About the Superintendent
Superintendent Dr. Aurelia L. Henriquez
Address: District Office
700 Osborn Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11901
Message from Superintendent of Schools
January was an eventful month filled with Bluewave Pride. Together, we rallied for our fair share of foundation aid. On Saturday, January 18, more than 300 members of our shared community gathered at the middle school to demand that our voices are heard. We all agree that the state can no longer top down mandates for us to implement without adequate funding. We need more teachers, nurses, counselors and staff to support the academic and social-emotional needs of all students. As a community, we demand that Riverhead is no longer ignored. Our children deserve smaller class sizes and more opportunities involving the arts and athletics, as well as enriching and rigorous programs and more teachers and staff to meet all of their needs. After all….isn’t this about inclusive excellence?!
Gregory Wallace, president of the Riverhead Central Faculty Association, along with our incredibly dedicated teachers, hosted a NYSUT Round Table and Rally again on January 31. United We Stand!
On March 26, we will be coordinating a trip to Albany with parents, teachers and leaders from the Harmed Suburban Five, a coalition fighting for funding equity for New York’s Riverhead, Ossining, Port Chester, Glen Cove and Westbury school districts. As you may know, all of these districts, like Riverhead, have faced increased enrollment without funding to match. On March 26, let’s put the pressure on the lawmakers and rally! Please email me at email@example.com if you will join me. The Riverhead bus will be heading to Albany at 8 a.m. I will save you a seat! Albany, here we come! Let’s Go Blue!
I had the pleasure of attending a wrestling match on January 30 at the high school. Kudos to our coaches Jake Benedetto, Ken Marelli and Edwin Perry and of course to our athletes. I continue to learn many lessons from our students and enjoyed watching Katie Moore and Dominick Gambino in action. As the saying goes, “If you fall seven times, get up eight times.” Riverhead students remind me again and again of resilience and the grit and struggle necessary before a win. I left in awe of them. All of them! Congratulations to our coaches for teaching those life lessons.
January also brought many acts of kindness, as students across the district participated in the Great Kindness Challenge sponsored by the Peacemakers Club at Roanoke Avenue and Phillips Avenue. Students created colorful cards for senior citizens, collected “kind coins” to help less fortunate students, and designed kindness banners and posters for their classrooms and schools. It was a wonderful showing by Riverhead students.
Last but not least, the January Superintendent’s Round Table allowed students to influence future decisions regarding discipline and vaping issues. High school students C.J. Dorr, Dominick Gambino, Brandon Johnson, Lily Kutner, Katie Moore and Noah Pekar shared many valuable insights, and I left with a number of ideas for consideration.
Since the topic of conversation was discipline, vaping and the future of our schools, I was joined by Director of Security Terry Culhane and School Resource Officer Byron Perez. Here’s what the students had to say to all district leaders:
- In-School-Suspension is better than Out-of-School-Suspension. Students need to be in school (depending on the offense) and not back in a potentially bad environment.
- Consider having students reflect/write about the offense and what they would do differently.
- Student records should be considered when making a decision about a consequence. Students with good records should not be given consequences similar to a student who frequently participates in troublesome behavior.
- Revamp the In-School-Suspension Room. Students should be learning something or talking to a teacher or counselor, not sleeping or on their phones listening to music with earbuds.
- We need more vape detectors – especially in locker rooms. Vaping openly is a real problem.
- Drug education should be mandatory or at least a mandatory component of other classes.
- Large assemblies are a waste of time. Small, personal groups work best.
- At the high school, a school-wide email should be sent regarding any news that impacts students. Students requested that the changes regarding cell phone use be sent via email. Announcements reminding students to check email would be appreciated. Students also asked that “Share It” be announced via school-wide student email.
- We also spoke about a “program” used at Shoreham-Wading River that allows students to have an impact on their peers through skits acted out based on real-life problems and solutions.
2017-18 District Annual Update
Year in Review Infographic