Board of Education Highlights: 4/20/21 Meeting
The following are highlights of discussions and actions from the April 20 Board of Education meeting. For the full minutes and audio recordings from the meeting, please refer to “Agendas and Minutes” under the “Board of Education” section.
- The meeting opened with a live performance by the Garden City High School Chamber Choir.
- A video was shared honoring 16 staff members who received tenure. The tenures were celebrated prior to the meeting during a special reception attended by members of the Board, administration and faculty. The ceremony featured a live performance by the Chamber Orchestra.
- Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kusum Sinha presented an overview of the proposed 2021-22 school district budget, which the Board adopted during the meeting. The budget vote will be held on May 18, 2021. Budget information is available on the district’s website at https://www.gardencity.k12.ny.us/domain/1669.
- Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kusum Sinha congratulated the tenure recipients, thanked student performers and shared that the high school’s AP art show took place earlier that day. She also reported that a lockout was enforced that afternoon due to police activity in a neighboring community. The suspect was apprehended and the lockout was lifted. Sinha thanked members of the Nassau County and Garden City police departments for their support. She emphasized that the routine drills routinely conducted in each school keep our schools prepared for situations such as this. Dr. Sinha reflected on the recent homecoming and spirit week celebrations and noted that the district is planning a variety of live end-of-year activities in each building that principals will communicate to parents. She announced that a May Soiree virtual performance will be provided for senior citizens. Participants will view a performance of the Garden City High School musical revue, receive delivered meals and handmade gifts from students. Dr. Sinha also reported that the district plans to maintain the Quest program in its current format for next year. It will establish a committee to review ways to create a true gifted program and ways to expand the district’s initiative on project-based learning opportunities.
- Sinha provided a brief update on the district’s health and safety protocols and adjustments made based on the latest CDC guidelines. Desk barriers have been removed and desks are now placed 3 feet apart. Additionally, more fully remote students are coming back to in-person school.
- The meeting included an announcement that the SCOPE summer enrichment program will be offered for students in grades K-5, and summer volunteer opportunities for grades 8 and up will be available.
- The agenda included three retirements. All retirees will be honored in June during a special celebration thanking them for their service.
- The Genius Hour middle school course was approved for the next school year. The inquiry-based program provides opportunities for students to explore interests through research using various resources and create digital, physical or service-oriented projects.
- The Board graciously accepted several donations. The PTA provided resources for mindfulness, the GC Scholarship Fund donated benches for the high school courtyard and community members Mr. and Mrs. Butler donated a trumpet for the high school band.
- The Board approved the transfer of Stratford School Principal Eileen Vota to Locust School as principal starting on July 1. A virtual meet and greet for parents is planned in the future.
- Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development Ms. Nanine McLaughlin shared that a search is underway for an athletic director for the next school year. Several talented and established candidates are being considered. She also noted that the district will keep the community informed regarding the appointment of an interim principal for Stratford.
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum/Instruction Dr. Edward Cannone announced that ELA assessments began on April 20 and are going well. Mathematics exams are scheduled to begin May 3.
- Dr. Sinha shared several student achievements, including the induction of 68 new Tri-M members and 111 World Language Honor Society members and the accomplishments of freshman Science Research students in the Chemagination Competition, sponsored by the New York chapter of the American Chemical Society. She also announced that 580 students are registered for spring sports, and exciting competitions and playoffs are taking place.