Recognitions and updates at the November 14 Island Park BOE meeting
At the Nov. 14 Island Park Board of Education meeting, several students were recognized as October Students of the Month. The learner profile attributed for this month was “knowledgeable,” meaning the students develop and use conceptual understanding and explore knowledge across a range of disciplines. Additionally, the students engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. Students honored for this learner profile attribute are Leia Almodovar (grade 7), James Bergen (grade 2), Dylen Collins (grade 5), James Duncan (grade 1), Mia Krumholz (grade 4), Allyana Lucas (grade 8), Mason Ruscica-Duffy (grade 6), Regan Sodano (kindergarten) and Bryson Sweeney (grade 3).
Following student recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Vincent Randazzao began his report by welcoming Adam Frankel as the Acting Interim Principal of Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School. Mr. Frankel has served as an elementary principal for over 15 years in both large and small school districts across Long Island. He is a proven instructional leader, serving most recently in roles of Director of Elementary Education and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.
Mr. Randazzo also extended thanks and appreciation to Assistant Superintendent Alison Offerman-Celentano and Director of Pupil Personnel Services Jacob Russum who stepped in over the course of the last few weeks and served as acting administrators while the search for the interim principal was being conducted. Additionally, Mr. Randazzo acknowledged several faculty and staff members who assisted in a leadership capacity during this time including Assistant to the Principal Alyssa DeLucia, School Psychologist Colleen Kunz and School Social Worker Felicita Carranza. He also extended his thanks to school secretarial staff Mrs. Quigley and Mrs. Pollet, teachers Mrs. Neglia and Mrs. Berkowitz, and the Island Park leadership team and building representatives at FXH who were all helpful over the last several weeks prior to Mr. Frankel’s arrival.
Mr. Randazzo then addressed an October news report of the Nation’s Report Card which shows new evidence of COVID-19’s devasting impact on U.S. children’s education. He indicated the report is not a surprise given the restrictions that were placed on students and staff. Additionally, Mr. Randazzo noted a decline in NAEP reading and math scores at grades 4 and 8 compared to 2019. The Superintendent acknowledged what is most important now is moving forward. and closing achievement gaps. Since March 2020, teachers and staff have been working to close those achievement gaps by implementing data driven educational strategies and utilizing progress monitoring systems to provide continual differentiation to individualize the learning experience for all the students.
Next, Mr. Randazzo shared a district priority update with reference to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). He provided an overview of the Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards timeline and spoke about how these standards will be incorporated into all subject areas.
Mr. Randazzo also noted that earlier in the month, members of the school board and administration had the opportunity to attend an evening of learning at the Offshore Wind Energy and Manufacturing Expo that was organized by Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association. District attendees networked with various wind-generation companies and governmental entities to forge partnerships that will lead to curriculum development and enhanced STEAM opportunities for the students of Island Park.
Closing the Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Randazzo reminded those in attendance about the Nov. 29 Community Forum being hosted by Equinor in the Steven L. Foster Auditorium from 6:30– 8 p.m.