At the June 13 Island Park Board of Education meeting, several students were recognized as May Students of the Month for embodying balanced qualities. Students honored were Zachary Castell (grade 3), Julia Duignan (grade 1), Sofia Galeas (grade 8), Danika Marsden (grade 2), Victor Morales Canales (grade 4), Ethan Mosley (grade 5), Daniel Perez (grade 7), Casey Ramirez (grade 6) and Sean Watkins (kindergarten).
Additionally, several students were recognized as June Students of the Month for exemplifying reflective qualities. Students honored were Joseph Angelastro (grade 4), Axil Ballar (grade 5), Renaud Colas (grade 2), Gabriella DiGennaro (grade 7), Brody Madison (grade 1), Aleiha Mitchell (grade 3), Steven Perez Escobar (grade 6), Nickiylla Pope (grade 8) and Frankie Testerman (kindergarten). Francis X. Hegarty School Principal Cynthia Cameron and Lincoln Orens Middle School Principal Dr. Bruce Hoffman read teachers’ remarks about each student honoree.
Following student recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Vincent Randazzo gave an overview of a districtwide initiative that began five years ago called Professional Learning Communities. A Professional Learning Community is a method to foster collaborative learning among colleagues within a particular work environment or field. It is often used in schools to organize teachers into working groups of practice-based professional learning based on current research.
Every teacher in the district participates in a professional learning community (PLC), in grade level teams at the elementary school and in subject area teams at the middle school. The goal of these groups is to focus on improving teaching and learning as well as student achievement. This particular year, there has been a focus on gathering and collecting data and applying it to specific results-oriented outcomes. Professional Learning Community facilitators for each grade utilized this data to improve student achievement in the area of focus for that particular PLC. Beginning with the pre-K facilitators, each grade went through their process and then shared the impact it had on the academic growth of their respective students. The speakers each gave a collective overview of team goals, research findings, rationale, outcomes and planning steps for the next year.
After these presentations, Mr. Randazzo acknowledged trustee Ray Miley for his years of service and dedication to the children, families and staff of the Island Park UFSD. Mr. Miley has completed his term as a member of the Board and all the Board members wished him the best. Other updates included the success of the recent Community Day that raised close to $8,000 for scholarships, as well as two reminders regarding open enrollment in STAR Summer Enrichment and the Summer Experience programs. Any questions regarding STAR Summer Enrichment can be directed to Dr. Alison Offerman-Celentano; her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions relating to the Summer Experience program can be directed to Keith Manginelli, whose email is email@example.com. The superintendent’s report closed with district counsel Lauren Schnitzer sharing that LIPA negotiations are ongoing, and no updates or agreements have been finalized yet.