BOE Candidates

LIOO Endorsed
Board of Education Candidates

A school board which is also known as a board of education is a group of community leaders elected or appointed by a school district to help set policy for local schools. (see here for a more complete explanation)

So, what does an ideal LIOO Endorsed candidate look like?

Ideally, LIOO Endorsed Candidates would pursue policies in their districts that promote the following:

  • Whole-child learning that fosters creativity, critical thinking and addresses the physical, social, emotional as well as academic needs of our children.
  • Recognition that our state-mandated learning standards and accountability system are developmentally inappropriate and punitive.
  • Support for opting out of standardized, excessive testing while also recognizing that the inappropriate sharing of private student data without parental consent threatens the future of our students, our schools, and our state.

ENDORSED BOE CANDIDATES

School District:ENDORSED CANDIDATE(S):
Amagansett Union Free School District
Amityville Union Free School District
Babylon Union Free School DistrictDave Sonkin, Rob Verdi
Baldwin Union Free School District #10
Bay Shore Union Free School DistrictSusan Gargan
Bayport-Blue Point Union Free School DistrictAdrienne Cirone
Bellmore Union Free School District
Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District
Bethpage Union Free School District
Brentwood Union Free School DistrictCynthia (Calderon) Ciferri, Eileen Felix, Julia Burgos
Bridgehampton Union Free School District
Carle Place Union Free School District
Center Moriches Union Free School District
Central Islip Union Free School District
Cold Spring Harbor Central School District
Commack School DistrictJarrett Behar, Gus Hueber
Comsewogue School DistrictRick Rennard
Connetquot Central School DistrictEileen Panico, Mark Warshaw
Copiague Union Free School District
Deer Park Union Free School District
East Hampton Union Free School District
East Islip Union Free School District
East Meadow Union Free School District
East Moriches Union Free School District
East Quogue Union Free School District
East Rockaway Union Free School District
East Williston Union Free School District
Eastport-South Manor Central School District
Elmont Union Free School District #16
Elwood Union Free School DistrictHeather Mammolito
Farmingdale Union Free School District #22
Fire Island Union Free School District
Fishers Island Union Free School District
Floral Park-Bellerose Union Free School DistrictDoug Madden & Amanda Talty
Franklin Square Union Free School District
Freeport Union Free School DistrictAnthony Miller
Garden City Union Free School District
Glen Cove City School DistrictMaureen Jimenez, Meghan Lavine, Anne Markoulis, Dr. Angela Raimo
Great Neck School District
Greenport Union Free School District
Half Hollow Hills Central School District
Hampton Bays Public Schools
Harborfields Central School DistrictSue Broderick, Dr. Eve Meltzer Krief, Suzie Lustig
Hauppauge Union Free School District
Hempstead Union Free School District
Herricks Union Free School District
Hewlett-Woodmere School District #14Judy Menashe, Jonathan Altus, Debi Sheinin, Tatyana Kopp
Hicksville Union Free School District
Huntington Union Free School DistrictLynda D'Anna, Tom Galvin
Island Park Union Free School District
Island Trees Union Free School District
Islip Union Free School DistrictPaul Austin, Eric Buehler, Tom Leggio
Jericho Union Free School District #15
Kings Park Central School District
Lawrence Public School District #15
Levittown Public SchoolsMarianne Diliberti Adrian
Lindenhurst Union Free School District
Little Flower Union Free School District
Locust Valley Central School District
Long Beach City School District
Longwood Central School DistrictPenni Blizzard-McGrath
Lynbrook Union Free School District
Malverne Union Free School DistrictHopkins<-->Henderson, Bery<-->Nolan-Kasal
Manhasset
Massapequa UFSD #23Jeanine Caramore
Mattituck-Cutchogue UFSD
Merrick Union Free School District
Middle Country Central School DistrictRobert Hallock, Sandro Fernandes
L
Miller Place Union Free School District
Bryan Makarius
Mineola Union Free School District
Montauk Union Free School District
Mount Sinai Union Free School District
New Hyde Park-Garden City Park UFSD
New Suffolk Common School District
North Babylon Union Free School DistrictMatthew Lucchetti, Kelly Banculli
North Bellmore Union Free School District
North Merrick Union Free School District
North Shore Central School District #1Maria Mosca,Lisa Colacioppo
W
Northport-East Northport UFSDVictoria Buscareno, Carol Taylor
Oceanside School District
Oyster Bay-East Norwich CSD
Oysterponds Union Free School District
Patchogue-Medford Union Free School DistrictMarc Negrin, Pam Julian-Petersen
Plainedge School DistrictSisi Townson
Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District
Port Jefferson Union Free School DistrictTracy Zamek
Port Washington Union Free School DistrictElizabeth Weisburd (liaison)
Quogue Union Free School District
Remsenburg-Speonk Union Free School District
Riverhead Central School DistrictBrian Connelly, Colin Palmer
Rockville Centre
Rocky Point Union Free School District
Roosevelt Union Free School District
Roslyn Union Free School District
Sachem School District
Sabrina Pitkewicz
Sag Harbor Union Free School District
Sagaponack Common School District
Sayville Union Free School District
Seaford Union Free School District
Sewanhaka Central High School District
Shelter Island Union Free School District
Shoreham-Wading River Central School District
Smithtown Central School District
South Country Central School DistrictCameron Trent
South Huntington UFSD, District 13Linda LaCara, Erin Meijer
Southampton Union Free School District
Southold Union Free School District
Springs Union Free School District
Syosset Central School District
Three Village Central School DistrictShaorui Li
Tuckahoe Common School District
Uniondale Union Free School District
Valley Stream Union Free School District #13
Valley Stream Union Free School District #24
Valley Stream Union Free School District #30
Valley Stream Central High School District
Wainscott Common School District
Wantagh Union Free School District
West Babylon Union Free School DistrictKristen Sciame
West Hempstead Union Free School District
West Islip Union Free School DistrictRichard Antoniello
Westbury Union Free School District
Westhampton Beach Union Free School District
William Floyd School District
Wyandanch Union Free School District

Scroll through the list to read survey responses
of BOE candidates in your district.

Please write your full name.Briefly state any experiences you will/do bring to your school district's board of education. Are you a current BOE member or have you ever served? What is your current occupation?As a board of education member, how will/do you engage the community to make certain that its needs are heard and acted upon?How do you define the success of a school district and its students? Please describe what an ideal school district would look like to you.Do you support a parent's right to refuse NYS grade 3-8 assessments? Do you have children in grades 3-8 and if so, did you opt them out of the state assessments? (If no, please explain). What do you believe the protocol should be for students who opt out?Do you believe the opt out movement has driven changes in NYS education policy? Explain. Do you believe districts have an obligation to inform parents of their rights to refuse on behalf of their children?What are your views on school security? Do you believe that more extreme measures such as armed security or metal detectors would make students safer? Do you believe mental health services are important/would make schools safer?Describe your views on corporate charter schools, privatizing, and school vouchers.NYS and the federal government have continued to place high value on standardized test scores. What do you feel is the best way to evaluate teachers, principals, superintendents and school districts? Do you believe student performance/test scores should be used in an evaluation system? If so, how much? What other factors should be used?What does "whole child" education mean to you? Do you believe recess is an important part of the school day? What can BOE members do to incorporate a “whole child” philosophy into their district?What are your views on the use of computerized assessments/learning platforms such as NWEA, iReady, AIMSweb, Achieve3000, and STAR? If appropriate at all, what age do you feel computer assessments should be administered? What does "responsible use of technology" mean to you?What are your views on the use of ipads/technology in k-2 classrooms? What are your views on placing limits on the use of computer/iPad time in classrooms?Do you believe class size impacts student success?Define the role of a parent/guardian in a child’s education. Do you believe there should be parent involvement in curriculum decisions?Over the past decade, pathways to graduation for both special education students and general education students has decreased. Do you support increasing the options/pathways for students to earn a HS diploma?Please include any additional information you want the voters in your community to know.If you are chosen for an endorsement, do we have your permission to link your survey answers to our public Board of Education Candidate Endorsement spreadsheet? (Please include a link to your candidate website/social media page if you have one)Do you have school age children in the district? If so, what grades?The State Education Department has been clear that they do NOT recommend averaging regents scores into class grades. Some districts have implemented “do no harm” policies, averaging in these scores only if it helps a student’s GPA. Do you support this type of policy?How would you describe your “shared decision making committees” (site-based) in your district? Do you believe that these committees should have a role in shaping district policies? Explain why or why not.Do you believe that recess should be expanded in the elementary school grades to 40 minutes? Do you believe that “recess is a right” and should never be taken away as a punishment?
Elizabeth (Beth) Weisburd Port Washington 6 years on BOEI think our Superintendent search was a great example of a strong reach out in the community. We had multiple forums, and an open portal for people to weigh in. We also just started using thought exchange to survey our community. Equity first. My ideal school district would have students of all abilities and backgrounds working in unison. I believe that environment would produce graduates that would be true citizens of the world. My children were among the first opt out in year 1. I continue to public support that choice and advocate for eliminating high stakes testing I agree with both Mental health services are crucial. I do not believe in armed security. I do not believe public dollars should pay for private school I believe authentic, multi-modal assessments could be used by principals to help them evaluate teachers and help teachers improve. I do not believe standardized tests should have any place in teacher evaluation Whole child education should ensure that students have opportunities to move, to engage in the arts, and have time that is self directed during the school day. Recess, art, music, physical education, and lunch are all important parts of the school day. School board members must make those priorities through funding. Test such as these could perhaps have a role in identifying gaps in overall programming district wide or school wide. Student achievement should be evaluated by experts through authentic assessments. Responsible use of technology means being careful to ensure that it is used safely and effectively to supplement education provided by a teacher. Unfortunately the pandemic has changed the necessity of technology and changed my view. I hope we can put the brakes on this soon. Of course it does Parents can have input but I do believe that experts (teachers) must make those decisions. I believe that there should be multiple pathways and none should be dependent upon testing. Yes. Youngest graduated 2020I doOur site based committees are used to help direct site based decisions. They are not used to shake district wide policies often, though they have been used to look at things like homework policy. I agree with both
Cameron TrentSouth Country Central School District I’ve been on the board for almost two years now. Absolutely. Engaging through social media, phone and email. Even in passing at a local store or library. Success for me is when a student graduates and I ready to succeed in whatever area they choose to enter in life. While looking back on what I hope would be an enjoyable and valuable time in school. Yes I do support their right to refuse. I do not have any children at this time. I do see some small changes however i believe districts need to take a bigger stand on this policy. Absolutely, the district should inform parents of all their rights at all times. I believe security is needed in schools. I do not believe armed security or metal detectors would make students safer. Yes I believe mental health services are important and we need to provide more of these services to our students. I don’t have a problem with charter schools, I have a problem with $400,000 of our budget being handed to them. A budget that we have to promote and ask the taxpayers to support. This is a hard question for me. I don’t exactly believe standardized test scores should be the only evaluation system. We need some way to evaluate them and I think that system should be made by the parties involved. Yes, the whole child means literally the whole child. We can incorporate this into our priorities and strategy’s. We can also ask for admin to audit our districts curriculum to ensure the whole child is educated. I believe it’s appropriate however I would leave the implementation to the educators. Reasonable use of technology to me means using technology when it is necessary, not necessarily whenever it can make your life easier. I would leave this up to the individual teacher to decide what’s best for their class and students. Absolutely!Yes and the best way would be for them to participate in our teaching and learning committee or our shared decision making team. YesYes, however I don’t have one at the moment. NoYesI would describe ours as finding its sea legs. Yes they have the most important role because the input from the committee is invaluable.Yes, it is a right and I don’t think it should be taken away. We don’t take away math when a child is misbehaving.
Cynthia GrimleyKings Park Central School DistrictThis is my first time running for Board of Education. I have been active in the Kings Park School District as a parent volunteer. I have volunteered for many committees, including the Technology Committee, the Legislative Committee, and the Shared Decision Making Committee. In the summer of 2020, I was on the District Re-Opening Committee. I have been active in KP PTA/PFA groups. I served as the Council of Schools president for 4 years. In 2018, I was awarded the Scope Community Service Award for Outstanding Service to the Kings Park School District.I have worked in Higher Education since 2003. I began my career at Suffolk Community College in 2003. I became the Testing Coordinator for the Student Accessibility Support Center at Stony Brook University in 2019. I feel strongly that the elected Board of Education members need to listen to the community they represent. Encouraging community members to attend Board of Education meetings to find out factual information from the district is important. The BOE in Kings Park should also leverage their Legislative Committee, which is comprised of many community members. During this past year, the Legislative Committee could have advocated at the state and local for updated guidance from the CDC and NYSDOH. Nearby districts have been advocating at the state level for clearer guidance for in person graduations. The Kings Park Legislative Committee has not met throughout the current global health crisis. I feel that the success of a school district can be measured in various ways. Graduation rates are one way to measure the success of a district. The goal of a school district is to create adults that are ready for life after HS, whether that is employment, or higher education. I feel that an ideal school district will offer ALL students an equitable and accessible education. I do support a parent's right to refuse the NYS grade 3-8 assessments. My 7th grade daughter this year has refused the NYS assessments. My 12th grader also refused the state assessments when she was younger several times. In KP, parents email the building principal to let them know if they are opting out of the exams.I do believe that the opt out movement has driven changes in the NYS Education policy. For example, throughout the years of the optout, the exams have changed - less days and fewer questions. I do think this has to do with the amount of parents that have their children refuse the tests. I do believe that more work could be done, especially regarding different paths to graduation.School safety needs to be the priority for school districts today. Children, faculty, and staff need to feel safe in the school environment. Optimal learning can only take place in an environment that students fell safe in. Kings Park has made great strides in safety and security the past few years. Partnering with Suffolk County on adding the RAVE app for school staff was an important security upgrade. I do feel that it is important that the security personnel hired by KP should continue to be individuals that are former SCPD and NYPD officers. I do believe that schools need to offer Mental Health support for students. As an elected Board of Education member, I will advocate for public schools only.I believe when evaluating teachers - or students that a multi-faceted approach should be used. An evaluation should not be simply one score. I believe that the administration in Kings Park is able to create an evaluation system for educators that is appropriate.Whole child education is where each child is educated is educated, engaged, and supported at their level. All students have the right to a free and appropriate education. Barriers should not be placed on students or parents in regards to an accessible education. I do feel that recess is an integral part of the school day. Students need to have a break from the rigors of the school day. Computerized assessments that are adaptive can be a helpful tool for teachers and parents. Technology can be a useful tool in education at all levels. I do believe that even young students can benefit from technology. I do believe that limits need to be set for screen time for all students. Unfortunately, online and remote learning has only encouraged screen time.Yes. Smaller classes have an immense impact on student success.A parent is their child's first teacher. Parents should be involved in their child's education. I support various pathways to graduation/earning a HS diploma. My background is in Special Education, and I still work in the area of Accessibility for students, and I have, and will continue to advocate for accessible education for all students.I feel that my knowledge of the Kings Park community and the KP school district would make me a qualified candidate for the Board of Education. I feel that I can bring a new energy to the BOE. One of my strengths is creativity- I can come up with creative solutions to problems. I am patient, and a good listener. I have an open mind - and I will keep the students at the forefront of all decisions. I am a student advocate and keep all children in mind. I also feel that my background in accessibility would provide a unique perspective. I have a love of learning, which keeps me up to date on important topics impacting education today. I also feel that it is important for members of the BOE to have children in the district, which I have.Yes - https://www.facebook.com/grimleyandcobbforBOE/Yes. I have 2 daughters that attend Kings Park Schools. Alexa will graduate KPHS this June. Ava is a 7th grader at WTRMS.Yes. I do support the idea of a Do No Harm policy. I am thankful that for the 2021 Regents cycle, KP has adopted a Do No Harm policy for the students in the district.I have sat on both site based, and the Shared Decision Making Committee in Kings Park. I believe these committees have a place in the district - since they often have student members that are able to give the "pulse" of the building. While I strongly agree that the district should be aware of student ideas and opinions, I do not believe that these committees should shape district policies.I do believe that recess is an integral part of the school day. Recess allows students to play and socialize with their peers. I believe recess is a right that all children should have the opportunity to enjoy.
Robert Verdi Babylon UFSD I have 23 years in education as a teacher. I am certified as a Building leader and will District Certification within the year. I was a union rep for 8 years and worked on three contract teams. I have been a member of numerous committees including the APPR committee and just recently the District reopening committee.Via email and through Board meetings as well and through face to face discussions where feasible. . Educating the whole student and meeting their full social-emotional as well as intellectual needs. Of course a large part of this preparing students for when they graduate and helping with college prep or whatever choice they make. In my mind a school that meets these needs and creates a least restrict environment for all students and is a diverse atmosphere where we all learn and listen to another would be the goal. Additionally a school system that encourages student responsibility as a means to encourage a positive culture would be a must. yes! Students who opt out should be given something constructive during testing (reading, support work, enrichment, etc....) and if separate locations are feasible with covid regulations they should be given. Absolutley I believe opt out forced change. I remember being at a site based meeting where the principal mentioned this movement existed and none of us were sure if it would have an impact. This was when appr just started, and we trying out pre-tests and slow and all that other stuff. As a Union Rep it was particularly frustrating as the Governor seemed to be steamrolling ahead even though "We were building a plane while it was flying". Remember that? The only thing I would add is that opt out didn't; jus change NY it changed the nation as a whole and blunted a great deal of the testing mania that was spreading like wildfire the last two decades. I am highly skeptical of armed security and metal detectors but acknowledge I don't know every school circumstance. I do believe in mental health services but I also believe pushing to create a positive culture and community by adopting in part or in whole elements of PBIS , Restorative justice or similar ideas would go along way to prevent disruptions and improving safety.Corporate charter schools are unnecessary and privatization is hardly a cure for underlying socio-economic issues that are often contribute to many problems for schools. As for vouchers I think they are unnecessary and believe improved schools is the answer. Test scores should not be a factor in evaluations. It is simply impossible to create a fair system and to evaluate what a teacher accomplished in helping students. This is 100 times the case under the current circumstances we are all working in. Yes to Recess and also a break from electronics! As a BOE member I would encourage greater experiences for students, trips, interactive instruction. I do believe core academics are essential, but there is more to learning and providing a certain flexibility for staff members to encourage new ways of learning would be a great thing. I found the state testing disruptive to learning and for the most part a waste of taxpayer dollars and instructional time. I am not against all digital assessments and as we enter a "paperless model" they can play a role. But like all tests the key is what is on them and what are they used for. I would prefer less electronics as more. I am not against giving kids experience in using devices but it shouldn't be a central aspect of instruction at that age. yes, this is true at all grade levels but in particular with the elementary grades. The parent's role is to be an advocate, supporter and provide guidance and direction as needed for their child. In general curriculum choices should be deferred to the instructors and based on the content of the grade and the students. yes, the original idea of passing regents to get a diploma that was implemented 20 years ago was flawed form the get go (It was my 2nd year teaching, it was obvious even then the state was in the wrong). Find paths that encourage positive developments for kids and do not revolve around passing a test. I have 3 decades of experience in education and I am a veteran as well.Yes3rd grade, 4th grade, 7th grade, and 9th grade Yes, Do no harm is a good idea.Site based does a have a role, and just thinking about parents and curriculum choices makes me say this is the proper place for parental concerns to be raised. As a someone who has been on site for years I can attest they are an important way for various stakeholders to contribute ideas and raise concerns. Yes. As a High School teacher I go crazy when my kids tell me they have 9 periods straight and no lunch. We all need a break perhaps young kids more than the rest of us. So yes, recess is a right.
Diane NallyKings Park Central School DistrictI have served on the Kings Park Board of Education for the past nine years, four years as a trustee, four years as the Vice President and currently as the President.I encourage all community members to attend board meetings and voice their comments and concerns. During my tenure on the board, we changed the public comment section of our meetings to allow the public to ask questions or express concerns regarding voting items on the agenda before voting occurs, as well as prior to the end of the meeting. A successful school district fosters student creativity, hard work and high achievement. It includes a staff that has the ability to develop curriculum based on the needs of their individual students and not a "one-size fits all" approach dictated by non-educational leaders. A successful school district is run by an administration that puts the education of its students as its first and foremost goal and has a successful working relationship with their teachers and staff based on mutual respect. A successful school district has a school board that is dedicated to preventing excessive spending and advocating for what is right for public education and right for their district.I do support a parent's right to refuse. I have no school aged children. I believe students who opt out of assessments should receive classroom instruction during the assessment time period.I do believe the opt out movement has driven changes in NYS education policy. This movement has educated the public and organized parents opposed to assessments and given them a greater voice. Kings Park does send out letters to parents prior to assessments advising them of how to notify the school that their child will be opting out and what the procedure will be for their child during that time.We have armed security guards in our district, and we use the RAVE mobile safety app in all our schools, which enables immediate notification to Suffolk County Police, school security and administration in the case of a dangerous situation. We have also installed security vestibules in all our school buildings. I absolutely believe mental health services are important. We have been steadily increasing our mental health staff over the last few years. In our adopted budget for 2021/2022, we have funds allocated for an additional social worker.I am a great advocate for public schools. I believe that all children deserve the right to a public school education I believe that parents who want a different school environment for their child should to able to have that choice. However, these options should not cipher funding from a public school system which must provide a safe environment, a challenging curriculum and all the tools necessary to prepare students for their future, whether they are going on to college, trade school or entering the work force. I believe a student's performance should not be based solely on a test score. Standardize testing alone limits the ability to evaluate the whole child. The process by which a student learns cannot be summed up through a standardized test. Observation of the dynamics of a classroom, the learning environment provided and the lesson objectives are some other factors that should be considered. I believe a whole child education is to ensure that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged in school. I do believe recess is an important part of the school day. We can allow teachers to develop curriculum based on the needs of their individual students and not a one size fits all approach. We can also focus not only on academic growth, but emotional and social growth as well.In Kings Park we use STAR assessments, and I believe they can be beneficial when used to provide an individualized learning path for the student, concentrating on their specific needs. I believe our students come in with the ability to work with computers. However, computer assessments, like all assessments, must be age and grade level appropriate. Responsible use of technology should ensure age and grade level appropriateness at all times. Also information gained by the use of technology must not be shared without consent of the parents. I think the use of ipads/technology in k-2 classrooms is beneficial, but screen time definitely needs to be limited. Children need to learn on many different platforms.I do believe class size impacts student success. For the nine years I have served on the Kings Park Board of Education, I have strongly advocated for smaller class size. I belief parents need to be partners in education with teachers and help to motivate their child to learn. They should be involved in their child's education by knowing what their assignments are and how they are doing in their classes. The school district has an obligation to follow curriculum set by the State Education Department. However, parents should have the right to bring their questions and concerns regarding curriculum to the school board.Yes I believe all students should have the ability to earn a high school diploma.I am proud of what I have brought to the board over the last 9 years and of what has been accomplished. I would like to continue to be an advocate for what is right for public education and our students.Yes. I do not have a website or social media page.My three children graduated from Kings Park, and in September 2022, I have a grandchild starting kindergarten. in Kings Park.Kings Park School District does have a "do no harm" policy. Either the regents score or the final exam score, whichever is higher, will be used toward a student's GPA, but only if the score helps the student's GPA. If it does not help, it will not be used.I believe our shared decision making committee is composed of representatives from all stakeholders of our community and can offer the district and the board very useful information. I believe they would be helping to shape policy by offering ideas and suggestions to enhance our student' learning experience.I believe extending recess would be beneficial to elementary students, however, we have to look carefully at how we could implement a longer recess without extending the school day. For all the reasons exercise is beneficial to adults, recess is beneficial to students. It helps them to be able to continue their school day with renewed energy and concentration. I think there are consequences children can receive other then taking away recess.
Colin J PalmerRiverhead Central School DistrictI have never served on the BOE. Over the past year I have become a community advocate for Classics education in the district after the elimination of the district’s Latin program. I also have experience with budgets as a theatre director/producer and board member for various arts organizations on the East End. My occupation is as a theatre and performance artist.I think that public education is predicated on the belief that education is about community: that means community input on board actions. Public comment periods at the end of board meetings don’t go far enough, especially since they occur after most voting at the meeting. Town halls and cooperation with groups like PTSO’s build on the relationships that education is built on.Districts succeed when students succeed, that’s that. Students succeed when they have the chance to grow in their environment, using all of the resources available to them. That means expanding opportunities for growth (more programs, classes, and extracurriculars). My ideal district is one where students and teachers feel that they are working hand in hand, allowing for more freedom in learning and expression.Every parent has the right to opt out of state assessments for their child. While I do not have children in the district, when I was in elementary school in Riverhead I took part in those tests. However, they’ve become much more frequent over the past twenty years and I support any parent’s decision not to have their family participate.Yes, the opt out movement has brought the idea of opting a child out of the standard tests into the mainstream and is not a “fringe” decision. Extended pressure on districts is the way to make sure that parents know about their rights to op out, and I support that.I do not believe there should be armed guards or metal detectors in schools. They do not necessarily make students safer, but have the effect of making children feel that they are in more of a prison environment. It is not an atmosphere conducive to learning. Mental health is important and not only do increased services make children safer, they also help in the emotional education that children need to thrive and become healthy adults.Charter Schools are the first step in complete privatization of public education and I do not support them. Their existence is based off of profit and are an undemocratic form of education. School vouchers should not exist either.The only way of evaluating teachers and administrators is through teacher and student observation. Test scores don’t reflect how much a student has grown in their education and understanding of a subject, which is what a teacher is meant to guide. “Whole Child” education means that a child grows as a person: mentally, physically, emotionally. That means things like expanding access to arts, music, and definitely recess! These types of programs can prove useful for determining a child’s level of understanding, but should never act as the sole type of assessment. Ideally, if used, they would act as an initial determiner. A teacher should then use personal assessments, which may reflect something different from what the program determined. In that case, the teacher’s assessment should prevail.I am supportive of using technology in schools for all age groups. However, it should be limited (not necessarily banned) for early grades. Technology competency is important for entering higher grades, but should not act as a crutch for meaningful, face-to-face education.Higher class sizes not only lead to less interaction with teachers, but a less cohesive classroom experience. A classroom, especially in K-12, is grounded in students working with one another. The more students who are in that class, the less of a chance that the class has to work together for mutual education.I think parents should be involved to an extent, but there needs to be room for teachers to make decisions that are best in the classroom. Ultimately, the teacher has to be given the final say when it comes to the day to day operations of the classroom. Parents should be involved and should be able to make decisions on behalf of their child, but the classroom experience consists of many children and ultimately the teacher should be trusted to make decisions for the good of all of their students.Yes, however I would like districts and the Board of Regents to explore possibilities for more types of diplomas geared towards students who plan on entering the work force directly after high school, those who plan on entering trade schools, and those who plan on entering college.Public education is a trial in democracy. I’m running for the chance to help make Riverhead more democratic for students, teachers, parents, and residents. You can follow my campaign online at Facebook.com/votecolinpalmer. You can also reach me at votecolinpalmer@gmail.comYesNoYes, a student’s educational assessment should be based on a year’s worth of classroom education, not one test. Sometimes a child is just having a bad day, so a bad test score for an overall great student should not tank their grade.I do not know of any committees like this in Riverhead, but after researching the concept I would like to see it implemented in the district. It is important that committees exist where students, parents, teachers, and residents (the “stakeholders” of public education) work together to achieve common goals. I love the idea of expanding recess! When I was in elementary school I remember seeing the same kids who had to have “fence time” each recess (where you stood against the fence and didn’t get to play). Not only was it humiliating, it didn’t address whatever problem got that child that particular punishment. Recess should we taken out of the equation when it comes to punishing students.
Jarrett BeharCommackI have been a member for the Commack BOE for 6 years. I have also been actively involved in the PTA, the Commack Coalition of Caring and youth sports. I am an attorney and use my skills to advocate on behalf of our community and students. Though my deep involvement in numerous community groups and activities, I constantly engage with our community and listen to their concerns. I think bring those issues back to the District administration to ensure that our program meets the needs of all of our students. An ideal school district provides every single child in the community the opportunity to attain the future that they dream for themselves. It should promote a well-rounded education, including music, the arts, foreign languages, health, athletics and physical fitness. It should teach our children a sense of responsibility to themselves, to others and to our community. It should provide our children the best opportunity to be as college and/or career ready as possible. It should ensure the mental health and well-being of our children. When all of those needs are met, then that is a successful district. I absolutely support a parent's right to refuse the assessments. Our district provides alternate assessments that are actually created by educators and strives to provide a meaningful method to understand where are children are at and where they need assistance. I have opted both of my children out every year. I think that parents that opt their kids out should be able to choose what their children do while others are taking the test, especially considering working families may not have the option to keep their children at home. Those children that opt out and attend school should not be treated like they did anything wrong and should be given space to be creative, read or otherwise spend their time productively or creatively. It definitely has. Getting away from Common Core has been a huge success and a benefit to our students. I do think districts should inform parents of their right to opt-out and I am proud to say that I believe Commack has done a good job in this regard. I believe that school security has to be approached from both a mental health and a security perspective. I don't believe that armed security guards or metal detectors necessarily make schools safer and the mental health damage that they can do to our children can actually be the greater harm. In Commack, we created a Safety and Security Committee that I served on that focused on both increasing mental health services and security. We had community members serve that were police, ex-FBI and first responders and the almost unanimous recommendation was not to have armed security guards in the District and to increase our mental health services. The District followed this recommendation with my full support. I am against corporate charter schools, privatizing and school vouchers. My belief is that corporations see how much money is allocated to public schools and are trying to get in on that funding stream and divert money from public schools and public education. I have consistently advocated against this since I have been on the Board. Local control is the answer here. Every community is different and the local District is in the best position to evaluate their own staff. I don't believe that anything other than local level test should be used in evaluations. We don't want our teachers teaching to the test. Personal evaluations by building and district level personal completing observations in the classroom should be the primary mode of evaluation. Whole child means we need to focus on every part of the child's experience. Recess, play and outdoor time is an important part of the school date. As board members, we can ensure that the administration understands this when they develop programming. Our district has used some of these assessments solely for the purpose of determining where individual students may need extra attention or help starting in 5th grade. I believe that using technology for this purpose, as opposed to evaluating teachers, is responsible. The less screen time, the better at that age. More time should be spend with manipulatives and tactile learning. Absolutely and I am proud that Commack has placed a high priority on keeping classes as small as possible. The parents are an invaluable part of a child's education. Commack conducts numerous focus groups with parents throughout the year to make sure that the curriculum is aligned with community expectations. Absolutely. We should strive to make it easier for everyone to earn a HS diploma and attain success in the manner in which they define it. With two children in the District, one in 4th and one in 8th, I am highly invested in this process. With my deep community involvement at all levels over the last nine years -- the Board, the PTA, the Commack Coalition of Caring, various sports leagues, the Marion Carll Farm Committee and the Anti-Vaping Task Force to name a few -- I understand the concerns from all corners of Commack.I pledge to continue listening to your ideas and concerns, remaining a positive voice for our children and our Community. I've put in the time and effort for the sole reason that I deeply care about this Community and, if re-elected, I am excited to continue this work. I strongly believe that actions speak louder than words and that my actions have demonstrated my deep commitment towards representing our great Commack Community.I understand that this pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone and that we have all made sacrifices to keep community spread low, but we will get through it together.We are forging ahead towards a full opening next year with significant mental health and academic supports to ease the transition for our children. And I’m proud that we could set a historically low tax levy increase.I always tell people, please feel free to reach out to me if you have anything that you would like to discuss.Yes. I don't have a website or social media page. Yes, 4th and 8thI do support do no harm policies.As noted above, Commack conducts numbers focus groups and committees to make sure that our curriculum and program are aligned with community expectations. This is important to make sure that everyone is connected to the program. I don't believe in dictating how a teacher runs his or her classroom. We should give our teachers the flexibility to allow for more recess if the individual teacher believes it is in the best interest of the class on any given day. I do believe that recess should never be taken away as punishment.
Heather MammolitoElwood School DistrictI have been a BOE member for almost 6 years, and currently sit as Vice President. My occupation as a small business owner, realty corporation officer and a supervisor for NYSDOH COVID-19 Case Investigation, has provided a great benefit to the Elwood School District. Since being elected to the Board, we stabilized the District’s financial standing, thereby remedying the fiscal stress designation. I brought transparency to our district by pushing for live streaming at BOE meetings. I am the founder of our BOE's Legislative Committee. Prior to my tenure on the board, student, staff and community morale was at an all time low. We have worked hard to repair those relationships and have made a ton of progress. Also, in past years, we had administrators that weren't respectful of a parent's choice with respect to opting out of the 3-8 exams. We have hired multiple administrators that now align with our vision. Our focus has always been about supporting ALL students in our school community while respecting ALL stakeholders.My introduction of the Legislative Committee has created an avenue for us to effectively communicate and advocate to our local and state elected officials in an organized and effective manner. We have also engaged the community by providing open access to all board subcommittees. In the summer of 2020, we created the Community Reopening Task Force, which was an open committee of 101 members that helped us safely reopen schools. No volunteer was turned away. We also engage all stakeholders in multiple surveys through the year to make sure that we have the pulse of the students, staff and community. We provide multiple platforms for community engagement. We always make sure that ALL stakeholder views, inclusive of students, faculty, and staff are heard and respected.Besides being competitive in rankings; which is what everyone looks at when choosing where they want to raise their children, the success of a school district goes way beyond just how many children attend college after graduation or how high our AP scores are. A successful district will not only prepare their students to be college or career ready, they will prepare them to be critical thinkers, how to set and achieve goals, promote self awareness, be culturally competent, as well as being a responsible decision maker. A district should foster positive and trusting relationships with all stakeholders inclusive of the students, faculty, staff and community. Successful schools should continuously raise the bar and set high expectations. Programs must be developed to allow children from ALL cultural, academic and socioeconomic backgrounds to have equitable access to the best opportunities, while also providing ALL students the social emotional support that they need to succeed. I support a parent's right to refuse the NYS grade 3-8 assessments. I have opted all three of my children out over the years. My youngest child is currently in 8th grade and was opted out this year as well. I believe that good communication from the school district is extremely important. No parent should feel ashamed to decline the administration of the exam. Our district has implemented a system where the parents simply reply to a survey describing what their intent will be and their decision is heard and respected. The children were asked to stay home during the administration of the exams, and to reach out to the school if anyone had issues with childcare needs.I believe in utmost transparency. It is the district's responsibility to provide parents with information and be respectful of the parent's choice to do what they feel is best for their child. These exams have proven to be academically inappropriate and nor valid and reliable.The opt out movement has been pivotal in driving change in policy from the moratorium on teacher evaluations tied to state assessments, to shortened exams and removal of time limits. I do believe it has allowed districts to shift their focus to a whole child approach. Allowing for more than a one size fits all education. We are seeing much less drill and prep. We have come a long way however, there is much more work to be done.I believe that mental health support must be embraced and supported. I do not believe that armed security has any place in a school district. If someone wants to do harm and mass destruction, they will, regardless of armed security. Students will be safer when we start identifying mental health issues and addressing red flags early on. Most of the horrific tragedies that have taken place in schools tend to circle back to an individual that had a long history of mental illness that was not properly addressed. These red flags cannot be ignored. I am a full supporter of increased mental health services in our district. We have slowly ramped up our mental health support and our upcoming budget is inclusive of two additional mental health positions for the 2021-2022 school year. This pandemic has exponentially added to the existing challenges than we were dealing with before.I do not support any of the above. Funding is ultimately impacted in public schools because we lose enrollment, aid is affected and we begin feeling the budget crunch. There are many costs that stay constant whether we are educating 1,000 or 500. The manipulation of low achieving school closures and the replacement of charters is a disservice to students and the community.I do believe in accountability however, I believe that we should have more local control. We can benchmark our children internally to have a better understanding of where the deficits are. There needs to be district oversight and a fair system created with administration and teacher input to accurately evaluate teachers. I believe that test scores need to be looked at globally to see if we are seeing growth. You cannot penalize a teacher for a low achieving student that doesn't have the ability to get 90's. We need to see that there is constant progression and growth. Whole child education helps foster social and emotional growth while engaging in student centered learning. It allows for us to think more globally and extend beyond the classroom. Education should not be one sized fits all. For many years, the focus appeared to be strictly on Math and English, more recently, we are seeing schools creating safe environments that promote a more well rounded curriculum, independent critical thinking, cultural competency, and more creativity in the classroom. Recess is a very important part of the school day. Children and adults need to move and reset. Physical activity promotes better focus, better memory, reduces stress and helps people be less fidgety. Physical activity also helps us combat childhood obesity by allowing children to move their bodies and incorporate movement into their daily routines. BOE members should be engaging with the administration if their district does not promote a "whole child" philosophy. BOE members have the opportunity to create district goals at the beginning of each school year which will set the stage for implementation. Elwood does support a "whole child" philosophy and continuously engages in professional development to perfect their craft.When it comes to any kind of assessments, it is important to look at the data from a variety of sources which should include; teacher feedback, locally created assessments and locally selected assessment tools. If the stakeholders feel that computerized assessments are valid and reliable, then I would defer to the professionals to make that decision. Students need technological skills to be prepared for the 21st century however, we must set guidelines, rules and expectations to help teach students the importance of digital citizenship. Technology can be a wonderful asset when appropriately used. We should be using technology to redefine what is being taught instead of substitution with no functional change. If computer assessments were to be administered, I feel that middle school would be an appropriate time to implement that practice. Their fine motor skills are more developed and they could navigate a mouse and keyboard easier than an elementary student. Many students are well versed in touch screen devices and may struggle with a cursor in a text box, creating graphs, dragging and dropping information etc.Children overall are subjected to too much screen time. I only support the use of technology in the younger grades to redefine educational tasks for example; Creating digital art projects, book video reviews or video conferencing with someone from around the world to collaborate in research.I am a firm believer in small class sizes. Teachers can provide more individualized instruction, experience less disruptions, make better connections with the students, and students can create better connections with other students. Students can also learn faster and perform better when educated in a smaller setting.The role of the parent is paramount to a child's education. Children often perform at higher levels when there is parental involvement. The following is necessary to set your child up for success:- positive attitude- good communication with your child and their school- support with homework- awareness of expectations and goal setting- ensure good attendance- provide necessary guidance- monitoring your child's performance and addressing any concerns that may arise- participation in school activities and meetings- discuss proper use of technology when age appropriateI believe all stakeholders should be involved in curriculum decisions. The Elwood BOE has a Curriculum Committee which is an open committee that brings parents, teachers, students and community members together to engage in fruitful discussion to help further support the ever changing needs of our students.I fully support increasing options for pathways to graduation. In fact, multiple pathways was one of our advocacy initiatives that came from the Legislative Committee that I chair. We need to allow our children to be college or career ready. Withholding a diploma from a child after successfully completing their individualized program is inequitable.My husband Joe and I have three children and have cherished more than 13 years as Elwood residents. Through my involvement with the Elwood Board of Education, PTA, Elwood Booster Club, and the Elwood Civic Association, we have formed strong bonds with Elwood families and deep roots in the community.During my tenure on the Board, the Elwood School District has celebrated numerous achievements that have made our community proud. Over the years and throughout this pandemic, my fellow Board members and I have strengthened our relationships with parents, students, administrators, teachers, and others so that we can safely and successfully confront these difficult times. The Board and administration created the Community Re-Opening Task Force that helped us achieve:∗ A safe, full-time return of students and staff∗ Continued a program of academic excellence ∗ Increased focus on mental well-being∗ Collaboration with the staff to provide live synchronous instruction My experience as a small business owner, realty corporation officer, and my supervisory role with the NYS Department of Health for COVID-19 has provided a great benefit to the Elwood School District. Since being elected to the Board, we stabilized the District’s financial standing, thereby remedying the fiscal stress designation. We brought stability to the District during the best and worst of times, and I wish to reinforce the high confidence and expectations for which the Elwood School District is now accustomed to. Now more than ever, we need the right leadership on the Board to help guide our community back to pre-pandemic times. We need proven, cooperative, and experienced Board members to traverse these uncharted waters safely and effectively. Our focus needs to be on supporting ALL students in our school community while respecting ALL stakeholders. This pandemic has wreaked havoc on everyone to some extent, which is why ALL views must be respected and acknowledged. As a Board member, I have always heeded stakeholders’ concerns, and I pledge to continue listening to them if re-elected.I ask you for your support on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Voting will take place from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm at the Elwood Middle School.Yes https://mammolito4boe.webs.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/Re-Elect-Heather-Mammolito-For-Elwood-BOE-108513511285833/about/?ref=page_internal8th and 12thI support the "do no harm" policy. The Elwood School District supports it and has implemented it for our students.Yes, I believe all stakeholders should be involved in discussions and recommendations to help improve student achievement and help shape district policies. These committees foster a culture that supports ongoing learning opportunities and accountability. We are often able to do our best work when we can collaboratively bring people together from different backgrounds and skill sets to engage in fruitful and respectful dialogue. Recess should never be taken away as a punishment. Children need to clear their minds and move their bodies. Movement helps us learn better, be more creative, reduces stress, improves memory and our physical and mental health. I support expanded recess for elementary grades. I think that our children are not active enough, and many suffer from obesity and poor nutrition. We must support our minds and our bodies.
Shaorui LiThree Village Central School DistrictI have a doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and worked as an engineer, a scientist, and a research group manager for the past 16 years in both the consumer electronics industry and two national laboratories. I have founded a startup company and a not-for-profit organization, and have been serving in the boards of professional and not-for-profit organizations. I'm willing to dedicate my STEM expertise, leadership and management skills, social and professional network to bring our students easy access to educational and career development opportunities. In particular, I recognize that student’s success comes in all areas and forms, and emphasize the importance of creating an environment that enables each student to maximize his/her potential. As a board member, I will bring my passion to life and analytical skills to complicated problems to help build an efficient and effective board, aiming to advance our students to higher-level of achievements that they truly love. I'm not a current BOE member and have not served. I'm currently a principle engineer and a research group manager in a national laboratory.Having kids in the district, I am meeting other parents and engaging with the schools constantly. Our district has an asset of a large number of supportive parents and residents of diverse backgrounds and expertise. I have found that many people in the community are interested in helping, but are not well informed to engage as much as they could. I would actively research resources and programs and share information with the community. I am available across multiple platforms online and in-person for people to reach me and give feedback in a way that is comfortable for them. I'm actively involved in several community service organizations and have a broad reach to parents through PTAs and district residents' large social media groups. As a board member, I will actively pursue channels to listen to parents and residents for their concerns and feedback, and bring these back with research results to the board room, and discuss with board members for practical solutions. A successful public education system will encourage and support every student based on individual interests and needs. An ideal school district will bring the best opportunities for every student in the district, creating an environment that enables each student to maximize his/her potential, help them grow confidently towards their passion, and enjoy what they truly love. An ideal district will also invest in teachers-expand training opportunities, especially on technology-assisted teaching, to help teachers develop professionally on what’s needed, which will immediately benefit our students. An ideal district will also fully utilize resources available from the community and professional networks and eliminate unnecessary expenses. Yes I fully support a parent's right to refuse NYS grade 3-8 assessments. My younger child is in 5th grade and I opt him out of the state assessment this year. The current opt-out protocol in the district is easily accessible for parents and I am open to further suggestions. I believe that the opt out movement will drive changes in NYS education policy if not yet. The opt-out statistics will have an impact on education policy makers. I also believe that districts have an obligation to inform parents of their rights to refuse on behalf of their children. Providing a safe environment for students is very important. Out district has School Resource Officer (SRO) Program that provides the schools with a direct connection to the local police department. I'm less inclined to more extreme measures such as armed security due to concern of unintended consequences including mishandled guns. Mental health of students is equally important to physical health, in my opinion, if not more than. We cannot ensure effective education if missing this very important aspect, especially during crises like the pandemic. I would advocate to ensure such needs being addressed properly. I'm not very familiar with corporate charter schools, privatizing, and school vouchers. Standard tests should be simply viewed as practices for students who are in the need of improving test skills, for college applications or other professional exams later in life, in a similar fashion to sports practices. Tieing teacher's evaluations to test scores shifts the focus of education toward testing skills, instead of the education quality. If teachers spent the major effort on improving test scores, they wouldn't be able to educate our students upon students' real needs and interests. Therefore I do not support using performance/test scores in an evaluation system. Evaluation should be based on a whole picture of the teacher’s capability and performance through frequent observation, communication, and feedback. For example, evaluation in cooperations is commonly done by supervisors who communicate with the employees on a daily basis, know best how the employees perform, with additional feedback from peers and collaborators. A "whole child" is curious, creative, caring, empathetic, and confident. The "whole child" approach makes sure that students are healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged in the schools. I believe that recess is an important part of the school day, which is a great time for students to develop their curiosity and creativity, learning to be caring and empathetic, and build up confidence with support from friends and teachers. BOE members can set up guidelines and initiate activities aiming to incorporate a “whole child” philosophy into the district. I'm not very impressed by current computerized assessments like iReady and AIMSweb for elementary grades. It does not seem to be designed well enough to reflect the actual progress a child makes. I may consider computer assessments for middle school students who are already familiar with abstract thinking. "Responsible use of technology" means using technology safely, ethically, respectfully, and academically honest and supportive of student learning. I'm not convinced of using of iPads in K-2 classrooms. Classroom teaching has the advantage of interactive communication between teachers and students. iPads hinder such natural communication and do not provide personalized feedback. I think that there should be limits on the use of iPad time in K-2 classroom, for example, less than 10 minutes for each use. Absolutely. The attention level and interaction frequency between teachers and students are critical to students' success. Increased class size in the past has demonstrated negative impacts on students' performance. A parent/guardian's role is to support a child's education. Parents are encouraged to give suggestions and feedback in curriculum decisions. I fully support increasing the options/pathways for students to earn a HS diploma. Our society needs young talents in different areas and forms. Simplified standards do not fulfill the needs of the society nor successful individual developments. I’ve observed very positive changes happening in our district this school year. Positive and constructive involvement of the whole community has helped to alleviate the past misunderstanding and misinformation. Transparent communication between the administrators, the board, and district families during the pandemic has demonstrated very positive impact. I would love to help strengthen such constructive communication as a board member. Yes you have my permission. www.shaoruili4board.comYes. 5th and 9th.I'm not very familiar with such “do no harm” policies by averaging in the scores only if it helps a student’s GPA. It is not clear to me how such averaging helps the GPA. "Shared decision making committees" involve administrators, teachers, parents and experts in the related area to provide recommendations and feedback to the district. The district policies are shaped by the recommendations. I believe that recess can be expanded in the elementary school grades upon evaluation of the impact to state-required curriculum hours. I believe that “recess is a right” and should never be taken away as a punishment.
Angela RaimoGlen Cove School DistrictWhen I was in high school I was the student representative on our district board of education for 2 years. I was involved in all facets including committee meetings, summer retreats, and executive sessions. I have served on district committees- Safety, COVID reopening committee, and the hiring committee. I am a Podiatrist, but I haven't practiced for a few years and now stay home with my children.I will talk to parents at school drop-off and pick-up. I will take into consideration all meeting public comments, email and social media conversations. I will be active on social media to keep the community informed and allowing a way for community members a way to contact me. A successful district will have a community that is proud of it's students. Parents will be happy to send their children to the district. The students are learning and happy to be in the schools. The student are able to attend competitive colleges and colleges of their choosing or able to move on to careers. I support a parent's right to refuse the assessments. My son is in 2nd grade so it has not yet applied to my students. I think that students who opt out should be responsible for an alternate project in an area that interests them. If a kid is interested in art they could recreate a piece inspired by that artist and then discuss or write about the artist. Someone interested in science could make a book of plants native to their hometown. Take photos and identify them. Something simple, but to demonstrate learning in a topic the student enjoys.Districts should inform parents of their right to refuse. School security is very important to me. I absolutely do not agree with armed guards. I think that metal detectors are okay, but can be bypassed if people really want to get around them. Safety of the students is extremely important. Parents are trusting the district to care for their children and they need to feel that the kids are secure. Safety includes mental health services. Children may not have the vocabulary or maturity to express their need for help, so it is imperative that mental health services are destigmatized and available to all. I think that the charter schools and privatizing detracts from the public school system. They may be beneficial to some, but I think that the vast majority of students should be enrolled in public school and that should be the main focus. Teachers should not be evaluated based on how their students test. In-class supervised teaching evaluations combined with parent/student evaluations. The most important thing is the whole picture. If scores are taken into account, it shouldn't be the raw score, it should be the improvement from year to year. Whole child education means that we should teach english, math, and science, but also life skills. Kids need to learn how to fix a button, change a tire, balance a checkbook or maintain an online bank account, and file taxes. Lessons can be brought into other subjects or have an additional class. Mental health is also part of the whole child philosophy needs to be part of this. Kids need to know how and when to get help, who they can speak with, and how to regulate their emotions.I am not very familiar with all of assessment platforms. I do not think computer assessments should be administered until middle school at the earliest. To me"responsible use of technology" means that it is not utilized for every aspect of learning. The students need to learn how to use different programs, but it should not be the sole method of education. Teachers still need to lecture, facilitate discussions, etc. Dependence on technology should be minimized.Since technology is everywhere these days, it is imperative that children begin to learn how to use it. That being said, it should only be a small portion. Kids need to write with a pencil and hold books. Children use ipads and video games so much outside of school that at an early age, it should be kept to a minimum.Yes! Smaller class sizes allows more student-teacher interaction. Students will have greater opportunity to speak and participate. Parents/guardians should be a partner in the child's education ideally. They should be heavily involved in curriculum decisions. It may not always be the case that parents can be very involved, but it is the ideal. Absolutely. I think that there has been so much evidence that not everyone learns the same way. There can be different approaches to topics that will help students do better. Instead of a child taking a "regular" english class, have them take a film class. Discuss and write about films, read the scripts. A non-traditional approach will engage more children by finding different ways to incorporate things they enjoy. I am willing to consider all arguments and promise to be thoughtful in my decision-making. Yes7 years old in 2nd grade and 4 in Pre-KindergartenYes. Do no harm policies with the testing is okay, but I do not really think it should factor in at all. Testing is not an accurate reflection of how well a child does in school. They should be kept separate though if it does factor in, it should only be in the "do no harm" way.The committees are made up of BOE members, educators, and parents. This allows the district to make policy decisions with the input from many people in different capacities. This allows for better discussion and is very important. Recess should be expanded. Weight is an issue in the US and movement needs to be encouraged. This may also help break up the day for the kids so they can focus better for the next part of the day. It should never be taken away. I know that, personally, my kids are better behaved when they have free play time. If they have to sit still and focus, they can only keep it together for so long. It's a lot to ask of little kids.
Maureen JimenezGlen Cove City School DistrictI am not a current board member. As a speech language pathologist I have served on the board of my professional organization for over 15 years and am in the middle of my 2nd executive term. I will professionalism and civility to the board.Social media and being a physical presence throughout the community is crucial in engaging the community at large.I want all of our students to have what they need to thrive. They should be challenged by the curriculum, receive the supports and services that they need, and feel safe and welcome inside of our buildings.Yes. I would love to see students engage in activities that bring the curriculum to life in a more hands on multi-sensory way if they do not take the tests. Yes. I think Glen Cove has done a fantastic job educating parents about their right to opt their children out of the tests. I believe that the mental health of our children should be top priority. I am grateful for administrators who care for the physical safety of my children. I would like to see even more of an emphasis put on providing more mental health services.I think our collective energy should go into supporting our public schools. Charter schools, vouchers, and privatization take away from the limited resources of our public school. I think teachers, districts, and administration should be evaluated in a way that truly reflects the unique needs of their student population. I believe that the whole child philosophy education model should be upheld by the board of education. BOE members should ensure a whole child approach via a robust curriculum and maintaining a commitment to wellness and the arts.I believe that the use of technology to support a dynamic curriculum is something that can be achieved when teachers are provided with the appropriate continuing education and support from administration.I think placing a limit on iPad time is wise. Students have a lot of screen time in their days. The in person learning interaction that occurs in school is paramount to the long term functional success of our children. I think students, particularly in the younger grades benefit from smaller class sizes.I think that parents should have the opportunity to be involved in curriculum decisions.I support increasing the pathways for students to earn a HS diploma.I have a genuine understanding that not all people can get what they want but I am committed to making sure that all people feel heard and that they understand the why behind the decisions that are made by the board.Yes. @Jimenez4BOEYes. 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7thI think that manipulating the way that scores are reported is detrimental to the integrity of the system as a whole.I do believe that the site-based committees in Glen Cove accomplish great things. I would love to see the role and impact that the committee has better communicated to the community at large.I absolutely believe that recess is a right and should never be taken away as punishment.
Shannon F. Reitz Riverhead Central School District My 17 years as a mother, community involvement, life experiences, teaching and a college degree in Child Studies have provided me with the experience needed to serve on the BOE. I am not claiming to know everything but I am hear to listen, learn and work on behalf of the students of our district. I am not a current BOE member. My current occupation is a Risk Specialist/Insurance Agent for Borg & Borg. I also am the Owner/Instructor of NY Safe Driver and Co-Owner of No-Fo Event Co.Currently, I am actively involved in the community serving on the Board of Directors for the North Fork Breast Health Coalition and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce. If elected I plan to continue working hand in hand with the community to ensure that all voices within the district are being represented. I think success is measured in many different ways. Having a successful graduation rate is a key element in measuring this success, is the district providing the education and tools necessary for our students to successfully transition in to the next phase of life whether it be college or the work force. An ideal school district to me would be one that works collaboratively with the district as a whole, community and town involvement on important issues while providing fiscal transparency so all taxpayers can understand how the funds of the district are utilized in providing the best education for our students. Yes, I do support a parents right of refusal. My daughter is currently in 11th grade so this does not apply to her, however I have opted her out of past tests and she will not be taking the NYS ELA Regents this year. Depending on the class there are other forms of assessments that can be used to measure a students academic growth and areas of struggle.Currently, I believe the Opt-Out movement is laying the foundation to create a change for the future, with the impacts of COVID, I feel it has pushed us closer to changes being considered. I believe that the district should inform parents of their rights to refuse testing on behalf of their student. I do not believe though that teachers should be encouraging students directly to opt-out. The information should be provided to families and they should have the opportunity to make a decision that they feel is best for their student. Different levels of school security are important. In todays culture I am not opposed to having armed security, with the growing school shootings to ensure the safety of our students and faculty and ensure a quick response in the event a tragedy of this nature were to occur. The children are the most precious asset in our community, I would not be opposed to metal detectors which would be less extreme than armed security. I believe that Mental Health services would make our schools safer, this is a much over looked topic that will help further develop the social emotional skills of our students. Proactive - not reactive. This is going to be an answer that no one wants to hear, but it is honest, I feel these schools and programs would not exist if the public did not feel a need. I believe that every family has the right to decide what they feel is in the best interest of their student, it is unfortunate that in some circumstances it pulls money from the districts themselves, but in a fiscally sound district it should not have a great impact on the budget and in some cases help alleviate overcrowding issues. Student performance/ test scores should not be the sole evaluation used. We should be utilizing multiple measures as no one student learns the same and we need to get away from "teaching to the test". Factors such as portfolio- based assessments, surveys that measure social and emotional well being and more."Whole Child" education to me means that our teaching strategies are encompassing the ability to not only concentrate on academic success but the children's developmental needs a well. Social-emotional and cognitive skills are just as important as ELA, math etc . We need to provide a more well rounded environment that allows students to grow, learn and stay engaged. I do believe that recess is an important part of the school day for Elementary students. BOE members can collaborate with students, families and faculty and administrators to ensure that students feel safe and comfortable in their learning environments. We can work on creating curriculum that integrates all areas mentioned above, providing students opportunities to learn with an approach that they are their to understand, process and develop their critical thinking abilities preparing them for real life scenarios rather than passing a test. Based on feedback that I have received from teachers and different articles that I have read these are no longer effective means of assessing our students. So at this time my view would be to not administer computer based assemesnets as a mean of measuring students comprehension. With that being said, I am willing to listen and learn more about this topic as I do not have personal hands on experience with administering these tests. I feel there needs to be a structured balance. Yes, technology is here and a large part of our society, however I feel it is too large a part. Our students need to be able to learn and communicate effectively without an electronic device glued to their face 24/7. K-2, I do not feel is appropriate for extended technology use, they need to be able to develop their social emotional and cognitive abilities as well as physical attributes such as hand eye coordination. Some screen time is ok but should not be the main focus. Absolutely, smaller class sizes allow for more one on one interaction allowing students the opportunity to greater understand the material being taught.To me a parents role in their child's education is ensuring at home that they have a safe environment, proper nutrition, sleep and academic support. I do believe a parent should have involvement in curriculum decision if they wish, which can be accomplished by attending BOE meetings and getting involved with working committees if one exists. Yes, we need to encourage and provide an opportunity for all students at different academic achievement levels the means to graduate and continue on after high school with successful outcomes. Currently, RCSD graduation rate is 79%, below the state average, we are failing 21% of our students. Monique Parsons and I are running as a team for the two seats that are currently open for RCSD. Our efforts to running as a team bring a unique approach that has not been seen before, which is what our district is in dire need of at this time. We are independent thinkers that together create one cohesive unit. Our business values, family values and vison for the students of our district align. I am proud to call Monique a business partner that became a friend and then family. It is our hope that we both earn your vote and trust to be a voice for the 6,000 students within our district their families and the tax payers of Riverhead Township.Yes. https://www.facebook.com/parsons.reitzYes, 1 child in 11th grade. Yes, I support a do no harm policy, students learn and process information differently. I am not aware of a specific "shared decision making committee" in our district. I know that we had committees that were formed when COVID took over and we had to work on reopening protocols. I do not have an onion on this because I do not have enough information to form one. I would like to learn more on this and inform in the future. I do not believe that recess should be bartered as a means of punishment. Recess is an opportunity for students to reset and refocus, reduce stress and develop their social skills among their peers. Children need an opportunity in the day to soak in a few minutes of sunshine and get out some energy. And yes I believe that recess for the elementary grades should be expanded to 40 minutes.
Anne MarkoulisGlen Cove School DistristI have worked for Glen Cove school district for 13 years and I know first hand what is needed for an equal education for our students and what our facilities need to make it a safe environment for students and staff. I want to be the board trustee community members feel comfortable talking to. Every voice in this community matters and their opinions should be valued. When suggestions and comments are made by the public board trustees should act on them. Working together as a community is what makes a district stronger and wiser.Communication is key to a successful district. An ideal district should be working together as one to benefit our students and their successful education. We must move forward in a positive direction and not be divided. It's the parents choice and right to refuse any test they do not want their child to take from the State. I opted my child out from grades 4-8 state testing when he was in elementary school. Parents should be educated on their right to opt out their students and the district should have an open communication with questions and answers. Every district should be transparent with families in the community of their rights when it comes to testing. Yes education has been changed due to the opt out movement. School security is extremely important to keep our children and staff safe. Metal detectors are not such a bad idea to have, it's precaution to make our students and staff feel safe. Mental health services are greatly needed and all levels. Students should always feel they have someone they can talk to in confidence without judgement.I am pro public education. Charter schools and school vouchers take money away from public education. Evaluations should be broken up in increments of 25 percent. 25 percent testing of a students improvement throughout the year, 25 percent on classes offered and how instruction is differentiated to meet all students needs. 25 percent on how to keep students engaged and happy about being in school. 25 percent of the students opinion about the school year. A student should have a say on how they feel they are being educated. The "whole child" education supports a child's learning and development. It's to focus on the child's well being. Recess is important for a child's social skills. As a BOE trustee we can incorporate the "whole child" philosophy by making sure administrators are creating an environment that is diverse, productive, respectful and creating a safe place for all students. Teachers should be differentiating instruction for a child to learn because that is how a child is successful as well as the teacher.Computerized assessments is a great way to asses a child. All children these days love to be on a computer for learning in the classroom. These assessments should start in K and used as a platform for growth. Assessments should be given on grade level work. These assessments should never be used to harm a child but it's a great way to help strengthen a child in weak areas of learning. Assessments should be done three times a year in the beginning, middle and end of the school year. Technology is the future and we have to keep up with it. Ipads should be used in the classrooms for research and learning games but a time limit needs to be set. Yes...Classroom size does impact a child's learning. The bigger the classroom the harder it is for a teacher to give individual attention to students when needed. I am for a co-teaching model in every classroom with TA support. A parent is a students biggest advocate in their education. Yes a parent should be involved in curriculum decisions. If there are parents that need help understanding their children's education, the district should provide a parent advocate to help those parents so they know their children are getting the best education. I support an education that is beneficial to help a student to graduate. Every student learns differently and each student has different strengths. District must use those students strengths to help them succeed and graduate. Glen Cove can be one of the top districts if the board of trustees are not divided and they put our students first.YesYes. 10th GradeI am for this type of policy if it helps boosts a students grade or average to pass a class. Some children just like adults are not great test takers and if a student fails a test because of anxiety or if they are just having a bad day it should not be held against them.Committees are made up of different members who bring something of value to the table. Polices are made to be put in place for many reasons and committees should have a right to share their opinion to help maintain a healthy and stable school district. If recess is expanded, time in the classroom is lost because there is so much instruction the teachers are responsible to give. Recess is the only time a student can unwind, it should never be taken away and used as a punishment.
Meghan LavineGlen Cove City School DistrictI'm an attorney, I work as a law secretary for a Judge of the NYC Civil Court and I am a Former Assistant District Attorney in Nassau County in the Economic Crimes Bureau. I've been committed to public service throughout my career and my professional experience has also made a critical and independent thinker who is committed to fiscal transparencyI would like to see more workshops with community members and also include more community members on established committees.An ideal school district serves its students academically but also through supporting civic engagement and physical and mental health programs. Yes.The opt out movement has ignited a movement amongst parents and community members to be more involved in their children's education and that has led to activism on any number of issues, from testing, to tax levies, to curriculum changes, and so on.Particularly emerging from the Covid crisis, mental health services are more important than ever before. These services should extend to student's family and staff as well so that our district can be healthy and happy and thrive as we enter this new post-covid era.I do not support using public funds for private schools of any kind, be it a charter or school voucher.I would need to gather more information to answer this question properly but I would be open to other ideas and plans. Perhaps having a sample of students take a test rather than the whole grade or have students work on age appropriate projects that incorporate multiple disciplines.Whole child education simples mean, is the child happy, is the child thriving? That includes growing academically but also socially and emotionally. I believe physical activity benefits children of all ages (and adults).I would need to consider and gather more information to answer this question appropriately and thoughtfully.I think all options and ideas for learning should stay on the table however I think screen time in K to 2 classrooms should not be relied on or the primary source of learning.Yes.I would like to see more community involvement in most committees, including curriculum. A parent/guardian in most cases, is the child's best advocate and needs to be included in many decisions that affect the district.YesI would like to bring a balanced approach to education, recognizing that our schools attract families and keep families in communities but while also looking for creative solutions and programs that will help our students flourish. I want to prioritize infrastructure repairs so that our students have a safe and healthy place to learn.yes. https://www.facebook.com/Lavine4BOEKindergartenWithout more information, I would say yes but this is something I would like to review.I do believe GCCSD has an appropriate amount of committees however I would like to see more turnover within the committees to get new ideas. At times I think these committees are undermined by the Board of Ed.Expanded recess in elementary should be considered for certain grade levels. In general, I don't think it should be used as a punishment.
Bryan JohnsonElwood Union Free School DistrictI am running on the basis that parents should be welcomed to the school as the biggest advocates on behalf of their own children's education. I believe in parent's say and choice in the decision making process. I believe that the current board is not properly representing the the voice of our community. I do not have experience as a board member. I am an attorney and I have practiced family law for 14 years.I believe that the current board brushes aside the opinions of concerned parents. I believe that the board should engage the community and deliberately seek the input of the community, and that this is lacking. The board should engage the community in its decision making process through committees and open discussion and debate.I believe that a successful school district is one that focuses on allowing for each child to academically and developmentally excel to that child's needs and abilities. An ideal school district involves the engagement of parents and the school to meet the needs of each child. I do believe the parent's right to opt out of state assessments. While I my daughter is entering third grade next year, I have not made my decision on testing for her. However, in line with my views of the constitutional rights and sanctity of the family, I believe that parents should be entitled to make these decisions.I think that the opt-out movement has helped school districts to focus on meeting the individual needs of each child, not just providing a cookie-cutter education. I believe the school district has an obligation to notify parents of their right to opt-out.In my school, the front door is locked upon the commencement of the school day and people are screened prior to coming into the school. I am comfortable with the level of security provided. While I am open to examining all options, I am not comfortable overwhelming the school with armed security, but am more in favor of security measures such as security doors, etc. I believe schools should make mental health services more readily available, but I am opposed to regular mental health screenings. Mental health is an issue that should be identified on an individual basis, working with the parent to provide services.I am in favor of corporate charter or private schools and funding for them. However, we need to strike a balance between providing funding for them and overwhelming the public school with loss of funding. Standardized testing is one of many elements that can be used to evaluate teachers, principals, superintendents and school districts. While these test scores should be used as one element, there should also be a focus on individual child achievement and improvement (rather than a general achievement number) in addition to non-statistical items such as teacher observation.Whole child education, to me, means that the school should focus on developing children beyond mere academics and should focus on advancing each child developmentally to that child's individual talents and needs. I believe that involving parents in the decision making process of the board can help the board gain insight and identify areas that need improvement in the school district. Computerized testing is probably most appropriate in high school level. I am certainly opposed to it in elementary school.I am opposed to the use of computers to replace teaching in the classroom. I am very concerned about what is currently happening with children in elementary school sitting at desks while wearing headphones on laptops. I believe it is isolating for children. Computers should only be used outside of the classroom, as supplements to learning in the classroom, not replacements.YesYes. This is one of the platforms I am running on.YesI am running because I believe the board is not currently representing the community's voice. I want to restore the voice of our community and welcome parents to be the biggest advocate on behalf of their children's education.YesYes (a daughter in second grade and a son entering Kindergarten next year.I do not believe regents scores should be factored into class grades.I do. I believe it is important to have input from all stakeholders in the community.Yes; and yes.
Lynda Tiné-D’AnnaHuntington Union Free School DistrictI have been a board trustee for the past 3 years and an educator for almost 28 years. I believe in 2 way communication with the community. When considering a major shift or important decisions, such as our reopening plan, I believe that we have a responsibility to solicit feedback from the community via surveys and town hall style meetings. In addition, all decisions must be communicated with transparency by way of multiple formats. An ideal school district is one in which all students feel welcome, nurtured, and accepted. It’s members, students and staff, should feel a strong sense of community and pride. The district should offer equal opportunities for all to explore their passions and grow both academically and socially, in a truly inclusive setting. I do support a parent’s right to opt their children out of NYS grade 3-8 assessments, although I do believe that the testing can provide valuable information. I have 4 children and always encouraged my oldest 3 to take the tests to the best of their abilities, without stressing over the outcome. My youngest has a cognitive disability so we always chose to opt her out of the testing. As an educator, I know that some tests can help inform and guide instruction. It is exactly how they should be used, never as a punitive measure. I have not yet seen real changes to NYS education policy as a result of the opt out movement. I believe that districts should inform parents of their rights to refuse testing for their children, while also informing them of the value those tests can provide. I believe that the best way for schools to protect their students from gun violence, gang involvement, drug use, and depression is with mental health services. It is my belief that students are more likely to harm themselves or others when they are feeling alone and invisible. All of our students need to feel that they matter and belong to their community. Along with mental health services, school districts should invest in professional development for community building within the classroom. I believe wholeheartedly in public schools and the beauty of children of diverse abilities and backgrounds learning together. However, I recognize that it is easier for me to feel this way because I am surrounded by incredible school districts that offer their students amazing academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs. I must admit that I do not have a good answer to this question. Schools must be held to a high standard. All students deserve access to the same quality educational opportunities. A “whole child” education means to me that all of a child’s individual needs will be met during the school day. Schools offer so much more than just academics and we have certainly seen that during the pandemic. We offer nutrition, socialization, social emotional support, and a safe space to explore new interests. Recess is an important part if this equation in the primary grades. A board of education can make sure that these principles are reflected in their goals. I think that there is a place for computerized testing in our schools throughout the grades. Even some of our youngest students are tech savvy. My concerns lie more with the length of the tests. I believe that projectors such as the Smartboard can be a great tool in the k-2 classroom and that iPads can be incredibly useful for students needing assistive technology. All of this technology should however be used in moderation and children should be writing, coloring, cutting, and playing throughout the day in these early grades. There is no doubt in my mind that class size can impact student success, but there are so many other factors to consider with this. I believe that a parent plays the most important role in a child’s education and success, but I do not necessarily believe that they should be involved in curriculum decisions. Trained educators, expert in content and in each grade and level of development, should primarily be involved in curriculum work. Those same educators should be supported and allowed to attend conferences to stay up to date and informed of new research and evidence. As the parent of a child with special needs I absolutely support increasing the pathways for our students to earn a HS diploma. Yes, provided they are included in their entirety and pieces are not used out of context. I have 2 children currently attending Huntington High School, in 9th and 11th grade. My other 2 children are recent graduates of Huntington High School. Yes Shared decision making committees include teachers, administrators, parents, and in some cases students and board trustees. I believe that these committees can be incredibly helpful in making decisions as a district. They can be a tool in the 2 way communication process I mentioned earlier, used to allow community members to have a voice. I do not believe that recess should be taken away as a punishment and I believe that students might benefit from a morning and an afternoon recess, although I am not an elementary school teacher and would want to involve them in this important conversation.
Gus HueberCommack School psychologist, CSE chairperson and 504 coordinator. Assistant principal for 6 years, principal of a junior high 7-9 and current principal of an alternative high school and the district coordinator of 3-8 testing and home tutoring.At the very minimum being receptive and respectful to those members of the community that show up at BOE meetings to express concerns. Attend school and district events. Establish communication with PTA and SEPTA.Success is more than academics, it is providing programs and services designed to nurture the whole child. It offers resources and support to parents. It is welcoming, inviting and inclusive. I believe parents should have the right to opt out of standardized assessments, I did so for my own children in middle school. As the number of students opting out increases, perhaps it would be better to think of a protocol for those being tested, perhaps during a time that doesn’t interfere with instruction for the entire school. The shortened exams could make this possible.The movement has definitely driven changes in education policy. How we assess students is being discussed again, perhaps generating information that could benefit the child’s learning, rather than data for the state to be used for teacher evaluations and shaming low performing districts.I am not as proponent of armed security. Weapons in schools are a great concern. Commack and other districts have made some significant improvements in their security protocols which I believe improved the safety of students and staff and significantly reduced the risk of tragic events.I am a proponent of public education. We have here at Commack and on Long Island very comprehensive school programs. While I do understand the need for parents to have options, I do not believe the funding should be taken from public education No I do not. I’ve been evaluating teacher performance for over 19 years. The SOLs( standards of learning) are developed by the district with agreement by the teacher bargaining unit and rarely identify a struggling teacher. Classroom observations are key, both formal and informal. As is feedback from students and parents. The tenure period extension from 3-4 years is helpful in making a more informed evaluation. The whole child concept is crucial to student academic performance, their social emotional growth and development. For me, recess is an absolute must, it provides opportunity for socialization and to the trained observer, information on the child’s developmental skill set in this unscripted peer environment. Often students require support in these formative years. Data to inform instruction is valuable, data for the sake of gathering data is a waste of time. So often we in education spend lots of time testing and much less in using the results to improve instruction, I understand the relative expedience of using digital platforms for assessment, but I prefer more authentic strategies to gauge student performance. I also believe that relying on some of the formal assessments could have a stiflingly effect on instruction.The use of technology in classrooms has it place and purpose, but should not replace traditional instruction. I think we saw how this worked during the pandemic, not good. I see technology as a tool, just like other strategies that may facilitate understanding of certain objectives, but not all.To a degree yes. Just what is exactly optimal is somewhere between 20-24 at elementary and 24-28 secondary. Although this argument has been going on for decades in education. Planning for students with special needs requires more specialized arrangements and options.Parent are partners throughout the educational continuum, at least my wife and I were. Not involved with instructional decisions, but being there to reinforce and nurture their success and love of learning, Input on certain “hot” topics that threaten our comfort and/or values should be provided. Actually, i believe the state has been increasing pathways towards graduation for both special education and general education students over the years. I would need to know specifically what is being referred to here.YesAll three graduated.I am cautious about eliminating the importance of the regents exams. Fairness and equity issues also need to be examined. This very scenario is playing out this year with the four Regents being offered, with an opt out option and it’s a mess.Feedback is always valuable and there are many opportunities for schools to receive this. The SBMT is one such avenue that was designed for this purpose. Shaping policies needs to be better defined and the authority given to groups require conversations about expectations and role in relationship to the building or the district at large.Schedule wise it may be a challenge, but more time tacked on or two lesser recess sessions could be considered. I do not think recess should be taken away for any reason . Again, it’s an essential component to their growth and development.
Thomas GalvinHuntington Union Free School DistrictCurrently I am the chairperson of social studies at New Hyde Park H.S., where I have been a representative on my district’s diversity task force. I have been a leader in my district's efforts in creating curriculum that allows for students to view social studies through multiple perspectives, helped guide the school’s first use of distance learning technology and worked to provide for the social and emotional challenges that students have faced during the pandemic. I have managed teams which helped my school achieve Middle States Accreditation as well as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. I have created teaching schedules for teachers, teaching multiple disciplines, for students who vary widely in academic ability and language proficiencies. In addition, I have also mentored teachers and overseen a nationally, and internationally, recognized Model U.N. program.I'm very involved in the school community and community as a whole. I've coached both soccer for my children at the YMCA and local soccer club as well as having coached them in our town’s lacrosse league. Aside from maintaining relationships with all of these organizations, I am on the board of our district’s Booster Club, have been a member of the PTA, an active member of my neighborhood association, and a contributor to multiple local charities. In addition, I am an involved parent with many of the sports and activities that my children partake in. As a result, I come in contact with many concerned, thoughtful and dynamic individuals who consistently look to better our community. I would like to think that I lend an ear to their concerns and an open mind as to how our community can address them.Successful schools ensure that all students are supported by enabling them to reach high goals of learning with high quality services. To me, an ideal school has an environment that has safe learning spaces with the notion that all students can learn within these spaces. An ideal school attracts high quality professionals that guide children to think critically and problem solve by connecting the curriculum they are learning to the world that surrounds them.I do support a parent's right to opt out of elementary and middle school assessments but have no children in these grades.I believe that the district should make it easy for parents to opt out, by informing parents of their right to do so and not to create a punitive environment out of these assessments. The opt out movement has for sure driven changes in NYSED policy. It has lessened the significance of the exams on the evaluation of teacher performance, which has been driving teachers to teach to a test and not for the sole benefit of educating the whole child.Schools NEED to be safe and secured with competent professionals. However, like many issues that come to the security and well being of our students, I think we would be better served to have a greater presence of mental health professionals that can deal with the early intervention of problematic environments and behavior.Private school settings can work for certain groups of students, and as presently constituted, provide an important choice for those families who are looking for one. I do believe, as a whole, that our community and individual students are served well, when the strong majority of children from a town can come together in one institution.I believe the best way to evaluate teachers is not through high-stakes testing, but through tried and true methods such as digital portfolios, project based learning and real world tasks that can emulate real life scenarios such as moot courts and model congresses. Teaching the "whole child" moves educators away from teaching a narrow view of achievement, based upon standardized testing, and instead teaches engaging, challenging, comprehensive learning that promotes problem solving and critical thinking. I believe that computer assessments can be utilized in lower grade levels to guide professionals in the proper assessment of the needs of a child and not for the purpose of grade promotion or acceptance into an enrichment program. They should be utilized for an individualized educational plans or for program evaluations.They have a purpose for sure, especially during the pandemic. However, seeking to limit screen time is a necessity for children for multiple reasons.I do. I feel an ideal class is in the low 20's or less. Parents should primarily be there to support and provide for the social and emotional needs of their child. Parents should have a seat at the educational decision making table with such groups as school shared decision making committees, however they are not (in most cases) the professionals. I believe this can be an especially tricky issue when it comes to curriculum decisions and that they should exercise the representative government they are participating in by voting for board members who share their views. I believe multiple pathways to graduation should be given and they should be increased to allow for students other than the "gifted" to excel at school. This could be achieved through the increases use of vocational activities, instead of Regents exams, as a pathway to graduation.I will do my best to listen to your concerns, keep an open mind, and a non-partisan view to all issues brought before me by members of the Huntington community.Yes - facebook.com/ThomasJamesGalvin or simply go to facebook and enter #VoteForTomI have two children going to Huntington Schools; a daughter in the tenth grade and a son in the ninth grade.Absolutely. Regents exams are an incredibly unfair grade to give for 20% of a final average. The state recommends schools NOT to use it as a final exam and I agree.I one hundred percent agree with use of shared decision making committees. This is another great example of what I described above as an active representative democracy.One hundred percent YES on all of these questions. And I would also like to see flexible scheduling that could allow schools to start later so that students can have the option to sleep later in our sleep deprived society.
Michael DorganEast Islip School DistrictI have been a lifelong resident of Islip Terrace, my wife Erin and I have 3 children that attend the East Islip School District. For over 20 years I have worked for New York State government at the Department of Agriculture & Markets. I have worked with a variety of groups from federal, state, and local governments including external stakeholders. My work responsibilities entail preparing grant proposals including budgets, procuring resources, and supplies to complete work projects. As my children entered into the schools I wanted to become involved in helping our community and the school district. I started by serving on various committees in the district including the school budget advisory, the long range planning, as a parent representative on an interview panel, and volunteering at PTA events. All of these interactions have provided me with knowledge about how our school district works in its mission and in balancing the needs of our community. I want to go further and take that next step in contributing towards improving the future for our children and sustaining the core principles and values of our school district and community. I will make myself available by email, phone call, or at PTA or community events.I believe our district is on the right path to make every child successful yes, yes an email or form to the principal No I have not seen the tests go away. YesThe security guards in the district are providing a safe environment for the children. yes mental health is essential for child's well being.Teachers should be evaluated by principals observations. Some children are not good test takers. Social, emotional, and safe. yes. Make sure all the needs of the children are met to the best of my ability.The experiences that my children have had with iready has engaged their learning. Limited use in younger grades as they need to know how to write. It helped during the pandemic especially my son who is a special education student however limits on use should be set.yesyes parents are key to child's learning and development. My wife and I are actively involved in the school.yes, I worked on committees to bring back BOCES to our district. no2 - 5th graders and 1- 2nd graderyesyes, committees are important as they bring parents, teachers, and administers to the table for discussion to come to resolutions on topics. yes. no it should not be taken away
Tatyana KoppHewlett-Woodmere, District 14Professionally I am a Neonatologist. I have been volunteering with my daughter's school for two years now both as a parent with the PTA and sitting on several committees ( Health & Safety, Shared Decision Making, 1st Grade Committee). I have also worked with the principal of my daughter's school to create educational materials for families to help address their children's worries surrounding returning to school this past year in the setting of COVID. I hope to bring a better understanding of social and emotional learning as it pertains to each developmental stage. Bring an awareness of the dangers and stigma associated with mental illness especially as cases are on the rise during the pandemic because of the countless stressors children and families are facing. I want to enrich the programs we have and add developmentally appropriate programs into our district to address all these issues. I also want to bring my background and support in STEM programs to continue to enrich the educational experiences our children have so that we continue to prepare them for the world after school. Being transparent is a big contributor to earning people's trust, I will bring this to my position in hopes to show our community how and why certain decisions are being made and encourage them to voice their concerns and requests since they will feel comfortable with the process if they are a part of it and are given an inside view (whenever appropriate). I also feel that being a welcoming communicator with all members of our community is vital to invite people to share their needs. I plan to always be available to our community so that I can truly act as their representative. I have spent hours going through each curriculum and instruction survey for each of our schools to get a better understanding of what our educators, parents, and children are feeling and asking for. I feel it may even be beneficial to host an open forum to review these findings with our district members and have an open discussion. Although they are available to everyone on the district website, taking an active role in showing our community we truly are listening to them can make all the difference. As a healthcare professional I understand that my role is not to push my personal beliefs or agendas but to work for the people in their best interest. The success of a school district and its students is multifactorial. Overall comfort with their environment and educators/staff plays a large role as children will only perform optimally when they feel comfortable. This also applies to families in the district, their involvement with not only the school activities but their children's education as many studies have shown that children who have involved parents are more likely to succeed academically. Educators are also a big contributor to what defines a school district's success as is the educational leadership. A district is only as good as the people leading it. The graduation rates and future success of students is a huge testament to whether a district succeeded as the ultimate goal and purpose of a school district is to give children the tools they need to succeed in their futures.An ideal school district is very close to the one I am a part of in all honesty. Our academic programs are beyond anything I myself had growing up. There are sports, STEM programs, art, music, and theatre. We have a strong PTA presence and a wonderful diverse group of children. Our educational leaders from the superintendent to the principals and teachers are by far outstanding. We have room to improve as it pertains to cultural acceptance and inclusion, as well as mental health and anti-bullying education and support as shown by our school surveys which were answered by our community members themselves. I feel it is a parent's right to opt children out of these assessments. As a physician I have and will continue to take countless standardized exams and have taken all the required/recommended exams throughout my educational career. That being said, I feel these exams are not and should not be treated as the only way to assess a child and their knowledge of a topic. Educators must focus on what is truly relevant for the real world and these children's futures, some may feel obligated to teach children to pass an exam as that is how educators may then be measured as well. So long as children are part of a structured educational curriculum that focuses on and assess their understanding of the needed topics I don't feel an additional state assessment is necessary for those who do not want it. For those who opt-out, I feel a separate program should be available for them to participate in during that time, one that reinforces the subject being tested. When moving on to upper grade levels and schools, children should be looked at as a whole, not just an assessment score. What were their grades in the classroom, what were the comments made by their educators, did they participate in/contribute in other ways such as research programs, music etc. The opt out movement has begun to shift the powers away from state leaders and slowly give it back into the hands of educators. Many teachers were feeling pressure to teach children to pass an exam rather than teach them truly relevant information on a topic. Although some still feel this way, the fact that conversations are being had is already a step in the right direction. Look at this past year alone, many standardized exams were cancelled from state assessments to SAT/ACT, all the way up to the BAR exam and some states. How is it that during a pandemic all of these individuals were able to be evaluated without these standardized exams but during regular years it's deemed impossible? I do feel districts should be obligated to inform parents of their right to opt-out and what that will mean for their child during the time of the assessment as well as in the long term.I believe that in today's world our schools should be heavily protected. They should be locked and have security at every entrance to screen the individuals entering. I feel security should be trained in deescalation as well as how to intervene in an escalating or violent situation. I think the need for armed security and/or metal detectors depends on the community. Would the majority of parents feel more comfortable with these measures or less so? what about the students, the educators? Education is key for many of these issues as is mental health education. Many acts of violence either stem from mental illness that wasn't addressed or a sense of not having another way out, whether due to bullying or fear. If children are provided with the appropriate education on these issues, how to ask for and where to look for help, remove the stigma associated with it, and have strong systems and policies in place that do not tolerate bullying then hopefully we can once again feel comfortable sending our children to school without needing to discuss security measures. I feel that everything boils down to finances and especially state/federal funding aka tax dollars. Parents should have a choice of where their child is educated, if for some reason a family is in an underserved community with a high crime rate, poor school performance etc and they have the ability to provide access to a school elsewhere for their child where they feel they will be safer and better served while meeting educational standards then the money that is already allocated for this student should be able to be applied to the institution the family would like assuming their is space etc. I do not believe that reallocation of these funds should in any way take away from public school districts or underserved communities. I also believe that any educational system that will be accepting of any public funding should be held up to educational standards set forth by the governing academic/educational body of the local district/state etc. I also believe that even if not accepting government funding but applying to serve as a provider of education, there should be certain general criteria and standards that must always be upheld to ensure every child is truly being given the same opportunities moving forward after their K-12 education. I feel there should be a percentage system looking at the many aspects of an educator, school etc. Standardized exams can serves as a certain percentage of this overall grading system but I don't believe they should be the overwhelming contributor. How many students were able to move forward to the next level of education, how many were able to achieve A's, B's etc, how many are at the appropriate grade level of comprehension when it come to math, reading, science and so on, what are college acceptance rates as a fraction of the children who applied? We must also be cognizant of the fact that the future after k-12 is not the same for everyone. Many never think of college for many reasons and their success is measured by the job they can obtain after high school while others go on to post graduate degrees. We need to look at every academic institution individually because of this. I feel that every contributing factor to this grading system shouldn't single handedly be able to outweigh something else to allow for a fair complete assessment of the individual or system in question. To me this means focusing on academics, social and emotional well being, real life skills and public health knowledge etc. Teaching a child to read, helping them understand photosynthesis, and how to multiply are only a part of what an academic institution should be focusing on. Physical well being contributes heavily on well a child can perform, this means giving them time to play, unwind, and recharge as developmentally appropriate for different ages. Recess may also be the only time a child has any physical activity during they day which will impact their overall health as it pertains to childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome in adulthood. Teaching tolerance and acceptance as their lives will be filled with challenges whether during a group science project or while climbing the corporate ladder. Ensuring that our children are safe from harm physically and emotionally, educating them about their right to say "no", their bodies, and the harmful substances and activities they may come in contact with. Every child comes from a different upbringing whether they look the same or not, an educational institution needs to help these children obtain the same knowledge about the world and what they will be faced with as well as providing them with the academic excellence they need to move forward with higher levels of education or in the work force. BOE members should encourage policies that allow for this mentality and work on a budget that enables it. They should approve curriculums that focus on multiple aspects of education and the child as a whole and encourage the district to partner with other resources as deemed necessary to provide appropriate mental health, physical education, social and emotional learning. I feel computer learning platforms should not be utilized any earlier than middle school and possibly even high school. Part of what children learn by in-person learning is interpersonal interaction and communication. Education from a teacher allows for immediate feedback and enables the teacher to hone in on children who may need help etc. Technology is a great tool and has many benefits especially during COVID, but I fear we are beginning to lose sight of why in-person education is so beneficial for the social growth of children. Technology should be used as a supplementation to hands on learning, research done via the internet saves time and enables a student to obtain many more resources in a small amount of time vs going to a library for example. I do not feel that technology should be used as substitute to the brick and mortar methods of teaching. Introducing children to these tools is vital in the current times, this being said, their usage should be closely controlled and limited. Young children still need personal interaction to optimize education. Screen time with educational programs has been shown to help language development and cognitive skills in children over the age of 2 but it is not a substitute for the manner in which there learning is optimized which is with human interaction and hands on activities. Yes, smaller class sizes allow for more personalized attention which impacts a student's educational experience for the better. I believe that parents should be have an active role in their children's education, working with them on reading skills etc. Children who's parents are involved do better in school. I believe they should have a say in the curriculum decisions being made and that decisions should be made with input and consideration from all parties (parents as well as educational leaders). Yes, children with special needs especially need to be supported in as many ways as possible to allow them to not just complete school but complete it with a diploma that can help them in their futures whatever they may be. yes, Tatyana Kopp for Hewlett-Woodmere School Board (Facebook)yes, 1st gradeI feel that these exams should be looked at separately and not be given as much weight as they currently are, the student should be evaluated using many metrics not just a single exam, but if that is not an option then I would be in support of a "do no harm" policy.Our committee chooses an overall goal for the year and then addresses any problems that the school faces as a whole. It is a collaborative effort between school administrators, teachers, and parents. I believe the input from our committees should be a part of the decision making process when looking at new policies since we take our information directly from the parents and children in the schools. Policies should work for the people for whom they are made, hence taking their input and needs into consideration only makes sense. I do believe that recess should be expanded to 40 minutes and using recess as a punitive measure is not acceptable. As stated before, we need to be aware of what children's needs are to succeed based on their development. A young child may be overstimulated, overtired etc and needs the free time to either get energy out or be able to mentally relax. Without the ability to unwind they will not be a contributing member to their classroom and may continue to spiral down throughout the day and not be able to benefit from the education provided which is then counterproductive. Young children need to move, play, touch, this is how they learn, taking this away from them will be of no benefit.
Robert HallockMiddle Country Central School DistrictI have never been on the BOE or ran for office. I'm a full time NYC police officer. I worked for the town of brookhaven and Suffolk county as a public servant since I was 18.Outreach is key, we need to publicize the committees and encourage parents and the general community to partake.I define success to be an inclusive district. One where we can have all possible students gaining an education. For our teachers to have all resources needed to provide for them. I do support the parents' right to refuse their children be required to take the NYS assessments. While my children are not at that level yet I believe deciding whether or not a state-issued exam should be taken by a student should be the decision between the student and parent/guardian.Our districts have an obligation to inform parents of all their rights. We as a district need to engage our parents more and let the parents know what they can do. The opt out movement has made changes in NYS and the districts should be addressing the state as well for even more changes.I am a police officer, I do believe security is needed in schools. I would have to look into the safety plan that the school has in place to make an educated statement. I do believe that mental health services are important and we need to provide more of these services in each building not where you split the school social worker between each building. The evaluation of teachers and district workers needs to be revamped. I don't think that just because a teacher has high scoring students that they are a good teacher. More evaluations, peer questioning, and objective inquiries are needed to see how teachers and other workers can improve. We need to make our students better, and we need to help our teachers who struggle in certain areas alike. The while child initiative is an important one. We do need to test our children and some testing truly helps. Personally, my one son has special needs and he needs to be outside during the school day. It helps him relax and focus. That being said the whole child philosophy brings out the best in him!I don't have much knowledge on these platforms specifically, and am going to work on that immediately. Technology has changed bounds since I was in school and has made our children better. I understand our children will be graded on their knowledge of computers, but as far as these learning platforms I will need to defer.Both my young children have been provided with chromebooks. They use them daily, and they are able to learn with them and not know they are learning. Every child is different though, and some parents may feel that these technologies aren't proper for their young children. As a board member I would make sure we had a plan to have alternatives and limits for all students if needed in the clasrooms.Of course, I believe that has been proven to be true. We should always strive to have the smallest class sizes possible. Although interactions with peers is important and needs to be a focus, when it comes to learning and retaining smaller class sizes work.Yes, parent involvment needs to be a role. Parents should be able to discuss with the teachers and district what they expect out of the curriculum.Yes we should have more options to have special education students obtain their diplomas. As a district if we are seeing a decrease in special education students obtaining their diplomas we should first focus on what we can do to better education our children.I'm a person who helps for a living. I want what is best for our children! Yes and I would encourage all with more questions to contact me!Yes, K and Pre-kI feel that the policies implemented should be universal, why shouldn't all districts have what the state recommendations are and the do no harm policies. GPAs are mostly used for colleges, and as a district we need to highlight our students by all means possible to get them into a college if they choice that avenue. If we can highlight their GPA by either an average score or by a do no harm policy we need to do what is best for the students.I believe the structure of how our district operates is sufficient. I would like to see more transparency with the committees. They should be posted on the schools website, their should be more outreach to get more recruitment for committees. But the BOE is elected and with that comes great responsibility. I feel at Middle Country our issue isn't how we develop policies but more that we need more involvement at the committee levels.Recess is needed. Our children can only retain so much, and at such a young age we strive for so much from them. I would be for giving our children a 40 minute recess, and yes it is a right and shouldn't be take away.
Sandro FernandesMiddle Country School DistrictI would love to bring in trades schools into our district. If the Boce's program is costing more and we can keep our MC students socializing with their peers, everyone should support the trades staying in our school district. We would need to look at what the numbers are and how it would work of course. I am not a current BOE member and have never served. My occupation is I own my own business.As a board trustee I would want the community to feel comfortable talking to me. Every voice in this community matters and their opinions should be valued. When suggestions and comments are made by the public I hope that the board would act on them. Working together as a community is what makes a district stronger and wiser. Success for me is when a student graduates and is ready to succeed in whatever area they choose in life whether its college or trade school.I support the parents' right to refuse their student(s) be required to take the New York State Assessments and regents exams or other forms of assessments issued at the state level for grades 3-8. While I personally do not have children in the district I do have my grand daughter in Middle Country. I believe deciding whether or not a state-issued exam should be taken by a student should be the decision between that student and their parent/guardianI have only seen what I has been on social media so I can not give a statement but I absolutely think the district should inform parents of their rights. I would have to look into what the school has as far as their safety protocols to be able to give a statement on that. I believe that the mental health of our children should be top priority. I am grateful for administrators who care. I would like to see even more of an emphasis put on providing more mental health services.I think our collective energy should go into supporting our public schools. Charter schools, vouchers, and privatization take away from the limited resources of our public schools.Teachers should not be evaluated based on how their students test. In- class supervised teaching evaluations combined with parent/student evaluations. The most important thing is the whole picture. If scores are taken into account, it shouldn't be the raw score, it should be the improvement from year to year.Whole child education should ensure that students have opportunities to move, to engage in the arts, and have time that is self directed during the school day. I believe it’s appropriate however I would leave the implementation to the educators. Reasonable use of technology to me means using technology when it is necessary, not necessarily whenever it can make your life easier. Technology can be a useful tool in education at all levels. I do believe that even young students can benefit from technology. I do believe that limits need to be set for screen time for all students. Unfortunately, online and remote learning has only encouraged screen time.Yes I do believe it matters.Yes and the best way would be for them to participate in our teaching and learning committee or our shared decision making team.I believe that there should be multiple pathways and none should be dependent upon testing.yesYes my grand daughter is in 5th gradeI do support the "do no harm policy"Recess, art, music, physical education, and lunch are all important parts of the school day. School board members must make those priorities.