Back to School Guide: Changes at Malverne Schools

See what will be different when classes resume next month.

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.

Susan Murphy August 10, 2012 at 09:16 PM
And, yet the BOE gave salary increases to the Administrators because the "poor dears" didn't get one last year....I did not get one last year and I am not getting one this year either....plus my husband died this summer, so I don't even get his Social Security every month....and I am not making anywhere near what these Administrators are...I signed the petition to rescind these increases ....why should we pay more when the students are making due with less.....I don't make over $200,000 a year nor $100,000...
Susan Murphy August 10, 2012 at 09:40 PM
PS I don't begrudge anyone a salary increase; however, when the Testing Scores are VERY LOW and the Asst. Supt. cannot be bothered or even know enough to check warranties on roofs, and for a SMALL School District with only homes as a taxable base, I feel that cutting programs, etc. should indicate to the BOE that maybe it is NOT a GOOD idea to increase these same Administration salaries...If they want to walk because they don't get their way --- God speed!
Gilmane August 10, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Since the windows have not yet been installed inthe Davison Ave School addition, it is hard to imagine that it can open for children in less than a month.
Michael August 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Susan... like it or not testing scores are low not because of the poor performance of teachers or administration but because students and their blame-happy parents are not motivated to study and like most people just don't find the work and effort involved in sitting down and reading a textbook for a good 30 minutes a day worthwhile. I've went to WH schools from Kindergarten and half the kids couldn't care less. Most of them are entitled so asking them to do a little work towards their education is like pulling teeth. The asst. supt.'s salary will be increasing by a little ore than $5,000l which compared to the $55 million dollar budget is exceedingly miniscule and certainly not worth getting worked up about. High salaries are needed to attract the best candidates and while the quality of their work is something that can be debated the whole approach of going after "the overpaid district heads" is ridiculous.
Gregg Jefferies August 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM
44k for Frost Valley?! From what I hear it's their version of Rumspringa.
Susan Murphy August 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Unfortunately, I do not BELIEVE that these Administrators ARE THE BEST CANDIDATES....I think that over $200,000 for an Administrator of 1600 student SD is ludicrous ....and yes, some children are not motivated and their parents could care less, however, to "reward" someone when everyone else is "frozen" salary wise is unethical especially when the students will be bearing the brunt of the cuts....If the SD is that "tight" budget-wise, the last thing to do is give a bunch of OVERPAID yahoos an increase, Michael
Susan Murphy August 10, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Also, my point is that the Administrators are doing a lousy job...go back and read ALL the comments, Michael
Laura August 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I visited Davison Ave school yesterday and in the new wing the windws are all in. The walls are painted and they are nearly finiished with placing the ceiling and flooring tiles.
Michael August 11, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Exactly what "brunt" will the students be facing? A quick look at the approved budgets in my district show that more money is being put towards not just admin. salaries but most of the staff. Maybe we're in different districts or your budget didn't pass. All the $$$ in the world can't and won't increase test scores... the proverbial ball is in the students court the second they step home.
Jackie August 11, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Michael You are obviously missing the whole point.
Kristeine Flynn August 11, 2012 at 04:03 AM
If students are not performing well and expenses are not handled properly, how can you justify any kind of administrative salary incease? They need to put their money where their mouth is!
Michael August 11, 2012 at 07:40 AM
The salary increase is less than the inflation rate... their salaries actually dropped.
Michael August 11, 2012 at 07:43 AM
I'm all for accountability & making sure our districts are up to par... but blindly going after salary increases is a really inefficient use of time and energy. How many of you guys have actually been to a board meeting and made your concerns known? Everyone's a critic... especially when the internet gives them an easy and commitment free way to do so.
Gina Genti August 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Michael a big part of why the community is taking a stand against the raises is the way they were given is: 1. The compensation increases were not included in the budget. 2. The compensation increases were not on the draft agenda for the BOE meeting at which they were approved 3. When they were voted upon the Board President after being asked refused to tell the public what they were citing "personnel" issues. 4. The last compensation increases that were awarded to the central administrators did not make it to the public record for 6 months after the Board vote. Perhaps this can help you understand the frustration with the leadership of Malverne UFSD.
Clark Griswold August 11, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Once again "Nobody gets it!!" Giving raises to administrators while programs are cut and test scores are down is EXACTLY the same as Wall St. execs getting bonuses while shareholder value and the economy of the entire country are tanking. Even the MTA the big kahuna of wasteful spending has frozen managerial pay since 2008 with no end to the freeze in sight and their employees aren't going anywhere. There is just no reason for salary increases!!!!
Michael August 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I didn't know the Malverne district was facing those problems and hope the leadership issues resolve (I am in the WHUFSD which has had it's own boe drama). My main point to Susan was that using test scores to determine salary increases isn't a good idea.
Jan Kasal December 13, 2012 at 04:21 PM
If you follow the Malverne school district news on a regular basis you are aware that the board of education has recently become an agenda of its own, not leaving much room for any other business. Its conduct has been divisive, obscure, and poisonous. The current school board is a burden and embarrassment to the school district residents. If you are ready to dedicate some time to prepare for the upcoming May 2013 school budget and school board member elections and to change the course, please join others by contacting me at vevajanka@hotmail.com


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