2014-15 Welcome Back Letter from Superintendent
Dear Valley Stream District 30 Families and School Community,
Welcome back to what I hope will be another wonderful year in Valley Stream School District 30.
Once again, we have had a busy summer in the District. We completed the hiring process for a new assistant principal for the Forest Road School, and we welcome Jennifer Lewner to the Valley Stream 30 family. She is an experienced elementary and secondary educator with an extensive background as a math professional developer. I am also happy to announce two “in house” promotions -- Terry Deeks to Principal Clerk Typist, Special Services Department; and, Russell Milwood to Custodian, Forest Road School. We will also be appointing several new substitute teachers at our August 25th Board of Education meeting. My thanks to everyone involved this summer in the hiring process.
Teaching and learning was in full force at our summer schools this year. The theme of Technology Integration helped to guide the planning and implementation of a variety of fun and engaging activities for our students this summer. Thank you to Erica Heumann, Summer School Principal, and Nicole Schimpf, Director of Special Services, for their leadership in the management of the programs that had a positive impact on our students.
Dr. France, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, has been very involved in the coordination of summer writing projects, professional development for administrators, and curriculum planning. The constructive work of 2013/2014 will be built upon in the 2014/2015 school year. Common Core Learning Standards will continue to be implemented with a continued focus on modular implementation. Our work with emotional intelligence (Ruler Approach) will be expanded. We will continue to work with The Long Island Consortium for Excellence and Equity to support the ongoing development of culturally-responsive classrooms. As per our District’s Arts-in-Education plan, we will be enhancing our program with more Arts-in-Education programming and interdisciplinary arts’ activities. “Jazz” is the theme for arts integration this year. Technology integration and project-based learning will continue to be expanded and implemented to support student achievement.
Lisa Rutkoske, Assistant Superintendent for Business, and Russell Costa, Director of Facilities, were very involved in overseeing building and grounds’ maintenance and the capital improvement projects at Forest Road School (new heating and ventilation systems, new floors, new lighting, renovating the main office, playground, etc). We are grateful to our custodial staff who has been working around the clock on an array of facilities’ projects. Mr. Ward, Director of Technology, has also been involved with the installation of new computers, network system and security cameras/software.
State assessment scores will be released this month. However, parent reports will not be available until the end of September. District and school presentations on academic achievement and programming will be scheduled for early fall.
During the 2013-14 school year, we focused on reviewing, reflecting and redesigning. That process will also continue with an eye towards “reframing”. Reframing involves us all embracing, as well as implementing, the various redesigns, modifying curriculum, changing some instructional practices, using new tools and/or materials, pacing differently, and assessing more diversely to positively impact student learning.
Our students deserve a bright future which includes opportunities for them to be successful. I will continue to maintain high expectations for our faculty with the understanding that continued collaboration between colleagues, administrators and community is at the core to helping our students succeed.
Schools will open on September 3, 2014 for a full day of classes for all students. Note that schools are closed on September 25th and 26th. Please review all communications that will be coming from each building’s administration and information in our school calendars and on our website. Our next Board of Education meeting is August 25, 2014 at Shaw Avenue School, 8:00 p.m.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, and I wish you a wonderful school year! Reminder - summer reading assignments will be due in September for grades 4 - 6.
Nicholas A. Stirling, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools