Superintendent’s Conference Day

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On Thursday, September 1, 2011, the Bethpage Union Free School District held Superintendent’s Conference Day in preparation for the opening of schools on Tuesday, September 6. The day began with Superintendent of Schools Terrence Clark welcoming new administrators -- Dave Schneider (new principal at JFK Middle School), Carol Leonardi (new guidance chair), and Kerri McCarthy (new principal at Kramer Lane) -- and offering hearty congratulations to all newlyweds, new parents, and newly tenured staff. Mr. Clark highlighted some of the many wonderful summer programs and accomplishments. 
 
One such accomplishment was made by the high school students in the CORE program, who, under the assistance of advisor Jon LaRochester, renovated the Pediatric Room at Nassau University Medical Center. These students raised $20,000 over the past two years and received a $5,000 donation from Cablevision. They painted the room, assembled furniture they had purchased, and provided high-tech equipment such as computers and iPads. 
 
Among other highlights from the summer, SMARTBoards were installed in all of Bethpage’s elementary schools. In addition, high school physical education teacher Mike Fenster helped the Newfoundland town of Gander obtain a 120-pound piece of steel from the World Trade Center in gratitude for their hospitality to travelers on September 11, 2001. 
 
Mr. Clark also reviewed in depth the many significant changes that are being faced by the Bethpage School District, which were adopted by New York State and the New York State Education Department (NYSED):  

The 2% tax levy cap recently passed the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. This cap will pose some challenges for funding programs as the district moves forward.
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – 46 states including New York have adopted a unified set of learning standards in mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA), and these standards are to be fully implemented within the 2012-2013 school year.
The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments are ahead. PARCC has initiated the development of a K-12 assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and mathematics. The goal of PARCC is to create an assessment system that will help states dramatically increase the number of students who graduate high school ready for college and careers and provide students, parents, teachers and policymakers with the tools they need to help students – from grade three through high school – stay on track and graduate prepared.
NYSED has mandated the new teacher and principal evaluation process, or Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). 
 
In closing, Superintendent Clark stated, “I believe strongly in the Bethpage faculty. I believe strongly in public education. I think teachers are the most important people in our society. Thank you for everything and have a great school year!”