The Carle Place School District kicked off the new school year with a two-day superintendent’s conference. On Sept. 3, teachers and staff were welcomed by Carle Place Board of Education President Barry Dennis, Superintendent of Schools David Flatley and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel Christine Finn.
“As we enter a new academic year, we will focus on what’s most important for our students – the things that will matter most when looking back 10 years down the road,” said Finn, who thanked the faculty for their tireless dedication and commitment.
With the new school year comes new classes, new students and at Westbury Middle School, a new assistant vice principal. Dr. Christy Baralis has joined the administrative team, bringing with her a passion for meeting not just the academic needs of students, but the social and emotional ones as well.
“I’m a firm believer that it’s not only the academics, but if you have the social and emotional needs met, and kids feel good about coming to school and they’re happy and feel safe, everything falls into place,” Baralis said. “When kids are engaged, it totally increases how they perform academically. If the child comes to school and is unhappy, it’s going to get in the way of their learning.”
Hundreds of Long Islanders were dressed to the kilt in traditional Scottish clothing at the annual Long Island Scottish Festival and Highland Games at the scenic Old Westbury Gardens on Aug. 24.
Crowds of Scottish enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the 53rd annual festival that honored the commitment to sustaining Scottish heritage and traditions. The event, run by Scottish Clan McDuff, the last Scottish Clan on Long Island, featured exciting activities such as dazzling dancing displays by Celtic dancers, traditional delicacies, and the highlight of the festival, the Highland Games.
Park Avenue School students will get to sleep in a little later this year as a new bell schedule has their school day starting at 9:25 a.m., half an hour later than last year when they started at 8:55 a.m. However, several parents are unhappy with the change, as they scramble to find arrangements to drop off their kids or make sure they get to the bus stop half an hour later than usual. Many parents were also upset that with the bell schedule change comes 40 minutes less for instruction.
“The old schedule was a straight six hours. 40 minutes is really a big deal for first and second grade students,” Michelle Johnson said.
My best advice for those getting ready to return to school is to prepare for the early morning wake-up call by getting to bed a little earlier each night starting about two weeks before coming back to school. This will help you get up in time for a healthy breakfast before classes resume. The sunrise for September 9 (the first day of school for Carle Place) is just about 6:30 a.m., so it may be dark when you get out of bed that morning!
Probably my favorite back-to-school memory is a great neighborhood tradition. I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood with many friends who were just about my age. On the last Saturday night before school opened, we would organize a huge game of “ring-o-levio.” It was very similar to “manhunt” that some of my kids play today! There were as many as 40 kids involved in the game at any one time, and one game could last for several hours.
-Dave Flatley, Superintendent of Carle Place School District
My advice is that students, especially in high school and college should use the new school year to try to learn about some things that they always wanted to know about but never had the time to study. If they are reading a particular book that interests them, do a little background research about the author or the time period. If they are learning in history about a particular event or period, pick a person, or a few, from that time period or event and try to discern how their unique perspective(s) shaped how the events unfolded. This kind of inquiry leads to a more interesting study, and enriches your understanding of the subject.
After three years of work in Westbury to improve school readiness, The Early Years Institute (EYI) has raised funds to support innovative organizations that help young children and their families get set up for school success. The Westbury Ready, Set, Achieve! Fund, funded in its inaugural year by the Rauch Foundation, is being created to help improve early learning opportunities for Westbury children up to age five. Grants will go to services that focus on improving child outcomes in key areas of school readiness: physical health and well-being, emotional maturity, social competence, language and cognitive development and/or communications skills and general knowledge.
As an amputee, Caleb Giordano is used to stares and double takes. But for five days a year, the 15 year old from Carle Place can escape that as he’s canoeing, playing basketball or goofing around-just like any other teen-at the Amputee Coalition’s Paddy Rossbach Amputee Camp.
For the past two years, for five days in July, the Carle Place High School sophomore has attended the Paddy Rossbach Amputee Camp, outside Cincinnati, OH, with dozens of kids from across the country who, like him, may be missing an arm, a leg, or maybe all four limbs.
W.T. Clarke alumnus Tony Besong is a long way from home as he serves as a Navy Corpsman in Guam. But then again, for him, home has had a lot of different zip codes.
A Cameroon native, Besong moved to Westbury in 2001 to live with his father. He was just 14 years old, and life at Clarke High School was vastly different than the Christian boarding school in Cameroon that he was accustomed to.
“I imagined the school life [in Westbury] to be somewhat similar to the boarding school I attended,” Besong said. “One of the main differences is that the boarding schools are run like a military boot camp.”
Summer is a busy time for construction crews at the Westbury and Carle Place school districts. There are repairs and improvements being made at almost all of Westbury schools, including the middle school, which is currently expanding their staff parking lot as well as installing new storm drains and laying down new asphalt. Work is also being done on the middle school track. Over 100 feet of curb was fixed and the old cinder track was removed and will be replaced with asphalt.
With just a month and a half until the beginning of the school year, the Westbury School District is considering candidates for their outsourced pre-kindergarten program. One of the candidates is St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.
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