Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 11 January 2013 00:00
In September 2010, the Mineola School District became one of the first districts on Long Island to institute iPads into the daily learning of its students. Eighty-two fifth-grade students and ten teachers received the devices.
The initiative was considered innovative among the realm of teaching and now Mineola is being recognized for its foresight into the future of education. District Superintendent Michael Nagler announced the district’s iPad program for the 2012-13 school year was selected as the Apple Distinguished Program of the Year. Apple has recognized 103 programs nationwide.
To be considered for the award, a program must be “exemplary learning environments and centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence,” according to Nagler.
Apple will present the district with the award at a later date. Mineola hopes to establish an “iPad school” which according to district officials is the next level of its iPad revolution.
“We are only one of three schools in the Northeast to win this award,” said Nagler. “There may be 103 nationwide, but very few [up here].”
At the programs inception, the iPads were available to each Jackson Avenue School student to use at home as a learning tool and to aid them in the transition of the ever-growing area of technology. Sixth-graders now have access to the iPads.
According to a testimony by Nagler to the New York Education Reform Commission on the use of technology in the classroom, the district collected data through surveys, teacher narratives, student videos and presentations concerning technology usage.
“The question of does it increase student achievement was not as easy to quantify,” Nagler said in the testimony. “In September 2011, we expanded the pilot to include all fifth-grade students (200) who received iPads and all sixth-grade students who received net books. The same two questions were the basis of the expanded roll out, but we added a third question: does the type of device matter? Would students be as engaged in content using a net book as they were with an iPad? We used the same methodology to gather data in year one.”
Then-Jackson Avenue Principal Matthew Gaven was tasked with helping teachers institute the program. He broke the plan down into three phases.
Phase one saw teachers come back and essentially revamp the fifth grade, working in two teams with partners, which almost mirrored the middle school structure. One class period was designated as having no pullout sheets and called the iPad exploration period, allowing teachers to implement new ways of integrating the device into the curriculum.
Phase two saw the implementation of short research projects using Safari, Pages and Keynote, the Apple versions of Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word. Meanwhile, the district began exploring different applications. The third phase was to enable file sharing and communication using in-district email for each student, who can only receive emails from other Mineola school addresses.
According to past district surveys, 50 and 66 percent of students respectively found writing and reading more interesting when using iPads.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.
East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.
Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.
“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”
Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.
The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.