January is National Radon Action Month and the American Lung Association would like to raise awareness of how radon can affect your lung health. Many may not be aware of what exactly radon is; radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is found in soil and forms radioactive by-products which eventually can damage tissue inside your lungs and cause lung cancer. Radon enters your home, school, or office building through cracks in the foundation or even through pipes and/or the water supply. People who have private wells are more at risk than people with community water supply.
Over the last few years, Island Trees has encouraged our students to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses. These are the most rigorous classes offered in our school district and the ones colleges covet the most. Happily, we have had many students take up the challenge and succeed. As a result, these students have placed themselves in a very advantageous position in the college selection process.
Recently, I was contacted by a parent who just started to look at the sex offender registry websites. The sites were brought to her attention as a result of our email messages to the community. The parent was surprised to learn after scrolling through the Levittown database that one of her neighbors was on the list.
Clearly, this is useful information for our residents. I strongly encourage all parents and concerned community members to use the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services website http://www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us/SomsSUBDirectory/search_index.jsp/ regularly to protect your children. Please remember the Island Trees community is comprised of several towns; therefore, using the Levittown zip code in your search may not provide all of the information needed to protect your children and/or to keep you informed of all of the registered sex offenders in our area. I suggest using several zip codes within the Island Trees community (11756, 11714, and 11783), as well as those of neighboring towns.
“Effective January 19, a new state law will enhance the fight against breast cancer,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau).
The new law requires that all mammography reports provided by doctors must now include a notification to patients when it is determined that they have dense breast tissue. Patients also must be informed about the importance of discussing additional screening options with their doctor.
On May 20, 1648, at what’s now the corner of West John Street and Cantiague Rock Road in Hicksville, Robert Williams and a small gathering of Christian men met with Pugnipan and other representatives of the Matinecock Indians and acquired the rights to settle the land that became Hicksville, Jericho, and parts of Woodbury. The event was captured in a 1936 WPA mural by Joseph Phsioc and resides in the Hicksville Middle School. Most interesting is what these Quakers and their Indian hosts pledged to one another: “do for miself and in beehalfe of [others] to bargin sell and make over unnto the sayed Robert Williams his ares executors administrators and asines from teme pesuably to ingay forever for us our ares and sucksessers forever also.” Other 17th century Indian deeds in our area read similar.
America is the land of opportunity. Unfortunately, these opportunities have diminished in recent years; however, with a little hard work they’re still out there for young people. During one of the worst periods in our country’s great history—The Great Depression—opportunities were few and far between for most Americans, much worse than today’s Great Recession.
At this time, my paternal grandfather survived by working his small farm and many odd jobs in New York’s Mohawk Valley. Although he had left school in the eighth grade, he was considered fairly well educated for this time period. Incredibly at this time, only about 10 percent of students graduated high school.
As many of you know, New York State plans to test students, in grades 3-8, on the new Common Core Learning Standards. Last year, Kentucky was the first state to test their students with these new lofty standards. Unfortunately, the results in Kentucky plummeted from the prior year. Reading proficiency fell from 76 percent to 48 percent in Kentucky’s elementary schools and 70 percent to 46.8 percent in their middle schools.
Equally concerning, math scores dropped from 73 percent to 40.4 percent in their elementary schools and 65 percent to 40.6 percent in the state’s middle schools.
About one-half (49 percent) of school board members favor giving priority placement in state-funded universal pre-kindergarten programs to children living in poverty, according to a new poll by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA). Forty-three percent oppose the measure, while 8 percent are uncertain.
The poll comes as the state Board of Regents prepares to vote on proposals that would give priority placement in universal pre-K programs to children who qualify for free - and reduced-price lunch, as well as direct more state pre-K funding to average and low wealth school districts. The Regents’ vote is whether to recommend these policy changes. To become law, the state legislature would have to adopt both proposals.
The adopted $2.8 billion Nassau County budget for fiscal year 2013 represents a 0.2 percent decrease in spending compared to the 2012 budget. For the third consecutive year, the budget holds the line on property taxes with no increase.
The budget is fiscally conservative containing only $60.1 million of revenue and expenditure items considered as having risk. This is the lowest amount of budgetary risk in over four years. The $60.1 million at risk is comprised of $39.1 million in possible lower revenues and $21 million in possible higher expense. This level of risk is about 2 percent of the total budget and should be manageable.
Parents are their child’s teacher. In fact, out of the scores of teachers your child will have during their lifetime, there is no teacher more important. Parents will spend more time and have more at stake with their child than any classroom teacher ever will. Therefore, it is important for parents to create a rich learning environment that will enable their child to succeed in school.
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