Schools: Safety Plan Hearing, Educational Support for Migrants

The Elwood Union Free School District Board of Education will hold a public hearing Aug. 31 to review a school safety plan that the board is considering for adoption.

The board voted in July to add armed security outside schools, starting in September, budgeting $400,000 for the plan.

The hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., at Elwood Middle School, followed by a regular meeting of the board.

Blue Devils Band

Several leaders of the Huntington High School band spent a week at Westfield State University in Massachusetts, participating in the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy.

The academy is for high school drum majors and majorettes. It was founded in 1978 and is held at various locations around the United States. It draws over 3,000 participants annually.

The Huntington participants included Jack Semelsberger, Lily Wasoski, Kayla Murillo, Dana Saramago, Sam Soric, Natalie Parrott and Toni Reyes-Sorto.

The Blue Devil band will be directed by Huntington High School music teacher Andre E. Rizzuto, who will be assisted by Patrick Neary and Mallory Martilla.


New Assistant Principal at Walt Whitman

Alexandra Andrade has been named assistant principal at Walt Whitman High School. She previously worked in the Sewanhaka Central High School District in Floral Park since 2006, serving as family and consumer sciences district coordinator/Chairperson,  where she was in charge of the program for the district’s five junior and senior high schools.


Elwood Superintendent Search

Representatives from Western Suffolk BOCES will discuss the process of searching for a new superintendent at the Elwood  Board of Education meeting Sept. 14.

The Elwood Board of Education voted at the June 2023 meeting to enlist the aid of Western Suffolk BOCES.

Community and staff members are asked for their input through an online survey
open until Oct. 15. Areas such as rating the importance of a potential candidate’s
qualifications and personal characteristics, as well as his/her abilities and experience with school staffing, instruction, board relations, district operations and finance will be polled.

Candidates can submit application information through Nov. 6. Interviews are expected to begin in January and continue through several rounds which will conclude no later than April.

A final decision by the board is due no later than May.

Kelly Fallon is serving as interim superintendent, succeeding Dr. Kenneth Bossert, who has moved to the Great Neck district.

Educational Support for Migrants

The State Education Department is reminding school districts about their obligations to educate migrant children who become district residents and offered resources related to English language learners.

The department’s Office of Counsel sent a three-paragraph memo to school district leaders that said that a 1982 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe makes it clear that “school districts could not deny education to the children of non-citizens.”

“These protections are well-established law and are not policy matters within the purview of boards of education,” the memo stated. “As such, school officers’ refusal to register newly arrived students, offer them placement in a full-time educational program, or determine their eligibility for special education and related services will be considered a knowing and willful violation of law – and will not be tolerated by the New York State Education Department.”

The memo was under Office of Counsel letterhead but was unsigned.

That memo was followed by a two and half page letter about English language learners from Elisa Alvarez, associate commissioner of education in the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages.

“Communities across New York State are experiencing an influx of recently arrived and asylum-seeking students and families in advance of the 2023-24 school year,” according to the memo.

“Due to an unanticipated increase in the enrollment of speakers of languages other than English, it is expected that some (schools) may have difficulty conforming to the standard 10-day timeline for administering the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) and placing eligible students in an appropriate language acquisition program,” the memo states.

Alvarez said that school districts will be allowed up to 30 school days from the date of a student’s enrollment to test for ability to understand English. “After the 30-school day period granted by this waiver has ended, all identifications will again be required to be completed within 10 school days of a student’s initial enrollment,” Alvarez wrote.

A wavier is required, however, and “the standard identification period will apply to all (school districts) that do not receive a waiver.” Direct questions to [email protected].

Commack Lunch Menus

The Commack school district has posted its lunch menus on the district website. 

Choices include meatless chicken nuggets, Gen. Tso’s chicken, waffles, pizza bagels, cauliflower popcorn, and homemade mac and cheese.

school meals. File photo

Smyth: State Says No Plans ‘At This Time’ to Send Migrants to Area

Leave a Reply