Power of thousands of New York parents

“When I don’t keep abreast with opportunities, don’t write my representative in Assembly and Senate, and don’t rally in front of their offices, I’m depriving my child of an excellent education …and leaving $10K to $15K annually on the table.”

This is a conclusion parents may have come to after following the recent news about the Long Island High School for the Artsi (LIHSA) and the Doshi STEMii program it houses. The amount is an approximate tuition residents pay per student enrolled in the STEM program. Continue reading


MUFSD schools branding effort 2.0

The representatives of Malverne UFSD residents met in public on November 10th. This was the second time I regretted the meetings are not recorded or streamed. The first occasion being their meeting in October during which Dr. Romano, the high school principal, had students performed “il teatro delle molte lingue,” described in my previous post. I was not the only one impressed by the show.

“…15 high school students individually thanked the Board using the language of their ancestral origin. It was so impressive to see our diversity unfold from so many countries around the world. The history, customs, beliefs, attitudes, values, experiences and modes of thinking all blending together to form the Malverne school family IS one of our major strengths.” In Dr. Hunderfund’s words.

At this meeting, Mr. Gilhuley, the middle school principal, and Mrs. Gross, the cheerperson for Common Core K-6, presented a perfected version of the “grassroot” campaign that was mentioned at the M. W. Downing PTA meeting earlier in November. Presentations like this one need to be recorded. In summary, the school community understands it needs to showcase all the positive work that goes on at the schools. Continue reading


Malverne school district to apply for a “Hardship Waiver”

The representatives of Malverne union free district met in public on October 13th. The meeting agenda revealed preparations for windows replacement at the HS gym, as well as toilets upgrade and installation of lights at the main stadium. Davison school will get new roof, toilets renovated, and windows replaced. H.T. Herber school will get toilets renovated. Continue reading


List of local assessments available for review

The Malverne school community representatives opened their September meeting in public with awards recognizing successful students and teachers.

Attendees were invited to a BookTalk, the first parent academy of the school year 2015-16. (It took place at Davison Ave school on Sep. 21st). More academies will be coming, but topics, nor dates were disclosed. It appears they’ll be dispersed throughout the year which requires residents to reserve multiple evenings, if topics offered will be interesting. Last year, some academies took place during a Parent-Teacher meetings; one was scheduled for 9:15 in the morning, just so it could be marked “done.” Continue reading


What will you do on a snow day?

July’s board’s meeting “in public” was delayed 40 minutes. In August, I came 20 minutes late, just to the end of superintendent’s report or message. Total public—4, including a Herald reporter. Items on the agenda: Few thousands were transferred from instructional accounts to non-instructional and many special ed. and transportation contracts were signed. All items were adopted.

When the public was asked to participate in their meeting, I raised my hand and said I had a suggestion. “Of course, a suggestion,” I could hear from the management panel. Well, there is so much going on in school districts, close and far, that is worth following. Continue reading


Charters are a win for few

My family subscribes to LI Herald, as it brings diverse local news, including opinions. Back in March, Al D’Amato published his contribution entitled “Charter schools are a win for taxpayers.” It was crap and I forgot about it. Yet, the ongoing debate on Herald’s pages whose opinions are worth publishing and whose are not keeps reminding me of his article.

D’Amato served as US Senator in the 90s, before Chuck Schumer. He brought G. Pataki to the state political scene. Last year he supported A. Cuomo in his re-election campaign. He is a significant lobbyist for online poker industry. His firm, Park Strategies is among top five lobbying firms in New York. They list over 100 clients. His LI Herald contributions date back to early 2000s. Continue reading


Meeting with The New Commissioner of Education, MaryEllen Elia

In spring, Carol Burris, the principal of the year, announced she would retire from the South Side HS, RVC, and that she would allocate more time to advocacy for public education. Diane Ravitch, the NPE president, announced that Mrs. Burris would become the Executive Director of the Network for Public Education Fund (501-c-3).

Burris had this to say about her new role with NPE: Continue reading


50 Contracts in Government Efficiency Plan

After a 45-min. delay, the Malverne UFSD school board opened their July “meeting in public” with a moment of silence for the 9 victims shot in the AME church in Charleston, SC, and for a Malverne HS student.

As step one of the reorganization meeting, Mrs. Ridley, the district clerk, swore in Mrs. Bottitta, the re-elected trustee. The board members proceeded with proposing each other into different posts and, consequently, changed their seating order. Mr. Tulley has become the school board president and took a spot in the middle of the table. Mrs. Ridley swore them all in, including Dr. Hunderfund. Continue reading

Malverne BOE Announces Participation in “Schools of Opportunity” Project

The Malverne UFSD BOE opened the May session in public by announcing the Malverne high school was awarded the gold badge in a pilot project Schools of Opportunity. This school year, the project was available in Colorado and New York only, as the project’s co-founders, Carol Burris and Ken Welner, reside in the respective states. The recognized schools got public attention in Washington Post, in the column Answer Sheet (here and here). This publication is also conducting the “Challenge Index.”

Next, the administration reflected on the Relay for Life; approximately $27K was raised. Continue reading


Thank you supporters

Malverne UFSD residents approved the budget; that is good. But the residents also re-elected the incumbent who was at the first Dr. Hunderfund’s contract extension and salary increases in 2012 and at the second superintendent’s contract extension at the special meeting in 2014. In both instances, the acts of “amendment,” as the BOE calls the extensions, happened by adding them to the meeting agenda without prior discussion “in public.” Continue reading