No Future For College Grads

What is the “meaningful degree” a young person can get in college? Unstated in the article, “The Future of Higher Education in America,” (Jan. 20-26, 2016 edition of Anton’s Profiles in Education), Secretary of Education Arne Duncan misses a vital point. No college degree can compete with corporations and businesses that choose to hire their professionals from other countries and bring them here to work. Why? They can give them lower wages and offer them little or nothing in perks, such as health coverage, etc. [Read more…]

Strategic Plan Update

By Dr. Elaine Kanas

editorial@antonmediagroup.com

Four years ago our East Williston School District community embarked on a five-year strategic planning initiative where the community defined key priorities to guide our planning and allocation of resources. We are currently in the third year of implementation. Periodically, I update the community in my newsletters, and at Board of Education Meetings and Work Sessions, on our progress toward our Strategic Plan Goals. A primary priority identified by the community was building our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) offerings. As a result, we introduced a four-year engineering sequence, Project Lead the Way. We are right on schedule with our Strategic Plan implementation, which had the District, in Year 1, exploring Engineering programs to adopt. Year 2 introduced a foundational Engineering course to our ninth graders, Introduction to Engineering Design. Now, in Year 3 of our Strategic Plan implementation, students have the opportunity to take a second-year course in the sequence, either Civil Engineering and Architecture or Computer Science and Engineering. Our engineering students who are currently taking Civil Engineering and Architecture will take Computer Science and Engineering next year as their third-year course in the sequence and vice versa. Some students enrolled in the Computer Science and Engineering Course are part of a Computer Science Sequence rather than an Engineering sequence. In that case, they will move on to AP Computer Science next year, as another implementation aspect of our Strategic Plan. To view the Five-Year Strategic Plan go to the district website at www.ewsdonline.org > click on Our District tab on the red horizontal navigation bar > click on Strategic Planning Initiative > click on Strategic Planning Initiative 2013 – 2018 – Revised by BOE on June 15, 2015. [Read more…]

Shine A Light And Send It On

A recent editorial highlighted the deaths of the late great actor Alan Rickman and iconic musician David Bowie. Last week, another death hit a little closer to home for me. [Read more…]

Kindergarten Registration Dates

The registration period for students entering the Roslyn Public Schools in September 2016 will be from Monday, Feb. 8, to Friday, Feb. 12, and again from Monday, Feb. 29, to Friday, March 4, 2016 at the Heights School. [Read more…]

Helping Others

In reference to your recent article by Danielle Bitts, “Get INNvolved This Holiday Season,” I would like to add a reflection based on my experience as an INN volunteer for the past 13 years. When I hand a plate of hot, nutritious food to a hungry man, woman or child at The INN soup kitchen, I know for sure that the greatest joy in life comes from helping others. [Read more…]

Farewell From Women’s Fund Director

It is with bittersweet and thoughtful intention that I announce my departure from the Women’s Fund of Long Island (effective Feb. 19). Many of you have heard me on my soap-box talk about the importance of supporting initiatives in our own backyards, and I continue to strongly believe in this ideal. However, a wonderful opportunity has come across my path to continue to be a part of change in one of the poorest countries in the world—Sierra Leone. I will be assuming the position of executive director at Shine On Sierra Leone at the end of February to work on building sustainable communities through women’s empowerment, health, education and economic development initiatives. [Read more…]

Sharing The Gift Of Music

By Dr. Elaine Kanas,

East Williston School District

Tri-M is an internationally recognized music honor society with over 1,700 chapters in high schools across the globe. At Wheatley, the group’s mission is to connect with peers and community members using the students’ musical talents. Each year the group hosts several school-wide events that serve to inspire and encourage students to pursue music in some way. The Wheatley Tri-M chapter was recognized as the 2014-15 National Tri-M Chapter of the Year. As part of this honor, the group was awarded $1,000 to be used for an endeavor of the students’ choosing. Matching the award through fundraising, the students of Wheatley Tri-M unanimously chose to use the money to show appreciation to our service men and women overseas by sharing their love of music with these soldiers serving far away from home. [Read more…]

Endorsement For Cuomo’s Vision For Long Island

Recently, I attended Governor Cuomo’s speech to the Long Island Association, where he laid out his vision for transforming Long Island’s infrastructure and economy. His vision includes the 9.8-mile Third Track from Floral Park to Hicksville, a possible tunnel under the [Long Island] Sound, and enhancements to regional airports including international flights to MacArthur Airport, as well as investing in the research institutions and the innovative economy that are essential to a better future for the region.

I wholeheartedly endorse the governor’s vision. It offers a dynamic approach to economic development and a remarkable breadth of commitment to the region. The Third Track, in particular, is an initiative that the Rauch Foundation has strongly supported for years, based on the objective data that the Long Island Index, an initiative of the Rauch Foundation, has generated. According to the Index, by 2035, 10 years after the Third Track’s completion, the impacts would be: 14,000 new jobs; $5.6 billion in additional gross regional product; $3.0 billion in additional personal income, and 35,400 new residents to Long Island, 39 percent of whom would be 25 to 44 years old.

Cuomo’s vision is an exciting one that offers a dynamic future for Long Island. I urge Long Islanders to seize the momentum that his vision conveys and work together to achieve its extraordinary potential.

Nancy Rauch Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation

 

Sharing The Gift Of Music

By Dr. Elaine Kanas,

East Williston School District

Tri-M is an internationally recognized music honor society with over 1,700 chapters in high schools across the globe. At Wheatley, the group’s mission is to connect with peers and community members using the students’ musical talents. Each year the group hosts several school-wide events that serve to inspire and encourage students to pursue music in some way. The Wheatley Tri-M chapter was recognized as the 2014-15 National Tri-M Chapter of the Year. As part of this honor the group was awarded $1,000 to be used for an endeavor of the students’ choosing. Matching the award through fundraising, the students of Wheatley Tri-M unanimously chose to use the money to show appreciation to our service men and women overseas by sharing their love of music with these soldiers serving far away from home. [Read more…]

Educational Uses Of Twitter And Social Media

By Elaine Kanas

East Williston School District

Before Thanksgiving I shared the exciting news that some of our sixth grade students were working as editors of a real-world young people’s novel. As editors, they will be providing input and insight to the author, as the novel approaches publication. As I mentioned before, this connection came about as a result of a tweet from the young readers’ author, Erin Downing. How do our teachers and staff use Twitter and other social media tools in the classroom? What are the tools our teachers and administrators use to grow their own learning and provide enriched experiences for our students? I asked Dr. Danielle Gately, Director of Secondary Curriculum and Social Studies, and Audra Beberman, Instructional Technology Specialist, to help me answer these questions. Below is their overview of these media:

• Twitter: Twitter is an information network made up of 140-character messages called Tweets. It’s an easy way to discover the latest news related to subjects you care about. For educators, it best follows the ideology of “the smartest person in the room, is the room itself” – where the sharing of ideas and collaboration to grow best practices becomes the norm. Teachers, professors, administrators, and authors are often found participating in the same Twitter Chats on various topics to discuss a myriad of issues related to learning.

• Social Media: Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. Twitter is by far the most recognized of these tools, but not the only one available to teachers. Social media also allows teachers and schools to “brand” their classrooms and schools by showing their best practices and the culture that the school has developed in relation to digital citizenship, anti-bullying, literacy, and other “hot” topics in education.

• PLN: PLN stands for Personal (or Professional) Learning Network. Originally this may have consisted of a few friends you met at teaching college with whom you shared ideas and resources, then adding in a few members of staff in the schools where you taught, teachers you met at courses, and so it grew. What it means now is that an individual has developed their own personalized “network” of fellow educators and resources that are designed to make them a better teacher.