Malverne UFSD budget review and HS career day

Originally, only the instructional part of the budget review was on the BOE agenda for February 23rd, but a regular “meeting in public” was added in order to make up the Feb. 9th meeting.

The evening started by a quick budget review followed by birthday celebration of Mrs. O’Connor, school board trustee. As a perk of low attendance, all attendees were offered a piece of the cake.

The BOE announced that at the Annual School District Awards Dinner there will be recognized 3 outstanding individuals: Brian China, the teacher of the year, Dr Romano for his leadership, and Allen Lewis for decades of dedicated volunteer work. Continue reading

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LICEE quiet secret, College Board trip, 2016-17 budget

The residents’ representatives modified their regular “meeting in public” on February 9th, as only two of them were present. The management showed again their prezi they have shown at the LICEE meeting in January. Three district delegates will travel to “A Deferred Dream” conference organized by the College Board in Charlotte, North Carolina. (The College Board is home to David Coleman, the author of the Common Core Standards. He now moved on to “reform” the higher education. This Saturday, March 5th, students will take the SAT tests that were modified for the first time since 2005. A third of US colleges don’t require the SAT and colleges abroad have their particular admission requirements.) Continue reading

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Presentation for Malverne school district owners

At the residents representatives’ meeting on January 12th, the management presented slides entitled “ Why we were chosen…” (pdf) with motto “Excellence for All.” It was a shorter, modified version of a presentation that they had shown at a meeting of the Long Island Consortium for Excellence and Equity (BOCES). Malverne UFSD was one of 6 districts that presented and in Mrs. Ricca’s opinion the presentation was very well received.

presentation-to-liceeIt certainly caught my attention. There were really good segments that can be repurposed for presentations targeting current and potential district owners. I exchanged few emails with the management on this topic and plan to present a concept to the owners’ representatives at “their meeting in public.” The final product can be distributed to local real estate companies, so they can play the presentations in addition to the evaluation system based on the Common Core they currently use. Self-running, narrated presentations, one overall for the district and one for each individual school will add to the “telling our schools story” branding efforts and also to the Mission Hill dream. Continue reading

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Welcome, Project Enroll Now increases its visibility

Last week, Project Enroll Now promoted the open house at the Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA). They posted a promo flyer at one of the Malverne FB groups dedicated to education. (The post has been deleted since then). Project Enroll Now is a Malverne UFSD-based group. At the time of its founding, in 2004, its original purpose was to promote public schools located within the district. As the group members’ children are growing, they are calling parents to “enroll now” in the out-of-district magnet school. Certainly a shift in the group’s original mission. Continue reading

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Leaky pipe, athletic awards, and Regents exam

Few reflections on two Malverne UFSD BOE “meetings in public” that took place on 11/24/15 and 12/8/2015, respectively.

Two days before the Thanksgiving and in anticipation of being served something better than “cookies and common core,” I attended a special BOE meeting on 11/24/15. It was supposed to start at 7 p.m. At 7:25, an absent board member was contacted by phone. While waiting, we shared our family Thanksgiving habits. The socializing came to the end with the arrival of the board member at 7:40.

The reason for calling the special meeting was that a heat pipe connecting HTH and HS cracked on November 19, causing a leak and loss of pressure. A temporary arrangement was made in the form of a mobile boiler that was placed in front of the Malverne HS. A repair had to be approved and adopted at the special meeting. The pipes will be relined with an epoxy coat that will last about 10 years. The board approved spending not to exceed $500M. About half will be paid from the emergency repair fund and the other half from the general fund. The repairs have to be paid first. The reimbursement from the insurance will come later. An alternative, considered also by the board, would be to install a new boiler at the cost of $800K to $1M. Continue reading

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Parent academy, or social hour?

Both, but with the emphasis on the social aspect. If you go on Twitter and type #gomules in the Search field, you’ll see an unusual trending of the hashtag between 7 and 8 pm on Jan. 21. The Malverne UFSD organized a “session” on how to use social media for telling the story of district schools.
It was not the first gathering on the topic. This project, still in development was presented at the PTA meeting in November, as I documented here. Continue reading

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Lovely discussion at Davison Ave school PTA meeting

This post was updated on 1/15/16.

On Jan. 7th, I attended my first PTA meeting ever at the Davison Ave. school, as I transitioned to a higher grade. (After attending many meetings at M.W. Downing primary school previously). Davison Ave. school serves students in grades 3-5. It was not a totally strange environment, as I recognized few familiar and friendly faces.

Fair part of the meeting was dedicated to the upcoming Bingo and other fundraising activities. It was suggested that the mural painting on the side of the school is in need of a redo. When discussing the logistics when and how to do it, I suggested the students could take turns during those 3 testing days in April that governor Cuomo calls “practice testing” anyway. But I immediately realized it would not qualify as the “quiet reading,” the regulations specify as an alternative activity. So parents need to send books with their kids. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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