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Letter: From The EWSD Schools Superintendent

2013-14 School Calendar

We finally received the last piece of information we were waiting for from New York State in order to finalize the 2013 -14 East Williston School District calendar!  The 2013-14 school calendar was approved by the Board of Education at their Jan. 22 monthly business meeting and is now posted on our website at www.ewsdonline.org on the homepage (click on the calendar tab or news box item to view the calendar).  Due to the Regents exam calendar, school will end later next year, June 26.   Students will also start later next year.  While staff will be back on Tuesday (Sep. 3) and Wednesday (Sept. 4) for two Superintendent’s Conference Days, and schools will be closed for both staff and students on Sept. 5 and 6 for Rosh Hashana, students will return on the first day of school, Sept. 9.   A third Superintendent’s Conference Day is planned for Nov. 5, Election Day, when school will be closed for students.  Superintendent’s Conference Days are used for staff training.  We are certainly hopeful that in 2013-14 we will not experience weather conditions like we did this year with Hurricane Sandy and the follow-up snowstorm. However, if we were to experience more than five days of closings next year, we would need to “take back” some vacation days from the calendar, as we did this year. In order to help you with your planning, we have identified the days to be used as make-ups, in the order we would use them. The order of the make-up days are as follows: Dec. 23, 2013, Feb. 21, 2014, Feb. 20, 2014, Feb. 19, 2014, Feb. 18, 2014, April 22, 2014 and April 21, 2014. These dates are also posted with the 2013-14 calendar on the website.

Board of Education Work Session Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

At the upcoming Feb. 6 work session, Mary Harrison, Director of Guidance, will share information and analysis of Wheatley college admissions over the past three years.  Dave Casamento, director of science and technology, along with middle school staff, will also provide an update on the implementation of this year’s 6th grade iPad Initiative. The Work Session will be held at Wheatley in Room 450.  

Budget 2013-14

Mark your calendars. The first budget workshop will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Wheatley in Room 450.  It is important for everyone to understand that due to the second year of the implementation of the property tax cap levy and increases in mandated requirements and costs, we face additional financial challenges this year.  With the goals of maintaining a wide array of opportunities for students and sustaining and growing academic excellence, the budget process will certainly require us to look at the budget through an integrated lens, drawing on creative and flexible thinking, as we work with more limited resources to support our programs.  Your input and participation in the budget process is important.

Elaine Kanas

East Williston Superintendent


News

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.

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.


Sports

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.

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.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com