Friday, 29 March 2013 00:00
At the March 13 budget workshop, the athletics, special education and technology departments presented their budget details for next year. These presentations can be found on our website at www.ewsdonline.org > click on District tab > Departments > Business & Finance > Budget Info > 13-14 Budget Info.
This year, the district needed to reduce the budget by $2 million in order to fall within the property tax levy cap. Through the restructuring and reallocation of district resources, as well as leveraging grants and cost-sharing with other districts, program and class sizes are being maintained, with some new class offerings at Wheatley.
Highlights of the Budget Workshop included a celebration of the growing list of our students’ athletic achievements and recognitions, the continuation of our K-12 special education programs whose successes are recognized in the data presented regarding our special education students’ successful performance on Regents exams and the technology enhancements made to our academic program this year as part of the district’s Five Year Technology Plan.
Discussions included the role of the middle school athletic program in supporting students’ continued and growing involvement in high school athletic programs. In addition, the board discussed the unfunded mandate and districts’ possible challenges inherent in ensuring sufficient infrastructure and hardware to meet the future requirements of the proposed New York State computer-based assessments.
The next Budget Workshop is April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Wheatley. At this meeting the board will engage in budget deliberations with a plan of adopting a budget for voter approval at the April 8 board meeting.
At this meeting, the Board of Education and district recognized the achievements of our Boys Varsity Basketball Team the Nassau County Champions. We will also be honoring the Boys Varsity Indoor Track team who will receive the New York State Scholar Athlete Team Award. The Indoor Track team had the highest average GPA of all Boys Varsity Indoor Track teams in New York State.
We are almost ready to roll out the essential community priority survey. The Strategic Planning Committee met and approved the final version of the survey, pending one more test piloting of the electronic version.
After we gather this information there will be further opportunities for the community and instructional staff to provide more detailed input. It is our intent to proactively address the reality of declining or flat levels of resources, while committing to maintaining and growing an excellent East Williston Educational Program.
The survey asks you to identify the most critical areas for emphasis and growth as well as areas that may be de-emphasized as we face significant fiscal restraints now and in the future.
Are you able to test the electronic version of the survey sometime next week? You can complete it from your home or office. Along with the survey we will send you a brief questionnaire regarding the ease of filling it out and accessing it online.
Can you help us with our mailing/distribution of the survey and/or in helping us with the roll-out of our Survey Campaign? Volunteers to help with banners, posters, etc. are all welcome, as well as any of you who might be interested in helping to coordinate the roll out campaign. We have a Wheatley student (Joseph Jacobs) on our Strategic Planning Committee and we are hoping for some student volunteers as well.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Wheatley’s continuing development of its Science Research Program. Four Wheatley students moved on to Round 2 of the LISEF with exciting results.
Wheatley junior Aakash Jhaveri won first place in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category, earning him a spot to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona in May. ISEF is known as the largest international pre-college science competition where over 1,500 high school students, from more than 70 countries, present their independent research projects.
The students compete for more than $3 million in awards. Congratulations are also given to junior Lauren Perry who received the National Society of Professional Engineers Award, Yale Science and Engineering Association Award; junior Allison Chowdhury who received the ASM Educational Materials Award; and senior Jamie Brensilber who received the Mu Alpha Theta Award.