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!
Dear Island Trees School Community,
This year New York State has required all homeowners to re-register for the STAR tax reduction program. This is an approximate $700 rebate for the average New York State home. Recently, New York State has announced that about 800,000 homeowners have failed to re-register for this program. We hope that all Island Trees homeowners take notice and make sure they have re-registered for the STAR program. The deadline is December 31, 2013. Please find the following link for registration information. http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm.
In this era of high stakes testing, reading is still the key to success. Simply put, the more children read, the more successful they will be with the new Common Core assessments. Naturally, the foundation for reading success starts at home.
Generally, children learn by imitating their parents – they watch our every move as they learn to make their way through this very complex world.
School board members in New York overwhelmingly support eliminating double-testing of eighth-graders in math, according to a new poll by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).
Eighty-four percent of board members believe the state should seek a waiver from the federal government to allow eighth-grade students who take the Regents Algebra 1 exam to skip the regular eighth-grade math test. Twelve percent of respondents believe the state should not seek a waiver, while 4 percent were not sure.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the residents of the Town of Hempstead for their overwhelming support on election day. As my history as a local businessman and community activist has served as my foundation, I have continually done my best to build upon that foundation through community service. Government must be “customer friendly,” government representatives must serve with dedication to those we are elected to represent.
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