August 21, 2019Dear Garden City Parents and Guardians,
As the summer begins to wind down, I hope that each of you has had a restful and enjoyable few months! It’s hard to believe that the start of the 2019-2020 school year is already upon us. I look forward to reconnecting with our returning students, as well as welcoming our new families who have joined our district. This includes approximately 307 new kindergartners who will begin their educational journey with us in early September!
It has been a busy summer in Garden City. Faculty and administrators have been working to enhance the curriculum in an effort to continually improve programs offered to students. Staff undertook a number of curriculum writing projects, most notably in the area of elementary literacy and computer science. This year, we are excited about fully implementing Reading Workshop in all of our K-5 classrooms through our partnership with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. This will enhance the literacy skills of our elementary students. We are also excited about bringing Project Lead the Way to our middle school with the app creator course for our 6th and 7th graders.
As we continue to enhance our programs offered to students, we have also worked this summer on improving the learning environment. We have outfitted numerous classrooms with flexible furniture, allowing students the ability to easily collaborate with one another in a variety of configurations. In addition, we have completed the hot water heater and some restroom upgrades at the high school, roofing projects at Homestead and Stratford, and masonry work at Stratford and Stewart. Technology infrastructure enhancements included upgrading every wireless access point in every classroom throughout the district, as well as all switch upgrades in our high school and middle school.
Student safety continues to be a top priority. Our entire bus fleet has been outfitted with cameras and GPS systems, and all school buildings now have a “one-button” lock-down system. Any school throughout the district can now initiate a lock-down and notify the police using a single button – this is essential in a true emergency. We are in the process of completing the installation of visitor management system to improve our screening process for anyone entering our buildings. Additionally, our security consultant will work with our district full-time for 2019-20. This enables him to offer expertise to our staff, address individual safety needs, and ensure that all buildings are following proper security protocols and procedures.Our priorities for the upcoming school year include
- Full implementation of Reading Project K-5 through Teachers College
- Expansion of Fundations to grade 2
- Embedding Computational Thinking (K-5) in our curriculum
- Implement Project Lead the Way course App Creator for 6th and 7th grades
- Continue to enhance MakerSpace in the Middle School
- Implement new high school electives in AP Computer Science Principles and Media Arts I
- Explore and implement programs to meet mental health and social emotional needs
- Engage in a Facilities Study with a focus on instructional structures that work best for students (classroom space, science labs, global learning spaces)
- Continue work on completing vestibules, visitor management, one-button lock down, and camera software upgrade
- Expand camera coverage as needed
- Training of staff and students
Thank you for your continued support of our schools. I look forward to sharing our progress with you on the above initiatives as the school year progresses. Please accept my wishes for a wonderful remainder of your summer, and I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.
I, along with our administrators, faculty, and staff, are looking forward to welcoming your children on September 3rd. Best wishes for a fulfilling school year!
Kusum Sinha, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Garden City Public Schools
Garden City, NY 11530