- Syosset Central School Dist
- 2019-2020 School Year
District Bits and Briefs
District Bits and Briefs is an added way the Superintendent provides updates to community members on a pertinent areas of focus for the Board of Education and the District. Please see below for updates sent to the community.
July 5, 2019
Dear Syosset Community,
Congratulations to the Class of 2019 celebrating their graduation. Graduates had an evening of perfect weather and wonderful support from the community. I want to extend my congratulations to all of our students who are moving up, whether to the middle school or high school, or between grades. Although the Class was somewhat small, its 465 students had some remarkable accomplishments:
- A 100% graduation rate, with 98% pursuing full time post-secondary education.
- 9 National Merit Semi-finalists
- 14 NYS Scholarships of Excellence
- 3 Regeneron Scholars and our first Regeneron Finalist in 12 years!
- $22.7 million in scholarships awarded.
And much more! Way to go graduates, you’ve made us proud!!
Our staff has been making us proud as well. Congratulations to Christine Payne who was named our new Coordinator of Instructional and Administrative Technology. She was recently honored by the Nassau Association of Technology Directors as a “rising star”. The District was also invited to attend the highly competitive “Teach to Lead” conference led by the national professional development organization for educators.
Some more updates of interest are below:
Summer School – Summer school starts Monday with 756 students enrolled in a wide range of enrichment and support opportunities. Visiting summer school classes (and watching Summer Stock rehearsals) is always a highlight of July for me. As a reminder, summer school is at HB Thomson Middle School this year because of the extensive construction underway at the High School.
Flexible Furniture – Last December we gave a presentation to the Board of Education on the flexible furniture pilot projects underway at several schools (the presentation can be found here). We’re excited by how the furniture changes the classroom community and the instructional approach. Based on what we learned from those pioneering classrooms, we have narrowed the range of furniture we think works best and over the summer, we will expand the flexible furniture to include more classrooms at every building. Ultimately, we hope to continue to refine our model and gradually increase the number of classrooms taking advantage of this new approach.
Phase 2 Capital Construction – Phase 2 construction projects are underway for the summer. Contractors have already started on the high school science rooms and the site work is already underway at several campuses. There are a couple of important updates:
- Air Conditioning Capital Project – The bids for the Air Conditioning project that we had hoped to start this summer were much higher than anticipated. We understand that there are a number of school districts also starting whole district air conditioning projects and this has saturated the market. Rather than overpay, we are working to redesign some aspects of the project to save costs, and looking at shifting the timelines to take advantage of evenings and breaks in the fall. Once those plans are finalized, we’ll inform the community of our new anticipated schedule.
- Bathroom Projects – Although not glamorous, they are important. In contrast to Air Conditioning, pricing for bathroom projects has been quite favorable. Accordingly, we are bidding out additional bathroom projects to take advantage of current market conditions.
As a reminder – The high school campus, track and tennis courts will be closed to the public during construction (the Athletics department will have access to unaffected fields). In addition, projects at other campuses may also limit access to playground equipment during construction for safety reasons. Thanks for your patience!
Religious Exemptions to Vaccination – As you may know, New York State Public Health Law, Section 2164, was recently amended to eliminate the religious exemption to vaccination. Although there are very few such exemptions in Syosset, we will be contacting affected families shortly. The law took effect on June 28, so students attending summer school will have to comply sooner than those returning to school in the fall. Any questions, please call the registrar’s office: 516-364-5669.
Security for Community Facility Use – This spring, the Board of Education approved a policy change that will provide for security staff coverage for any after-hours facility usage by community groups. There will be a small charge for any security required beyond our regularly scheduled staffing. Additional information can be found here.
District-wide Safety Plan – At the July Board of Education meeting, a hearing was held on the District-wide School Safety Plan. As required by law, the plan will be available on our website for public comment for 30 days before being adopted at the August BOE meeting. The Plan can be found here. Comments can be shared with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public WiFi – The District will be migrating to a new password-protected approach to public WiFi in all district buildings which will ensure that no unknown devices can be attached to our network. We understand this migration will include some growing pains and we appreciate your patience in the interest of good cyber security.
I wish everyone a wonderful, restful summer to recharge and spend time with loved ones. We’ll see you before you know it!
Dr. Tom Rogers,