Sewanhaka Beacon

May 2016

Message from the Superintendent

Thank you once again for all that you do for our children!


Through the district’s continued efforts, we designed our annual budget with the needs of our students and the financial circumstances of our residents foremost in mind. As you are aware, the Board of Education approved the proposed 2016-2017 budget on April 16. The proposed tax levy increase was within the tax levy limitation as calculated for the Sewanhaka Central High School District. We have continued to make every concerted effort to successfully address the three major concerns that were expressed during the budget development process, which were: to maintain student programs and activities, to maintain staff throughout the district, and to develop a budget that is within the tax cap in order to minimize the impact on residents’ property taxes.


On May 17, the registered voters in Elmont, Floral Park, Franklin Square and New Hyde Park overwhelmingly approved the proposed 2016-17 budget with a yes vote of approximately 75 percent. I would like to personally thank each of you for your support and assistance throughout the budget approval process.


On another note, I would like to update you regarding the search for two new principals (H. Frank Carey High School and Sewanhaka High School). Once again, I would like to publicly acknowledge Mrs. Lidowsky and Mrs. Angelillo for all of the dedication they have given over their years of service to the students, staff and communities within the Sewanhaka Central High School District. These two outstanding educators have positively impacted the lives of countless students throughout their distinguished careers. The two interviewing committees conducted interviews of eight candidates each during the week of May 23. Three candidates have been selected to visit each building during the week of May 31. The Board of Education will interview the finalists on the evening of June 6, with the goal of appointing the two new principals on that evening. Once the finalists are identified, you will be notified immediately.


The Board of Education awarded the bids for the HVAC contractor, General Contractor, Electrical Contractor and Plumbing Contractor for Phase III of the Bond Referendum. As the school year concludes, you will see the preparations that are being made for the construction projects scheduled under Phase III. Construction will commence as soon as possible and will continue throughout the summer months and during the 2016-17 school year. Your patience and understanding related to any inconveniences that the completion of these projects may cause is greatly appreciated.


Finally, I would like to personally thank each of you for your continued dedication to the Sewanhaka Central High School District. Our goal remains to provide the most exceptional educational experience possible for all of our students. As a result of your efforts, students in each of our five high schools continue to gain acceptance into prestigious colleges and universities, and many receive full or partial scholarships. These scholarships are a result of our students’ academic achievements, achievements in the arts and outstanding athleticism within the District’s athletic program. Please know that the Central Office Administration and Board of Education applaud your efforts in supporting our students’ endeavors.


Ralph P. Ferrie, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology News

Beginning in the fall of 2016, the Sewanhaka Central High School District will provide every seventh-grade student with an iPad 2. Students will have access to their devices 24/7, with the capacity to access them both during the school day and at home. Several teachers are currently piloting student devices, and many other teachers have been researching curriculum-related apps to be installed on the iPads.

The next phase of the rollout is providing teacher iPad Pro devices on June 1. Before students receive devices, 175 seventh-grade teachers will have the entire month of June and the summer months to review and practice using their tablets. A full day of professional development activities is scheduled for this date as well. Apple Geniuses will be providing breakout sessions, and two national speakers will provide insight on what to expect as the District moves into this new digital landscape. Informational items and additional workshops will be posted on the District’s website, with continual updates about the 1:1 program occurring throughout the year.

The District is excited about the beginning of a 1:1 program and the endless possibilities of teaching and learning in a connected world. If you have any questions regarding Sewanhaka’s digital conversion, please reach out to the Technology Department.


New Hyde Park HS to Pilot Computer-Based Testing

As part of its commitment to meeting the needs of 21st-century learners and improving test delivery, test integrity, scoring validity and turnaround time, the New York State Education Department is beginning the transition to computer-based testing. This spring, many students across New York State will take the New York State Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics Field Tests on computers for the first time. To help educators, students and parents get comfortable with taking the test on a computer, the eighth-grade English students at New Hyde Park HS will be field testing computer-based tests during the week of May 31.

Earlier this spring, students required to take the New York State Alternate Assessment also took the exam electronically. ELA and mathematics were assessed using the KITE System, developed by Dynamic Learning Maps. KITE is a computer-delivered, adaptive assessment that measures a student’s achievement of the ELA and mathematics standards at a reduced level of depth, breadth and complexity. It provides the opportunity to customize the assessment to the individual abilities and needs of the student, is designed to measure a wide range of proficiencies, is quicker and easier to administer and score, and provides useful information to teachers to inform future instruction.

NYSED plans to have all grades 3-8 ELA and math tests administered on computers by the 2019-20 school year.

Office of Pupil Personnel Services News

Save the Date!

Please join us for the 1st annual Dr. Victoria Tripodi Memorial Scholarship Walk on Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm at New Hyde Park Memorial Track. The cost is $10 to participate — in advance or at the door. Funds will be used to grant a scholarship to a graduating Special Education student in the district. Registration and payments/donations can be given to the Special Education Office in your school building.

Thanks for your support!

Personnel Office News

Below is some important information regarding new certification registration and professional development requirements.

New Registration and Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements for Classroom Teachers and School Leaders Holding a Permanent or Professional Certificate, and Level III Teaching Assistant Certificate Holders


The Board of Regents, at its March 2016 meeting, adopted a new Subpart 80-6 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to implement Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015 relating to the registration process for any holder of a classroom teaching, school leader and teaching assistant certificate that is valid for life (Permanent, Professional and Level III Teaching Assistant) and the establishment of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) requirements for Professional and Level III Teaching Assistant certificate holders.

These new Registration and CTLE requirements do not apply to holders of Continuing Teaching Assistant certificates and Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) certificates such as School Attendance Teachers, School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, School Dental Hygiene Teachers and School Nurse Teachers.

Registration of Permanent, Professional and Level III Teaching Assistant Certificates

The following information is a general overview of the new registration and CTLE requirements. We will be updating this web page frequently with new information. Registration will be completed through your TEACH account. All certificate holders must maintain access to their TEACH accounts and keep all contact information current. Any change of name or address for a certificate holder must be updated by the holder in the TEACH system within thirty days of any such change. Any certificate holder who fails to inform the Department of his or her new address may be subject to moral character review.

Beginning on July 1, 2016, individuals who hold a permanent or professional certificate in the classroom teaching service or educational leadership service (i.e., school building leader, school district leader, school district business leader) or a Level III Teaching Assistant certificate prior to July 1, 2016, shall apply for initial registration during the 2016-2017 school year during his/her month of birth and shall renew his/her registration in the last year of each subsequent five-year period thereafter. For example, an existing professional certificate holder that works in a New York State public school and has a date of birth of 3/20 would register during the month of March 2017. Their first registration period would be 3/2017 through 3/31/2022. Permanently or professionally certified classroom teachers, educational leaders and Level III Teaching Assistants practicing in a New York State school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) must register as indicated. Practicing means em
ployed 90 days or more during a school year by a single applicable school in a position requiring certification. Classroom teachers and educational leaders who hold professional certificates and Level III Teaching Assistants practicing in a New York State school district or BOCES will be subject to CTLE requirements in addition to registration requirements.

Individuals who are issued a permanent or professional certificate in the classroom teaching service or educational leadership service (i.e., school building leader, school district leader, school district business leader) or a Level III Teaching Assistant certificate on or after July 1, 2016, will be automatically registered and the certificate holder shall re-register during the fifth succeeding birthday month thereafter and during each birthday month in the last year of each subsequent five-year period. For example, when a new professional certificate holder is issued his or her certificate on 7/6/2016 and their date of birth is 9/20, their first registration period would be 7/6/2016 through 9/30/2021.

Any holder of a permanent or professional certificate in the classroom teaching service or educational leadership service (i.e., school building leader, school district leader, school district business leader) or a Level III Teaching Assistant certificates not practicing in a New York State school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) (“applicable school”) may notify the Department that he/she is no longer practicing in an applicable school and change their registration status to “Inactive.” At such time as the certificate holder may choose to resume practicing in an applicable school, the certificate holder shall register with the Department.

For more information, please visit the following link: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/news/newsitem05122015.html

Adult Education News

The Adult Education has just completed a successful Spring semester. We are looking forward to the fall program and continued participation of district residents. Thanks to all!

Board of Education Meeting

Tuesday, June 28th, 8pm

Sewanhaka High School - 3rd Floor Board Room