Back to School Season Brings Excitement and Opportunity

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Long Beach Students and Staff Begin the 2015-16 School Year

Students, staff members and parents throughout the Long Beach Public Schools were in positive spirits on Sept. 8, which was the official start to a new year of learning, growth and achievement. The first day of school was filled with enthusiasm as teachers warmly welcomed students who appeared eager to learn and take on new experiences.

The 2015-16 school year began with several exciting new developments in place. Most notably, Long Beach Middle School students entered the doors of Nassau County’s first International Baccalaureate Middle Years School. The high school, now in its sixth year as an IB World School, continues to see increasing numbers of IB diploma recipients each year; 56 Class of 2015 graduates received IB diplomas over the summer, the fifth highest class in New York State.

A number of new administrators introduced themselves after spending time this summer working with colleagues and becoming acclimated to their roles. Paul Romanelli and Kathleen Connolly were welcomed as principals of Long Beach Middle School and East School, respectively, and Julia Lang-Shapiro joined the district as director of media, performing and fine arts.

Former Long Beach Middle School Principal Dr. Michele Natali now serves as executive director of human resources, while former East School Principal Sean Murray holds a new position as director of elementary curriculum, instruction and assessment. Mr. Murray’s responsibilities are dedicated to ensuring common curricula throughout the four elementary buildings with a specific focus on literacy and math, for which he is working closely with the district’s three elementary instructional coaches. Lauren Kaufman and Theresa Taplin hold newly added literacy and math coach positions and, along with literacy coach Dr. Jennifer Pullara, will lead professional development sessions for staff members. Dr. Matthew Morand moved from his role as school psychologist at Long Beach High School to that of high school special education coordinator.

Dr. Deborah Lovrich’s designation has been changed to director of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and former Director of Social Studies Sean Hurley is now director of humanities. Jennifer Quinn, a social studies teacher at the high school, has been appointed International Baccalaureate diploma coordinator.

The district continues to revise and enhance its curriculum to meet the demands of the new state standards and to ensure that it is rigorous and challenging. Curricular improvements at the elementary level support those made at the secondary level, and revisions completed over the past few years have been further examined and updated.

The availability of wireless capability was expanded at all schools, and a large-scale window replacement project was completed at the high school. Construction work for the administration building, fully funded by FEMA and the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, is expected for December.

“We had an excellent opening day and a strong start to what is looking like a very successful year,” said Superintendent of Schools David Weiss. “It is always wonderful to see students come back excited to learn and take on new challenges, and our staff eager to help them succeed.”