In just a few short weeks, Malverne students will be heading back to school, but not everything will be the same as how they left it in June. A new year brings change.
Here's some of the ways the school district will be different when classes resume on Sept. 4.
Building Upgrades - The biggest changes students will notice when schools re-open are the renovations and upgrades at School and. These projects, part of a $9.9 million bond proposition that residents approved in November 2010, are expected to be finished by the time classes resume in September. This includes an extension of Davison, that will include a science lab, music room and classrooms to accomodate the district's fifth graders. In the past, these students had moved on to the middle school, but Davison will now be a Grade 3-5 school. Downing students will enjoy an expanded library, and both schools will have new cafeterias, meaning students no longer have to eat in the basements, new doors, and features to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Davison will now have elevators, for instance.
Athletic Facilities: As of July 5, all the work was complete on Proposition 2, a $4.2 million bond proposition that voters also approved in 2010. Although most of the project had been completed during the 2011-2012 school year, including the practice fields, , and locker room upgrades, the district recently finished the final work on its basketball and tennis courts.
Program Cuts: On the elementary level, students will be receiving less art, music and library instruction as a result of cuts in residents adopted in May. In the high school, non-mandated elective courses that had the lowest enrollment figures when students registered for classes at the end of last school year were cut.
Less Clubs and Activities: Due to budget contraints, the intramual programs at the high school and middle school have been eliminated for the 2012-2013. The programs will still be offered at offered at Maurice W. Downing and Davison Avenue elementary schools, but will be reduced to only one per semester. Also, expect to see less K-12 co-curricular activities and clubs. The district will decide which ones to keep and cut based on how many kids sign-up.
New Cyberbulling Policy: The signed into law on Sept. 13, 2010, took effect on July 1, 2012. It requires schools to take action to prevent, detect and investigate cases of cyberbullying by providing training and guidelines to its faculty and students, and adopting preemptive measures and protocols. Like neighboring school districts, Malverne has DASA coordinators at each of its school buildings to address these issues. They are Malverne High School Principal James Brown, Joe Aquino, Dan Dehlsen, Matt Rosen, Davison Avenue Principal Ed Tallon, Eileen Duffy Translavania, Janie Carter-Jorif and Maurice W. Downing Principal Marguerite McDaid.
New Curriculum: The district will start implementing the state-mandated Common Core Learning Standards into the curriculum Math and English-Language Arts. (Other subjects will be have to adopt Common Core standards for the 2013-2014 school year.)
Teacher Reviews: This will also be the first year that the school district will have to evaluate its teachers according to an Annual Professional Performance Review Plan that the New York State Education Department is requiring it to adopt by January 2013.
Retirements - Some familiar faces won’t be returning to Malverne schools in September. They include: Dan Gibbons, a special education teacher at the Malverne High School, Kyra Freed, a science teacher at the Howard T. Herber Middle School, and Marietta Cleckley, chair of the district's science department. Athletics director Brenda White will also not be returning. (The district has yet to announce who will be replacing her.)
Field Trips: Since the district cut funding for all non-instructional field trips for the school year, for the first time, sixth graders (and their families) will have to fundraise nearly $44,000 if they want to go to Frost Valley this year.