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From the Desk of Superintendent Dr. Elaine Kanas

 

Program Updates

Unsung Heroes

 

Even on the days that school is closed due to inclement weather, members of our custodial and maintenance staff are working hard to keep the snow and ice at bay so school is ready to open when storms subside. These past few weeks have been very challenging weather-wise.

 

A tremendous thank you to Nicholas Fusco, our director of school facilities and operations, for his hard work and skilled leadership managing our facilities during the weather emergencies.  Thank you, as well, to those members of our custodial and maintenance crews who have worked so diligently during these snow emergencies to ensure our grounds and sidewalks are safe for our students and staff.

 

Teachers Make A Difference

 

Each academic year, students admitted to MIT are asked to share with the school the name of a teacher who has been especially influential in their development. As the MIT Admissions Office Dean writes, “It is a remarkable achievement and a great honor to change a life.”  Congratulations to our Wheatley Social Studies teacher Dr. John Staudt who this week received a letter from MIT congratulating him on being named by Wheatley alumnus Lambert Chu, Class of 2013, as a teacher who has been especially influential in his development.   

 

Goal Setting In Action

At the Feb. 10 board of education monthly business meeting, Wheatley faculty and administration presented new course offerings, which our high school students will benefit from next year.  As I have shared in previous emails and workshops, each year the district’s leadership team sets curriculum and instruction “smart goals” which are designed to support our broader multi-year goals in the various curriculum areas. Just as a reminder, “smart goals” are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound goals.

Social Studies And AP

A smart goal this year is to plan and prepare for the addition of an AP Economics Course for the 2014-15 school year. At the board meeting, Secondary Chair for Social Studies Brian McConaghy presented the steps being taken this year so that our students will have the opportunity to take AP Economics next year. The class will be combined with Honors Government.

 

The course will consist of Advanced Placement Economics and a thorough survey of American government and politics. The Advanced Placement Economics component will be taught at a college level and focus on Macroeconomics, while also introducing

elements of Microeconomics. Students will be required to take the AP Macroeconomic Exam in May 2015.  Additionally, students in the course can do extra preparation to also take the AP United States Government & Politics Exam, if they so choose.

 

The Social Studies Department will also offer AP Government with Honors Economics. This course will consist of Advanced Placement United States Government & Politics with a thorough survey of Economics. The Advanced Placement Government & Politics component will be taught at a college level, will be reading intensive and will rely heavily on current events and classroom discussion. Additionally, the course includes an introduction to the fundamental principles of economics and its role in the world today.

Students in this course will be required to take the AP Government & Politics Exam. They may also choose to do the extra preparation to take the AP Macroeconomic Exam as well.

 

The Social Studies department will also offer an exciting elective next year, Sports in America. It will be a half-year course that takes an in-depth look at the significance of athletics in the United States – past, present and future. It will be open to students in grades 9-12.

 

Math and Computer Science: Strategic Plan 

Last year’s community strategic planning survey identified STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a high priority area. In support of this initiative, Dr. Joyce Bernstein, secondary chair for mathematics, presented new Mathematics and Computer Science courses that will be available at Wheatley next year. Following the community interest in STEM, students will have the opportunity to take a sequence of computer courses that provide opportunities for continued growth for interested students.

 

Grade 8: Lego Robotics

 

Grade 9: Computer Science, Web Design

 

Grade 10: Introduction to Programming with Java

 

Grade 11: AP Computer Science

 

Grade 12: Computer Seminar

News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



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