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Achievements on Display at Syosset BOE Meeting

District named to College Board’s Advanced Placement District Honor Roll

As winter approaches, Superintendent Dr. Carole Hankin wants to make sure the Syosset community fully understands the Syosset Central School District’s snow closing policy. The issue was among the first highlighted in her report during Monday’s Board of Education meeting at South Woods Middle School.   

Hankin stressed that a two-hour delay does not mean that schools will open in two hours, but rather that another decision will be made within that time period.

“Don’t send a child to school two hours later unless you check back,” Hankin said. “If conditions worsen, we may close for the day. I’m always worried about the fact that two hours later, there are children waiting at bus stops.”

According to the Superintendent, residents can check the district’s website which will be continually updated with closing related news.   

Hankin also noted that the district has been named to the College Board’s Second Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll. Syosset was one of only 367 districts in the country recognized by the board for “increasing access to AP courses and improving the rate in which students score on the rigorous AP testing.”

As part of the ongoing “board education” series, President Dr. Marc Herman detailed what went on at Superintendents Conference Day on November 8.

During the development day, all certified staff attended a workshop on Safe Schools Against Violence in Education and discussed the district’s performance review rubric.

The rest of the relatively brief meeting concentrated on the accomplishments of individual Syosset High School students.

Thirty students were selected as All-State musicians. The number is the highest of any New York school district and is the most ever selected from Syosset.

“This is an incredible crop of young musicians,” Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator Michael Saltzman said before introducing each student. “It is a great honor to teach music education in a community that values music education (so much) and (with) a superintendent and a Board of Education that truly understands the importance of the arts in the lives of our children.”

Following the procession of musicians, four Syosset High School National Intel Science Talent Search contestants presented their research projects.          

Sophie Chen analyzed musical structure using math. The project concentrates on the mathematical components of music theory.

Nick Walsh used computer science to create a program designed to improve cyber-security.

“This project was conducted over the summer and into the fall of my senior year and was inspired by concepts from my computer programming classes at Syosset High School,” Walsh said.

Samantha Daniels studied the importance of male appearance in teenage romance novels using statistical analysis. Daniels studied the use of adjectives in teen literature published in the last 12 years to determine whether “tall, dark, and handsome” were still considered culturally desirable traits.

“The diversity of society is not reflected in its literature,” Daniels said. “Studies show that adolescents construct literary content as reality. Are we raising a generation that is intolerant of diversity?”

Brad Zeller presented his biological research on the endocrine system. Specifically, Zeller concentrated on the relationship between the thyroid and human heart.

All four projects were submitted to the competition on Wednesday. Finalists will be invited to Washington, DC in March 2012 where the top prize of $100,000 will be awarded.

“These students are remarkable,” Hankin said. “This has been a built up program that we really support. I’ve always believed that one of our science children will make a difference in the world.”

The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 19 at 8 p.m. at South Woods Middle School.