Table of Contents

  • Curriculum & Instruction

    • Multi-Year Strategic Plan

    • Quality Instruction, Not Test-Prep

    • Middle School Redesign

    • Resolution Against High-Stakes Testing

    • Expanded Course Offerings

    • Improved Professional Development

    • STEAM Initiative

    • Reading & Math Programs

    • Music & Fine Arts

    • Special Education

    • Administrative Restructuring

    • Athletics

  • Community Engagement

    • Tax Exemption for Veterans

    • Parent Portal

    • Focus Groups & Forums

    • Enhanced Communication

  • Technology

    • Wantagh TechDay

  • Facilities & Budgets

    • Fiscally-Responsible Budgets

    • Safety & Security

    • Capital Reserve Fund

    • Fair & Fiscally Responsible Contracts

  • Board Governance

    • Goal Setting

    • Superintendent Evaluation

    • BOE Policy

    • NYSSBA Membership

Curriculum & Instruction

Multi-Year Strategic Plan

Tasked administrative team with creating a multi-year strategic plan for educational improvement.

Authorized a research study to create a collaborative shared vision and mission for our district. This 21st century vision will guide our 5 year strategic plan which focuses on 4 key pillars: outstanding student achievement, exceptional learning environments, successful resource management, and strong community connections.

Strategic planning and research contributes to an improved understanding of our schools, helps build a collaborative district-wide team, fosters a data-driven culture, empowers community participation, and provides for organizational growth.

Quality Instruction, Not Test-Prep

Committed to providing enriching educational opportunities for all students that minimize test-prep in favor of a whole-child approach, thereby supporting both the intellectual and social-emotional needs of our students.

Supported a major shift to create greater emphasis on best instructional practices across the district using the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework.

Middle School Redesign

Tasked administration with redesigning our middle school to incorporate block scheduling and interdisciplinary team planning. We have currently implemented this for the 6th grade, and the changes for 7th grade will take effect next year.

Resolution Against High-Stakes Testing

Drafted and passed a resolution against an over-reliance on high-stakes standardized testing. It called for the Commissioner of Education, the NYS Board of Regents, the Governor, and the NY Legislature to involve all stakeholders in the development of a revised, research-based, age-appropriate assessment program with a well-conceived timeline and to suspend the use of state test scores as a component of teacher evaluations until a proven, research-based system is in place.

Expanded Course Offerings

Added Figure, Fashion and Costume, Math 12, Sports Science: An Introduction to the Physics of Sports, Virtual Enterprise, FACS Food and Nutrition, Introduction to Coding, Advanced Printmaking, Animation, and Voices of the Past.

Introduced the AP Capstone program, which includes the AP Seminar and the AP Research courses. This innovative program will provide students the opportunity to receive an AP Capstone Diploma or AP Capstone Certificate, as well as develop the critical thinking, research and communication skills that are essential for college and life-long learning.

Additional expanded AP course offerings including AP Physics I and II, AP Psychology, and AP Music Theory.

Increased the number of AP exams administered during a period of declining enrollment from 370 in 2012 to 588 in 2017.

Added a new 12R English Foundations to help ensure that our seniors graduate with the literacy skills needed to be successful at the collegiate level.

Improved Professional Development

Increased professional development in areas of literacy (reading and writing workshop), academic teaming, Response to Intervention (RTI), and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Better instructional professional development for our administrative leadership team.

Provided more opportunities for teachers to collaborate and learn from each other with schedule adjustments that create grade-level common planning time.

STEAM Initiative

Implemented the district-wide STEAM initiative in all three elementary schools with the creation of STEAM labs outfitted with zSpace tablets, 3D printers, and other curricular resources designed to engage students in designing, building, experimenting and problem-solving.

Expanded STEAM offerings in the middle school through new courses, such as the new 6th grade Creative Mind (coding) course and the 8th grade Applied Engineering elective, as well as the expansion of the Modern Foods lab.

Expanded STEAM offerings in the high school through the addition of new courses such as AP Computer Science and Robotics & Engineering, as well as renovations of several lab spaces.

Reading & Math Programs

Introduced a new Wonders elementary reading program, as well as WonderWorks, a supportive reading program designed to address the needs of students who can benefit from additional assistance.

Achieve 3000 provides additional assistance to our middle schoolers who need literacy support with differentiated instruction tailored to each student’s Lexile reading level.

K-2 FUNDATIONS, a Wilson reading system program included in the 2019-2020 budget to enhance early literacy through phonemic awareness.

Introduced a new GoMath K-6 math program which will expand to K-7 starting next year.

Provided Academic Intervention Services (AIS) for students in 6th grade through a push-in model. This model enhances direct instructional support in the general education setting and will be expanded to grade 7 in the 2019-2020 school year.

Music & Fine Arts

Supported our growing music program by purchasing new musical instruments, adding new courses and updating facilities to better meet the needs of our students.

  • Successfully funded a project to build a new Orchestra room in the high school.

  • Added a state of the art music and recording studio that is serving as a model for other districts for our new high school Audio Engineering course and Music Studio elective for middle school.

  • There has been a 1061% increase in the musical instruments budget line since we have joined the board ($7,500 for the 2012-2013 school year up to $87,122 for the proposed 2019-2020 budget).

Supported our growing fine arts program by adding new courses and updating facilities to better meet the needs of our students.

  • Added two Macintosh Computer Labs at the high school for new courses such as Studio in Media Arts, Digital Media Publishing, 3D Art, Multi-Media Productions and Introduction to Film and Video.

Special Education

Supported the creation of a new 6:1:1 special education program at Mandalay Elementary which will provide a better continuum of services across the district.

Improved early literacy interventions and provided targeted professional development to enhance co-teaching strategies.

Encouraged an increased focus on social skills development and better integration of special needs students into extracurricular activities.

Creation of a Twilight Alternative High School program in collaboration with Nassau BOCES for the 2019-2020 school year. This program will provide a more supportive setting in the late afternoon/early evening for students who have not succeeded in a traditional educational setting.

Administrative Restructuring

Hired two new elementary K-5 directors — a director of STEAM and a director of Humanities — with no increase in administrative headcount by refocusing our current directors/supervisors’ efforts on 6-12 and moving some back into the classroom for part of their day.

Athletics

Tasked our Athletic Department to create an inter-scholastic athletic handbook to provide an easily accessible source of information and resources for student athletes and their parents.

Modernized and simplified our sports registration process through the use of FamilyID.

Directed the creation of an improved coaches’ evaluation system to provide clearer feedback and expectations in areas such as:

  • Relationship with parents, officials, and coaching staff

  • Compliance with safety protocols, supervision guidelines, uniform/equipment management, and code of conduct

  • Quality of instruction

  • Ability to motivate students

  • Promotion of good sportsmanship

Introduced ImPACT, a widely used and scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system to further support the health and safety of our student athletes.

Added a Middle School Boys’ Volleyball team.


Community Engagement

Tax Exemption for Veterans

Approved a resolution granting a property tax exemption to veterans.

Parent Portal

Expanded the use of the eSchoolData Parent Portal to communicate more effectively with parents about their child's academic progress.

Approved the update of the Parent Portal to make 6th through 12th grade students' grades more readily accessible to parents via an online gradebook.

Established a “portal day” to deliver student schedule information at a specified date in August.

Focus Groups & Forums

Authorized a district-wide research project to administer surveys and conduct focus groups with all community stakeholders on district strengths and areas for improvement.

Utilized community forums and roundtable discussions to gain critical input on pressing issues such as safety and security.

Enhanced Communication

Expanded district presence on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as utilization of SchoolMessenger for regular monthly newsletters and parent contact.

Directed Superintendent to provide monthly reports at school board business meetings as well as periodic presentations on district plans and initiatives.


Technology

Wantagh TechDay

Provided support for Wantagh TechDay — a cutting-edge educational initiative spearheaded by Trustee Peter Mountanos and distinguished Wantagh School District alumni to promote computer science education. The event was run annually for five years starting in January 2014 through January 2018.

Wantagh TechDay exposed students in 5th through 12th grade to computer science and programming through a project-oriented day in which they learn and utilize a broad array of skills.

This program provided the foundation for us to add computer science courses into the K-12 curriculum, which is a more sustainable model of teaching these skills than an annual event, and was the original goal of the TechDay founders.


Facilities & Budgets

Fiscally-Responsible Budgets

Delivered budgets below the tax cap that also preserved and expanded our academic, arts, athletic and extracurricular programs and maintained class size guidelines.

Created a sub-reserve fund for employer contributions to the NYS Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) to protect taxpayers from dramatic fluctuations in the employer contribution rate.

Developed a retirement incentive that enabled the district to offset rising health care and pension costs while maintaining and improving upon existing programs.

Ensured that voters would receive their property tax freeze credit by staying within the tax cap and by approving a cooperative government efficiency plan for the district in compliance with the law.

Safety & Security

Developed a multi-prong approach to safety and security by focusing on four critical areas: infrastructure and personnel, training, partnerships, and mental health support.

Infrastructure has been improved with the addition of security vestibules and accompanying double door buzzer systems district-wide. Increased security cameras, additional access control points at priority locations, visitor management systems, classroom door security upgrades, and a one button panic system for each building have also been installed.

Provided budgetary support for additional security personnel as well as a contract with Nassau BOCES for a District Safety Coordinator.

Authorized an independent security auditor to conduct a district-wide analysis.

Increased social worker, psychologist and guidance counselor support to better serve our students’ mental health needs.

Capital Reserve Fund

Established a new 7.5 million Capital Reserve Fund to update and maintain our facilities at no additional cost to taxpayers.

District-wide improvements authorized from our previous Capital Reserve Fund included science classroom renovations, safety and security enhancements, brick pointing and lintel repairs, ceiling replacements, electrical upgrades and turf field replacement at our secondary complex.

Fair & Fiscally Responsible Contracts

Successfully negotiated fair and fiscally responsible contracts with the WUT, OT/PT, CSEA, WSA, SAAW, and WESA.


Board Governance

Goal Setting

Developed specific and measurable long-term goals for the district. These goal include:

  • Expanding a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) initiative to provide all of our students with higher-level 21st century skills.

  • Creating the infrastructure to support the expanded used of educational technology, including our 1:1 Chromebook initiative.

  • Increasing opportunities for student participation in Advanced Placement and honors programs.

  • Enhanced K-5 literacy curriculum support.

  • Complete an in-depth program review of the middle school.

The development of these goals enabled the Board to craft budgets that ensure resources are strategically aligned with furthering the district's vision and mission.

Superintendent Evaluation

Adopted a Superintendent evaluation instrument that provides clear and constructive feedback and enables the board to perform its evaluation role more effectively.

BOE Policy

Implemented a multi-year plan to review, revise and update Board of Education policies and make them readily available on the district website for all members of our school community to access.

NYSSBA Membership

Joined the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), a community of more than 600 school boards state-wide who receive the benefits of NYSSBA's information, policy guidance, training and advocacy.