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Holidays, Common Core And Clubs

Concerts Again

I had the wonderful experience of seeing the second Wheatley Winter Concert of this season. The chorale, honors string ensemble, symphonic orchestra, symphonic band and jazz band all sang and played expertly. Thank you to the amazing students who participated and to their outstanding teachers who prepared them and conducted the program, Angela Luftig, Stan Orlovsky, Peggy Ho and Steve Fitzko. It was a beautiful evening of music.  In keeping with our “All In” theme for the year, the program focused on one common subject, Americana. In this way, students studying American history in their classrooms would be exposed to many periods of American history through a musical lens.

 

The student-musicians researched their pieces, composers and the time frame in which they were written. For example, a sampling of our student performances follows: a choral selection “The Bells,” based on an 1849 poem by American poet Edgar Allan Poe and arranged by John Leavitt; the song, “Brother, My Brother,” by Jack Murphy and Frank Wildhorn, was inspired by the tensions between the southern and northern states that escalated into the Civil War; “Americans We” was written in 1929, at the beginning of  the Great Depression, when the composer Henry Fillmore wanted to bring music to the country and ignite spirit and pride in Americans.  As noted in the Concert program, “Music usually reflects the environment and time of its creation.  We increase our appreciation of music when we understand its historical context.” The thematic selections of the evening supported this type of connection to academic learning, while at the same time created an emotional experience that only the arts can provide.

 

Common Core Presentations In The Content Areas

At the December board of education monthly meeting, Dave Casamento, director of science and technology, Brian McConaghy, secondary chair of social studies and Joan Anderson, foreign language department chair made presentations on the Common Core and Literacy in the Content Areas. The presentations can be found on our website at www.ewsdonline.org > left side navigation to Common Core Curriculum Info > CCC Info. Once again following this year’s theme “All In” where we believe students learn best integrating ideas and skills across all content areas, the presentations conveyed the many parallels found in the three content areas above and the ELA and Math Common Core Standards.  (Audio of the presentations will be available online  when we return from the December break.)  In just one example, foreign language students now practice reading and speaking skills by gathering evidence from several sources to support a persuasive argument, similar to the ELA research paper.

 

Intercultural Unity Club 31st Annual Assembly And Luncheon

Each year, Wheatley’s Inter-Cultural Unity Club (ICU) holds its annual assembly and luncheon, an all-day cultural festival filled with live performances and foods from around the world. Over the many years, the luncheon has become a great tradition at Wheatley. Through music and dance performances by students, we celebrated the diverse cultures within our community as a way of bringing us closer together.  Special invited guests are students from the UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) Children’s Learning Center.  I was excited to be able to participate, as did several of our faculty in the end of program fashion show where native clothing from various countries was modeled.   

Following the assembly, our luncheon replaces the normal cafeteria fare with diverse sampling of food from all cultures.  As students enjoy the wonderful food, they are entertained in our transformed cafeteria by a diverse program of student and faculty performers.   We are thankful for the food and other donations from our Wheatley families.  All leftover food is brought to the Interfaith Nutrition Network – The Inn.

 

East Williston/Roslyn Community Coalition For Healthy Youth 

The East Williston/Roslyn Community Coalition for Healthy Youth (EWRCC) has as its goal, emotionally and physically healthy youth. The coalition’s objective is to educate families as they face today’s many parenting challenges by means of parent education workshops, public service ads, community website and a communications network. Coalition members include parents, school officials, religious leaders and other concerned residents and community leaders in the East Williston and Roslyn school communities.

Several times a year, Dan Brenner, superintendent of the Roslyn School District, and I join the parent board members at the Coalition’s Executive Board Meetings to plan programs for the year.   This is an important organization and we need more East Williston parents to take on key roles in this organization, such as board membership, committee chairs, etc.  By collaboratively working with Roslyn, our neighboring school district, we are able to combine our efforts for maximum impact.  For example, we are discussing combining our Parent University efforts at some time in the future to broaden the range of workshops we can offer.  PLEASE, if you have an interest in getting involved, or would just like to find out more about this coalition, contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or EWRCC Board member and district resident, Jamie Cutinella at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .   

News

Way before Home Depot or Ace Hardware came into existence, there were little mom-and-pop shops like Munder’s True Value on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The hardware store, which opened its doors in 1948, is somewhat of a suburban dinosaur having outlasted several other hardware stores in the area.

 

“My father, Charles, opened this store in 1948 after returning home from World War II,” said Bill Munder, who took over the store operation seven years ago. “His parents wanted to know his plans after he returned home from the marines and he decided to open this store on Hillside Avenue.”

The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.

 

According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.


Sports

The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”

 

The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.


As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs.  She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games. 

 

In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - October 22

International Night - October 23

Village Halloween Party - October 24


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