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Hicksville Board of Education Holds Regular Meeting March 16

Administration Presents

New York State Report Card for District

The Hicksville Public School District Board of Education held its regular meeting slightly after 9 p.m. on March 16 and offered updates on the school district, including a PowerPoint of the New York State Report Card for the 2009-2010 school year.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Marianne Litzman presented an overview of academic performance and accountability status based on last years’ statistics.

Litzman said the district is in “Good Standing,” according to the State; however, three subgroups from certain districts did not meet “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP) in various areas.

She also noted that the State is changing the formula for determining AYP according to Federal guidelines, ultimately increasing the standards for a district to be considered proficient in a given area of study.

“It’s very likely that up to 45 percent of districts will not meet AYP in this next accountability year in ELA and up to 37 percent of districts will not meet it in mathematics,” Litzman said.

She also noted that the “greatest challenge” for the district in meeting the recently increased accountability status is that of students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL).

“We do educate our children not to take the State assessments, but to be well-rounded students,” said Litzman, adding, “Despite our increases in district poverty rate and the demographic changes, we are committed to moving our district forward.”

Superintendent Maureen Bright commented on the presentation, saying, “As you can see, we are extremely challenged by the many reforms that are being put in place from the State Education Department. We understand the cut scores have been significantly raised, or will be, and we’re expecting once again our students to be very challenged.

“I think we can be proud of the tremendous work of our students, particularly our teachers and our administrators who have implemented so many fine programs and strategies to ensure greater success. Certainly the parents play a very significant role in ensuring student success as well,” she said.

The superintendent also pointed out a Newsday article, which listed Hicksville as one of 11 districts in Nassau and Suffolk Counties that the College Board recognized for their respective Advanced Placement programs.

She also said one of Hicksville’s student-athletes, Timothy Parker, was named New York State’s Gatorade Player of the Year for soccer, and that only one player in each state receives the prestigious award. Parker also earned a spot on the Men’s U-18 National Team, Bright said.

“He’s now one of the most decorated soccer players in the history of Nassau County and the history of Long Island. He’s not only an exceptional athlete, but a fine young man and he maintains an above 90 percent GPA, so we’re really very proud of his accomplishments,” said Bright.

Bright also congratulated and thanked four district retirees before wishing them well in their retirement.

The board later voted 5-2 in favor of joining the proceeding against Nassau County over the issue of the County Guarantee, with legal fees not to exceed $5,000.

The board approved an application for the United Veterans of Hicksville to use the middle school grounds on Monday, May 30 from 10 a.m. to noon for the Memorial Day Parade. In case of rain, the group will utilize the auditorium. At a board of education facilities committee meeting on March 2, a concern was brought up regarding the ability of the middle school to handle such a large capacity should the weather be inclement, but the board said attendance is significantly reduced in poor weather and it has not been an issue in the past.

At that meeting, the board also noted that the facilities staff is in the process of removing the sand from the snowstorms from district parking lots. In other news, the district completed floor replacement in 33 classrooms throughout several schools and the annual fire inspection conducted in all district and library buildings revealed all buildings to be in compliance with no exceptions.

The next regular meeting of the board of education will take place on Wednesday, April 27 at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the administration building’s board room and will include the budget adoption and BOCES vote.