Superintendent of Schools
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Dear Northport-East Northport Community Members,
It’s hard to believe the summer is nearing an end and we are preparing to reopen our doors to students in just a few weeks! Over the past several months we have been finalizing several projects and initiatives to unveil this fall, which will greatly improve school operations and enhance the educational experience for students throughout the district.
We continually evaluate our buildings to ensure learning environments meet the highest standards of safety. Thanks to the community’s approval of the 2016-17 facilities bond, new security vestibules have been constructed at most of our school buildings to allow our staff to thoroughly screen all visitors before entering the schools. The remaining vestibules will be completed in the next construction phase to take place in the summer of 2019.
Northport High School’s science wing has undergone a significant transformation under the bond initiative as well. Ten new biology, chemistry and physics classrooms have been created, with specialized annexes for forensic science, marine science, medical anatomy and physiology. Also new is a dedicated science laboratory center for students to perform extended experiments, collaborate on science projects and even to make up missed lab time. Other new innovations in the wing include a flexible science resource center for students and teachers to participate in active learning with integrated technology, along with a greenhouse to be used for interdisciplinary botanical research and districtwide STEM programs designed to inspire interest and study of our local ecosystems.
At Northport Middle School, science, home and careers and K- wing classrooms have also undergone extensive renovation. Prior to the re-opening of school, the district plans to follow the NYSDOH recommendation to re-test the K-wing to ensure that there are no indoor air quality issues. We anticipate the K-wing will be open for the start of the new school year.
Northport Middle School’s gymnasium has undergone renovation as well and a new courtyard has been completed. NMS students will also enjoy new baseball and softball fields, a new track and new tennis courts.
The playing surface at Northport High School’s Main Stadium has also received a major upgrade with the installation of synthetic turf that will provide a state-of-the-art playing surface comparable to college and professional league play. Fifth Avenue School has also undergone site improvements, highlighted by newly paved areas and upgraded cabinetry.
While students and their families will undoubtedly take notice of these important upgrades to our school infrastructure, a great deal of work has taken place behind the scenes involving our instructional staff that will have a tremendous impact on teaching and learning. The District will expand its one 1:1 Chromebook initiative that is underway in the middle schools and expand it into 9th Grade this year. Elementary teachers have been working with secondary science teachers to develop, pilot and implement a K-8 Next Generation Science curriculum aligned to the NYS Science Learning Standards. Three-dimensional, phenomenon-based science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts are among the areas addressed in the units being developed.
Middle school technology education (at both NMS and East Northport MS) will also be advancing Vex Robotics and RobotC programming for all eighth-grade students and our extracurricular STEM clubs will be expanded to offer new opportunities to sixth- and eighth-graders. Middle school science research extracurricular clubs will also promote participation in additional regional competitions this year. Northport High School’s Technology Education Department will also introduce a fifth Project Lead the Way engineering course in computer integrated manufacturing to build upon their existing program. We are also excited to showcase our new STEM prototyping and Robotics Lab at the high school this year!
To kick things off, we will welcome renowned Harvard Medical School faculty member and psychologist Dr. Robert Brooks as the keynote speaker at our opening conference for faculty and support staff. Dr. Brooks will also conduct a parent session on opening day, “Raising Resilient Children K-12.” He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about the themes of resilience, parenting, family relationships and school climate.
Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will also be providing additional Parent Universities covering topics of interest to a variety of grade levels and curricular areas. I encourage parents to attend these informative and helpful workshops and take advantage of the valuable information available to them.
At Northport-East Northport, we believe that students, families, staff and community are essential partners. I look forward to continuing our work together as we move along through the 2018-19 school year. I wish you all a happy and healthy remainder of the summer and look forward to seeing you and your children in the weeks and months ahead!
Superintendent of Schools
Northport-East Northport UFSD