Working Together as a Community for Our Schools
November 18, 2013
METHOD FOR SUBMITTING QUESTIONS FOR THE UPCOMING EDUCATION FORUM BEING HELD BY STATE ED. COMMISIONER DR. JOHN KING --Tuesday, November 26, 2013, Eastport/South Manor High School, 6:00-8:00PM
(November 18, 2013-Riverhead, NY) On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, the State Education Commissioner, Dr. John King, will be visiting the First Senatorial District to discuss the Common Core Curriculum, assessments, APPR, and student privacy. The meeting will be held at Eastport/South Manor High School from 6:00PM to 8:00PM.
The First Senatorial District is home to more than 30 individual school districts—the most of any senate district on Long Island. In order to ensure that each school district has a voice at this meeting, each district superintendent has been invited to submit questions from each of the following areas: Common Core Curriculum, assessments, Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) and student privacy. The organizers of this event will choose ONE QUESTION from each district based on submittals.
Parents, students, teachers, PTA members, residents, etc. are invited to submit questions on the above-mentioned topics to me (RCSD Superintendent Nancy Carney) by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questioners are also asked to include their names and affiliation (i.e., parent, teacher, student, administrator, etc.). The deadline for submitting questions is November 21st.
Questioners will be chosen and notified ahead of time. A seat at this event will be reserved for each of the speakers chosen. The auditorium holds 1,000 people and seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. However, additional seating will be available in an overflow room where interested parties can watch via closed circuit television. The event will also be live streamed at www.senatorlavalle.com. (Also see: Letter from Senator LaValle)
Thank you for participating in this important educational event.
Riverhead Central School District
700 Osborn Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901
September 8, 2013
Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year. The summer months have been very busy! We have hired over 30 new staff members including over 20 new teachers to replace our retirees. We had many applicants for each position and we are fortunate to have hired outstanding people. This is a very exciting time for the school district.
Construction will be completed at Aquebogue, Phillips, and Riley Avenue elementary schools in time for students’ arrival on September 9th. There are new parent drop off areas and bus loops, renovated libraries, classrooms and computer rooms, a new kitchen at Aquebogue, two new classrooms and an expanded cafeteria at Riley Avenue, and new playground surfaces at all the schools. Construction has begun at the high school. There are new bleachers in the gymnasium; the library and auditorium will be completely renovated this fall. Construction will continue at the high school over the next two years with the addition of new science rooms and a new weight room. Construction will be begin at the Middle School, Pulaski and Roanoke in late Spring of 2014.
We are continuing our work on implementing the new, more rigorous Common Core curriculum, which changes the way our teachers teach and our students learn. Families of students who took the new assessments should have received a letter in the mail from me regarding these new assessments. The Common Core is designed to make sure that our graduates are prepared for life in the 21st Century.
We are the first district in New York State to be awarded a Project Fit Grant in collaboration with Peconic Bay Medical Center. New equipment has been installed at Pulaski, Roanoke, Phillips and Aquebogue. Riley Avenue's equipment is being installed this fall. A new curriculum is being implemented in our Physical Education program as part of the grant.
Each fall, we are afforded an opportunity to reaffirm our mission to provide a rigorous and joyful learning environment for our students. Teachers and Staff readily embrace the challenges we are faced with in implementing new learning standards. Our hopes are to work together in collaboration with the community and our families to provide our students with the education and skills they need to be successful in Riverhead and the wider world.
We look forward to seeing you at our Back to School Nights, the dates of which are on the school calendar. I wish everyone a wonderful school year.
Riverhead Central School District
700 Osborn Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901
EARLIER LETTER FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT NANCY CARNEY
August 27, 2013
In April 2013, students across New York State in grades 3-8 participated in assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. In prior years, these assessments were designed to measure students’ knowledge of the curriculum and to monitor individual academic proficiency. While these assessments were just one measure of student progress, they played an integral role in curriculum and professional development and assisted in identifying students in need of further academic intervention.
This year, however, the assessments were based on the new Common Core Learning Standards designed by the Federal government and partially introduced to New York State students during the 2012-2013 school year. While none would disagree that rigor should be a major component of any curriculum, the overwhelming concern is that the new assessments were administered prematurely, without first fully implementing the new, more rigorous curriculum.
This concern was voiced by many, including the New York State Commissioner of Education, who noted that “Scores are expected to be significantly lower than the 2011-2012 scores…effectively creating a new baseline measurement of student learning.”
Within the next few days, you will receive your child’s results from the ELA and Math tests given this past April, and an overwhelming number of our students saw their results decline from previous years, again largely attributable to the fact that the state required us to test students on a level and rigor of learning that has only just begun its introduction to our students.
I do not believe there is a correlation between these latest assessment results and our students’ ability to be college and career ready. This opinion is supported by the high percentage of recent graduates attending many of the most prominent and prestigious colleges and universities in the country, as well as the significant recognitions our students achieved on all grade levels during this past school year. It comes as no surprise that the scores are so much lower than in previous years; with the changes to the exam I feel the state has unfairly tested students on the material. This year’s assessment results are not an accurate reflection of our students’ ability to learn or on the instructional skills of our professional staff.
I have seen so much progress over this past year in what our students are accomplishing and I have observed first hand our teachers’ dedication to providing more rigorous instruction with higher expectations for all students. As a district, we will assess our results and continue to move forward with our goal of improving student achievement for all of our students, regardless of state measure.
Superintendent of Schools