I have serious doubts about some aspects of the Common Core curriculum; I have serious doubts about some aspects of the Common Core curriculum; I have serious doubts about some aspects of the Common Core curriculum. I reiterate this thrice because, in more than one public venue, this has morphed into “Paul Manton is 100% in favor of the Common Core curriculum and thinks that anyone who does not share his enthusiasm is an idiot” - thence to diatribes about Obamacare, the war in Iraq, Bill Gates, global warming, and respiratory illnesses in children. I don’t understand the confusion. Is I because I don’t suffer from America’s self-imposed Attention Deficit Disorder and can comprehend the English language above the Third Grade reading level? But permit me to make things perfectly clear. As clear as an azure sky on a summer’s day. Let me remove all doubt as Dickens removed all doubt anent the death of Jacob Marley. There are some things I dislike about the Common Core curriculum and some things about it I like.
By in large, most parents want their children to attend a four year college. However, more often than not, affordability becomes a concern. In fact, for many families, it is a decision they agonize over. Clearly, parents want what is best for their children, but they also do not want to saddle their children with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt after graduation. Incredibly, many top colleges also come with an impressive tuition—something most working families are not impressed with. Again, this expense is a major concern for families across the country, and for this reason, parents will often guide their children toward state universities. Interestingly enough, this week I saw a link online for Kiplinger’s “Best Value in Public Colleges.”
Here, they list the top 100 best value colleges in the country. New York State has nine colleges on the list, including an outstanding university right here on Long Island: SUNY Stony Brook University which ranked No. 29 on their list. If you plan on sending your child to college, you may want to access the link. Remember Island Trees also has more college information on their College Planning website www.islandtrees.org/iths/college/college.htm. For additional information, please call the high school guidance office.
Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address presented an ambitious agenda for the upcoming legislative session, and many of the proposals present positive steps for Long Island. New York’s property taxes continue to rank among the highest in the nation, and I agree with the governor that addressing this issue is absolutely critical. I also look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that our education system is righted after the disastrous implementation of the Common Core Curriculum. Our children and grandchildren are our future, and a quality education is a must if they are to be the leaders of tomorrow.
While I wait for the additional details that will come in the governor’s budget proposal, I remain confident that there will be many positive ideas we can use to build a stronger more prosperous New York.
— Assemblyman Dave McDonough (R,C,I-Merrick)
The year 2013 proved to be an exceptionally active year for the Levittown Historical Society, with our participation in such regular annual community events as the Levittown Memorial Day Parade, the Levittown Fire Department Open House, the LEAD Walk, Lazy Days of Summer, Winter Festival, and the Levittown Community Recognition Night where we honored volunteer Geri Raab for her tireless endeavors in sundry capacities over the years; not the least of which has been as a teacher in the many elementary school field trips to the Historical Society’s open-to-the-public museum of at the Levittown Memorial Educational Center.
A new season of athletics is now underway. We encourage our students and the community to come out and support all of our teams this winter season. Please find our game schedule link for our middle and high school teams at http://www.islandtrees.org/pdfs/athletics/schedule.pdf. Traditionally, our girls/boys basketball and wrestling teams have a great fan base that turn out in strong numbers to cheer on our student-athletes. We strongly encourage our Bulldog supporters to attend our bowling and winter track events as well. If you have any questions about our winter programs, please contact Mr. Jim Cranmer 516-520-2173.
I feel for Lois A. Schaffer on the tragic loss of her daughter and am truly sorry that her admirable quest to stir people to demand what she calls “legislative movement” is so unlikely to achieve success. The fact that more than one whole year, four seasons, 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days have passed since the slaughter of 20 Newtown children last year, with no “legislative movement” from our national legislature makes it clear that we’re more likely to see “laxative movement” from its 535 members than any legislative movement. Collectively, these 535 men and women are a disgrace to civilization. I can’t help wondering if the Senate or House of Representatives would have passed any meaningful gun legislation if, somehow, the 20 children killed on “12-14” were 20 of their own children. Or, since between them, these 535 men and women probably have more than 1,000 children; if Adam Lanza had somehow managed to shoot every one of those “children” (even if now of adult age) to death with his assault rifle, would that have “moved” them to action? I’m not even sure that would have done the trick; although I’m sure they would have paid some lip service to the idea of some gun control, and would have made some impressive-sounding, passionate, stirring speeches, oratory and rhetoric. They may not be able to walk-the-walk of genuine legislators, but they sure can talk-the-talk.
This year’s New York State school calendar is rather unusual. As a result, the upcoming holiday recess is incredibly long. The vacation begins Saturday, December 21st and has students returning to school on Monday, January 6th. More than two weeks. I would guess most of our children will be thrilled by the extended recess. On the other hand, the students may not be so pleased that they will be attending school until June 26th. Since the vacation is much longer than normal, student skills could erode during this extended period of time. Therefore to prevent regression, a number of our teachers have organized assignments to attempt to minimize the holiday time loss. If your child receives vacation homework, it is better to do a little each day rather than trying to complete the assignments in a frenzied rush on Sunday night, January 5th. Equally important, we suggest a few visits to the Island Trees Public Library which is opened for almost the entire vacation, including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (closed Christmas, New Year’s Day and Sundays).
A few weekends ago, I was honored to take part in the Kerry Rose Foundation’s first ever 5K-trail run at Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve in Commack. The foundation was created to honor the memory of Kerry Rose Fitzsimons, a Marist College student and Commack High School graduate, who was tragically killed in 2012 in an off-campus house fire in Poughkeepsie. The event brought together community members and first responders to raise awareness of and promote fire safety.
Each year, 2,855 people lose their lives and an additional 16,500 are injured by fires. The cost of a fire sprinkler system is between $1,700 and $21,000. But the cost of failing to making this investment is potentially far greater.
With the arrival of winter-like weather, we are beginning to see the signs of cold and flu season in Island Trees. To prevent the spread of colds, flus and other viruses, we recommend that your child stay home from school if they experience any of the symptoms associated with these ailments. Although we stress the importance of good attendance, very little learning will actually take place if your child is trying to persevere under these circumstances. Our staff is very understanding and will allow your child the opportunity to make-up their school work. Equally important, the absence will not only help your child’s recovery, but will also reduce the spread of these illnesses throughout our school buildings. If you have any questions about your child’s health in school, please contact our school nurses at the following numbers:
Island Trees High School 520-2148
Island Trees Memorial Middle School 520-2164
Stokes Elementary School 520-2106
Sparke Elementary School 520-2129
Congressman Peter King is misguided in opposing the easing of sanctions on Iran. It is far better to negotiate than to rush into war. We must remember that in war there are no winners!
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