Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 03 December 2010 00:00
During a community presentation prior to the combined action and planning meeting, the Westbury Board of Education offered an overview of the strides made within the district over the past 10 years.
From 1999 to the present, the board covered the transformations at the Westbury Schools, which included myriad academic achievements.
A decade ago, aspects ranging from facilities to financials were in dire straits, including leaking roofs and annually defeated budgets, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Constance Clark Snead. The district had a closed pool, an old cinder track and inadequate heating plants to go along with limited resources for growth in the classrooms.
Ten years later, the district restored competitive swimming, renovated the track, established the first Robotics competition team, adopted full-day pre-K and kindergarten classes and had received recognition on a national scale.
Powell’s Lane was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and SUNY Albany cited Westbury Middle School as a school demonstrating effective school practices. From Standards & Poors, the Westbury School District on the whole was designated as “Outperforming.”
As for standardized testing, there was an 87 percent passing rate on the Physics Regents in 2009 and 89 percent of the Class of 2008 grads attended institutions of higher education. The number of SAT test takers has increased 52 percent since 2005 and the mean scores have steadily risen since 2007.
On New York State Assessments, ELA grades three through eight went from 60 percent in 2005-2006 and to 77 percent in 2008-2009, while math scores increased from 63 percent to 87 percent in those same years.
As of 2009-2010, the Westbury School District, according to Dr. Clark-Snead, has established college partnerships with Yale, NYU, Stony Brook, Molloy, C.W. Post and a number of other local schools. The district has also worked alongside the LI Children’s Museum, Cradle of Aviation Magnet Program, Hofstra’s Project GRAD summer program, Cold Spring Harbor DNA Lab and more.
Additional resources for the schools currently include a 2:1 child to computer ratio, Smartboards in nearly every classroom, television and video editing program and video conferencing throughout the district.
Dr. Clark-Snead said the district currently boasts a diverse population representing 57 percent Hispanic, three percent Haitian, 37 percent African American, two percent Caucasian and one percent composed of other populations. She also added that the district currently receives less than 30 percent of state-provided aid.
The superintendent also commented on the developing sex offender situation in the area, as Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro and Carle Place High School Superintendent David J. Flatley have issued letters to residents updating them on the possible placement of offenders in area hotels.
“As a result of complaints, both our mayor and Carle Place representatives have voiced some concerns about that. I’m just concerned about our children, I need to know why you can’t spread them out in the county,” said the superintendent.