To be considered for the award, a program must be “exemplary learning environments and centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence,” according to Nagler.
Apple will present the district with the award at a later date. Mineola hopes to establish an “iPad school” which according to district officials is the next level of its iPad revolution.
“We are only one of three schools in the Northeast to win this award,” said Nagler. “There may be 103 nationwide, but very few [up here].”
At the programs inception, the iPads were available to each Jackson Avenue School student to use at home as a learning tool and to aid them in the transition of the ever-growing area of technology. Sixth-graders now have access to the iPads.
According to a testimony by Nagler to the New York Education Reform Commission on the use of technology in the classroom, the district collected data through surveys, teacher narratives, student videos and presentations concerning technology usage.
“The question of does it increase student achievement was not as easy to quantify,” Nagler said in the testimony. “In September 2011, we expanded the pilot to include all fifth-grade students (200) who received iPads and all sixth-grade students who received net books. The same two questions were the basis of the expanded roll out, but we added a third question: does the type of device matter? Would students be as engaged in content using a net book as they were with an iPad? We used the same methodology to gather data in year one.”
Then-Jackson Avenue Principal Matthew Gaven was tasked with helping teachers institute the program. He broke the plan down into three phases.
Phase one saw teachers come back and essentially revamp the fifth grade, working in two teams with partners, which almost mirrored the middle school structure. One class period was designated as having no pullout sheets and called the iPad exploration period, allowing teachers to implement new ways of integrating the device into the curriculum.
Phase two saw the implementation of short research projects using Safari, Pages and Keynote, the Apple versions of Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word. Meanwhile, the district began exploring different applications. The third phase was to enable file sharing and communication using in-district email for each student, who can only receive emails from other Mineola school addresses.
According to past district surveys, 50 and 66 percent of students respectively found writing and reading more interesting when using iPads.
Saturday, 27 September 2014 00:00
As I tried to make my way through the unforgiving monsoon season, rain pouring as far as the eye could see, dodging puddles I rushed inside the school building. The guard yelled in the background for the children to come in quickly before they dragged in even more mud inside. Trying hard not to slip on the wet dirty floor, I pondered to myself what
exactly I was doing here. The words of Mahatma Gandhi resonated inside my head, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Here I was at a school in Mumbai India, 7800 miles from my home in Mineola, volunteering with “Aseema,” a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower and educate the under privileged children. Children living on the streets or in slums and in inhuman conditions.
Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00
East Williston resident Brian Advocate-Ross addressed the Village of East Williston Board of Trustees earlier this month about an alleged drug problem at 386 Roslyn Rd. Advocate-Ross lives next to the house, and alleged to the village that there is “abundant drug use going on there—they’ve got people coming and going all day long, parking all over the place, and I have a little museum of drug paraphernalia that they throw over the fence.”
Advocate-Ross, who said a school two blocks away from the house, is primarily concerned about the safety of his four young children, and said he has called the police at the Third Precinct numerous times and expressed disappointment.
“I’m tired of calling them, they do nothing,” Advocate-Ross said. “My 6-year-old is finding what they throw over the fence and bringing them to me. I’m not going to tolerate it.”
The Third Precinct declined to comment.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
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.”
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
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.