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Mineola Test Assessment Talk

The Mineola School District Board of Education assessed the district’s performance in recent New York State assessment and Regents testing; performance that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael

Nagler noted was in need of improvement at a July 24 board meeting.


Nagler addressed issues that students have been encountering with the recently-mandated state assessments, noting the difference in effectiveness between what he called “formative testing,” or testing on a regular basis, and “summative testing,” which is done annually, typically at the end of the school year.


“We like to focus on formative assessments, which are more frequent and give us more information in time to fix something that we see is not working,” he said. “Summative testing doesn’t give us much information in a fashion in which we can fix it...information from the year before, old results, how will that help me fix things? Regular testing is much more effective.”


Nagler spoke on one specific assessment conducted in the Mineola district—the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, an exam conducted most recently in 2009 and 2012 that targets 15-year-olds which he described as being very much in-line with the new Common Core standards recently adopted by New York State. PISA effectively measures legitimate knowledge and not simply a student’s ability to regurgitate memorized facts and figures, Nagler said.


The PISA results Mineola students achieved were found to be lacking when compared to neighboring districts, such as Herricks; however, Nagler noted that certain aspects of the test could make the results somewhat deceptive.


“In our case, we didn’t do too well,” he said. “But this test doesn’t takes into account the social-economic background of the district, and when you take that into account, our results are not high, but they’re not low, either.”


Nagler said the district’s scores on assessment tests are, in reality, less important that the legitimately important, real-world results that the Mineola School District manages to generate; mainly, their success in regents exams and graduation rates.


“We do that very well,” he said. “We have a 95 percent graduation rate, and we have an advanced regents diploma rate that, this year, was greater than Herricks. So, while Herricks’ assessment rates were a little higher than ours, Herricks did not graduate more students with advanced regents diplomas than we did. ”


Nonetheless, Nagler said steps would be taken to improve the performance of students on future assessment testing such as PISA.


“When they take this test in the future, it’s my expectation that we will be above the line,” he said. “They will be prepared to answer questions the way that these tests will put those questions to them. That’s what we’re building toward.”


Online Class Pilot Program

In other news, there is a new aspect of learning in New York State that the Mineola School District is currently spearheading—online classes. Starting in the upcoming 2014-15 school year, students who are interested in doing so can participate in a “pilot” program where they can take an advanced placement psychology course, Nagler said.


“We’re going to be partnering with BOCES in bringing learning to the online world,” he said. “I’m hoping that we’re going to get some interested students to attempt this and really see how it works; where we can improve, and is it viable to expand this catalog to include children that want to try something online.” 


Nagler noted that offering certain course options online can help to increase the overall width of the learning experience due to the fact that class size and practicality would no longer be a consideration.


“We wouldn’t have to worry about when we hold the class, day or night, or if only six students want to take it,” he said. “In this instance, online courses would be cost-effective.”


A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.


The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.

As the night sky fell on Memorial Park last Thursday, Mineola residents and officials paused to remember the almost 3,000 lives that were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.


Mayor Scott Strauss, a former NYPD EMS worker and 9/11 first responder, was one of the many who rushed into Manhattan after the attacks, searching the rubble for survivors. He was part of the rescue effort that saved the lives of Port Authority Police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin.


Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.


“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.


There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


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