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April 27, 2017

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Dear Valley Stream District 30 Families and School Community,

Thank you to Dr. Christopher Dillon, Assistant Superintendent for Business, for his support in working with me and the Board of Education to develop a budget that supports our children’s future and acknowledges the fiscal challenges of our community.  The Board of Education adopted the proposed budget for 2017-18 at last week’s business meeting.  The total proposed budget will include the increase in New York State aid and anticipated PILOT revenue and assumes a 15% decrease in the tax levy.  However, as of this morning, the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency (IDA) revoked the Green Acres PILOT.  There are several unanswered questions that impact the 2017-18 school budget.  We are reaching out to the IDA, political leaders and our legal counsel to address these questions.  

Our Budget Hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 8th at 7:00 p.m. at Shaw Avenue School.  It is very important that you attend this meeting to understand the potential impact of this revocation on the school budget.  The annual school Budget Vote is Tuesday, May 16th from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  As always, we encourage all residents to register to vote and exercise their right to vote.

Tonight, the annual Lights On for Education will take place at Memorial Junior High School at 7:00 p.m.  This year’s District theme is ‘Full STEAM Ahead’, which focuses on how students in the enrichment program use the engineering design process to find solutions to improve the quality of life.  Students will demonstrate their designs and how they align to the following engineering careers: computer, biomedical, civil, mechanical, environmental and electrical. There will also be an inquiry table to encourage participants to demonstrate their creativity and creative-thinking skills.  In addition, each school will showcase their dance residencies from a variety of cultures, which deepen students’ understanding of movements. Please join our staff and the Board of Education in celebrating our students tonight.

Prior to leaving for spring break, our school district was represented by the Shaw Avenue math team at the Third Annual NBA Math Hoops Tournament in New York City.  This national tournament is hosted in regions across the United States.  Students, along with their parents; teacher, Mr. Canlé; and principal, Mr. Rivera, traveled to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City for this first time experience. The Tournament is conducted like an NCAA bracket-style event.  This is a wonderful opportunity for students who enjoy math and sports. Needless to say, it supports our Let’s Move initiative. The team did well as a group, and the first-place winners were our own Athena Pajotte and Priya Mangal. Alex Durgadeen, Josiah Beltre, Emily Mota and Diane Tomax were the other math team students. We are very proud of all the students, staff and parents.

Next week begins our New York State assessment testing in Math.  Our staff continues to work very hard in preparing all students for assessments they will encounter during their elementary school years and throughout life. The results from the State assessments are only one source of information among many sources of assessment data.  We are a district that has been committed, for a long time, to not focus on test preparation, but to focus on effective instructional practice.  I want to assure parents that, as I did for the ELA tests, we will continue to encourage and support students to do their best and to minimize anxieties about the tests.  Your support in making sure students are in attendance, have a well-balanced breakfast and get a good night’s sleep before the test would be appreciated.

Students will also continue to display their artistic talents at the upcoming spring concerts.  Please note the following dates of each school’s performance:     

Shaw Avenue - Tuesday, May 9th
Clear Stream Avenue - Wednesday, May 10th
Forest Road - Thursday, May 11th
All performances begin at 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy the spring-like weather!


Nicholas A. Stirling, Ph.D. 

Superintendent of Schools