ONE PROUD VIKING… Part I

From the Desk of Superintendent Dr. Peter Giarrizzo Making the Grade in North Shore

“Fine teaching, superb learners, and a commitment to excellence in the North Shore Schools makes all of us proud.”  - Superintendent, Dr. Peter Giarrizzo

I am proud of our schools. The North Shore School District is a dynamic educational community that has been traditionally rated among the finest in the United States. It serves a rich mix of students whose academic performance is consistently high across many measures. Our Viking Nation embraces a growth mindset and has received many academic accolades over the years. Together with the support of the Board of Education, superintendent, administrators, faculty, staff, and community, North Shore remains dedicated to our K-12 students as we continue to sail on a course of excellence. These are some of the many things that make me proud to be a Viking:

North Shore High School

  • Our graduation rate continues to climb resulting in the highest graduation and college acceptance in the history of our District, 99% of the Class of 2017 graduated, 73% was accepted to the “Most Highly” and “Highly Competitive” universities and colleges
  • NS High School recognized as one of the top 24 “Reward Schools” on Long Island for demonstrating high academic achievement by the NYS Depart. of Education (Newsday 2018)
  • 73% of students received a 3,4,or 5 on their Advanced Placement Exams (AP) vs. 64% in New York State, and 60% in the USA (2017)
  • NS High School students scored higher averages on their IB (International Baccalaureate) exams in Mathematics, Chemistry, English, and History compared to global averages of students around the world (2017)
  • On eight Regents exams given at NS High School, the average passing rate was 94.4%, the average Mastery rate was 56.75% (2017) 
  • NS High School senior, Audrey O’Brien, named a top 300 Scholar in the 77th Regeneron Science Talent Search, previously known as the Intel Science Talent Search (2018)

North Shore Middle School

  • NS Middle School designated a “NY State and National School to Watch” serving as a model for middle schools across the Nation (2016)
  • On the 6th grade ELA assessments, our students had the 2nd highest average scaled score (331) of all Nassau County Schools (2017)
  • On the 8th grade ELA assessments, our students had the highest proficiency score in the county, 92% of our students scored a level of 3 or 4 (2017)
  • 6th grade Math had the 7th highest proficiency rate, 80% of our students scored a level 3 or 4 (of 56 districts) (2017)
  • NS Middle School achieved 100% passing on the Common Core Algebra I Regents exam, matched only by two other districts. Additionally, they achieved 6th highest Mastery (66%) rate in Nassau County (2017)
  • In 2017, North Shore Middle School students achieved 99.6% passing on Living Environment Regents exam, matched only by two other school districts in Nassau County.  North Shore Middle School students also achieved the 9th highest mastery rate in Nassau County (65%).  It is important to note this accomplishment with the understanding that at North Shore, every 8th grade student to take Living Environment, which is typically offered as a 9th grade course in other school districts. 

North Shore Elementary Schools

  • All three North Shore Elementary Schools rated “Top 100 in the State” by Niche.com (2016)
  • Grade 3-5 proficiency percentages in top fifth of Nassau County districts and typical for districts similar to ours. (2017)
  • Of the students taking the Grade 3-5 ELA assessment, on average North Shore was 7th highest of 53 districts in Nassau County (2017)
  • North Shore Grade 3-5 Math exam proficiency percentages exceeded Nassau County in 2017, 3rd graders received 83% (vs. 60% in Nassau County), 4th graders achieved 79% (vs. 58% in Nassau County), and 5th graders scored 81% (vs. 59% in Nassau County)  
  • Of the students taking the Grade 3-5 Math assessment, on average North Shore outscored Nassau County by 22% (2017)

While these represent only a snapshot of some of our good work, it is important to note that we remain committed to our continuous improvement and are always seeking to improve performance outcomes  while balancing the health and wellness of our student body.

Please join us on Thursday, February 8th, 2018, in the North Shore High School Library at 7:30 pm, as I  present the 2018-19 Initial Budget to the community. Over the next few months, the Board of Education will navigate through the comprehensive, line-by-line budget process. It will culminate on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 when our residents will have the opportunity to participate in the Budget Vote at North Shore High School Gymnasium, from 7 am -10 pm.

Best regards,

Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
Superintendent of Schools

Follow me on Twitter @PeterGiarrizzo

 

ONE PROUD VIKING…Part II

From the Desk of Superintendent Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
Inspired Teaching, Superb Learning, and Our Shared Values

I am proud to work in a high-quality learning environment where inspirational teachers and administrators tirelessly pour their heart and soul into educating our K-12 students. Teaching is hard work. It is a marriage of art and science that can ignite endless passion, wonder, and knowledge in children. Consistent with our mission statement, our Viking Nation remains resolute in our commitment to providing each student with an education that emphasizes the importance of our Shared Valued Outcomes (SVOs). They are the basis of our educational philosophy and help make the North Shore Schools so special and unique.

I am proud of the North Shore Schools Shared Valued Outcomes (SVOs) and how they continue to be embedded district-wide into the curriculum, instruction, and assessment of classrooms:

  • Thinkers, Problem-Solvers, Communicators, Collaborators, Innovators, and Committed Individuals are the six key attributes that define our district-wide learning initiative better known as the SVOs. It is a long-term educational plan developed by our District leaders in combination with our core constituencies to improve the quality of education for all K-12 North Shore students
  • The primary goal of the SVOs is to provide our students with the necessary skills and behaviors to not only be successful in school, but to thrive as citizens in the world for the rest of their lives
  • In the 2017-18 school year, our faculty will continue to focus on the key components outlined in the SVOs with emphasis on thinking and communication
  • The SVOs have become the underpinnings of learning regardless of grade level or content. Below are just a few examples of some of the authentic learning experiences that our students are engaged in at all of our schools:
  • iInnovate & Operation Splash (GH): All K-5 students are learning to analyze and propose solutions for how best to protect the environment by reusing and repurposing trash in creative ways. Students will also become better educated about water systems and how they impact the Long Island Sound.
  • Makerspaces (Elementary and Middle Schools): Our students have opportunities to tinker, explore, and innovators using found and other items to create something new.
  • Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay (HS): Students who elect to take part in the IB Diploma program take courses in studying theories of knowledge. They write a 4,000 word essay on a topic of interest that is research based and ties together learning across the curriculum. Thinking about knowledge is a powerful tool that will position North Shore students well.
  • STEM Learning (All Schools): All K-5 and middle school students explore topics in science, technology, engineering, and math, in addition to learning coding. High school students engage in authentic science research projects and can work with scientists in labs in Manhattan and on LI. Additionally, students can elect to take courses in computer science and computer programming.
  • District-wide students are engaged in authentic research that capitalizes on their interests in various aspects of the Humanities and STEM curricula (e.g., Investigating Ecosystems (Grade 2), Visual Artifact of Learning & Thinking (MS Social Studies/Art), Global Environment Research Issue (HS French and Italian)
  • Additionally, our teachers and administrators participate in professional development opportunities surrounding the SVOs and how to incorporate them into their teaching. Some examples in which our professionals have been taking part are:
  • Building Socratic dialog into the conversations among students
  • Creating authentic performance assessments in which the learning and practice of the SVOs are intricately interwoven and critical to the performance assessment
  • The role of education in democratic discourse, critical thinking and civic engagement
  • Learning about and monitoring students learning through productive struggle

At the North Shore Schools, we are proud to offer a robust K-12 academic program that provides rich opportunities in the humanities, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), social and physical sciences, world languages, fine and performing arts, health, and physical education and athletics. Our District is known to be special place where caring and skillful educators reach out to our children each day to teach them how to better collaborate, communicate, think, solve problems, innovate, and commit to growth in oneself and concern for others. The SVOs are the basis of superior, interdisciplinary instruction that continues to inspire and engage our superb K-12 students to perform at their highest levels.

On Thursday, February 8th, 2018, in the North Shore High School Library at 7:30 pm, I will present the 2018-19 Initial Budget to the North Shore community. Join us during the next few months as the Board of Education navigates our Viking Nation through the line-by-line budget process. On Tuesday, May 15th, residents will have the opportunity to participate in the Budget Vote/Election of Trustees in the North Shore High School gymnasium, from 7 am -10 pm.

Best regards,

Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
Superintendent of Schools

Follow me on Twitter @PeterGiarrizzo

 

ONE PROUD VIKING…Part III

Boundless Opportunities for Our Students

I The North Shore Schools K-12 experience is filled with boundless opportunities intended to help our students thrive and achieve their maximum potential. We are proud of our strong core courses and curriculum, interscholastic and extra-curricular activities, voluntary community service, and numerous clubs and after-school activities that support individual student development at all levels.

These are only a few of the numerous opportunities offered at North Shore that make me proud                           to be a Viking:

  • Over 60% of HS students and 73% of MS students participate in interscholastic athletics
    • North Shore has 43 Varsity/JV teams and 33 Viking MS teams (7th & 8th graders)
    • 20 Varsity athletes signed Letters of Intent for colleges and/or universities (2017)
    • 18 teams qualified for the NY State Association Scholar/Athlete Team Award (2017) 
  • Over 50% of North Shore students participate in the Fine & Performing Arts
    • There are 34 Fine & Performing Arts extra-curricular activities offered district-wide
    • 453 students participated in the NYSSMA Majors at all levels (2016-17)
    • 94 students participated in All-County Festivals, 6 were selected for All-State (2018)
  • Over 80% of students volunteer in community service and have participated in many activities
    • At the high school, 347 students have submitted community service hours to-date. Two popular service clubs include the Key Club (Kiwanis) and Interact (Rotary) 
    • Our K-12 students have voluntarily participated in various events including Relay for Life, Adopt-A-Family, Gift of Life, Cohens Children’s Medical Center, Glen Cove Senior Center, St. Christopher Ottillie, and Long Island Harvest, - just to name a few!
  • NS High School offers a rich array of high quality courses and curricula with recommendations for inclusion of 18 AP Courses/20 IB courses with direct support of 22 AP exams/18 IB exams
  • NS High School offers approximately 69 electives and NS Middle School offers 38 electives to eighth graders that are rich and diverse to meet the interests of our students
  • World Languages and cultural experiences in Mandarin and Spanish begin at all three Elementary Schools. Students can continue with these languages or take French, Italian, and/or Latin at the secondary levels.
  • The school District is 1:1 with iPads and/or Google Chromebooks in Grades 5-12. Coding and courses in computer science and programming are popular. Technology enables students to step outside the boundaries of the school and encourages both collaborative and independent learning. These skills are imperative to prepare students for lifelong learning and success in the 21st century.
  • Robotics continues to thrive at the North Shore Schools. The HS Robotics team has exceled in national championships. In 2017, Sea Cliff students shined in the Wonder League coding and robotics competition with two teams receiving Certificates of Excellence for perfect scores.
  • The North Shore Schools traditionally have the highest number of students achieving Gold Medals at the Long Island Math Fair.
  • At least 50 extra-curricular activities and clubs are offered at NS High School and 37 clubs are offered at NS Middle School to keep our students engaged outside of their regular classes.
  • All students in K-5 participate in School-Wide Enrichment Services (SWES), which foster student achievement through differentiated instruction and enable children to pursue individual interests, collaborate with students of like abilities, and develop unique talents. Some examples include:
    • Differentiated instruction through the collaboration of enrichment specialists and the classroom teachers
    • Push-in Services (e.g., Math Problem Solving/Critical Thinking and Scientific Method/STEM Science Fair)
    • Alternative SWES learning experiences  (Enrichment Clubs, Learning Centers, Living Planet, and Star Lab)
  • NS Middle School offers numerous Enrichment opportunities that prepare students for career exploration.  Some examples include FACS (i.e., Baking and Cooking), STEM (i.e., Viking Explorers, Investigations, Design Squad, Robotics and Automation, Engineering Structures, Transportation & Vehicles), and Humanities (Creative Writing, Public Speaking, Viking Voice, National History, Criminal Justice, and Documentary Film).  

Again, this is only a snapshot of all of the wonderful things that are happening at the North Shore School District that continue to keep our students well balanced and engaged during and after school hours. You may know that our District's motto is ​"Discovering Your Dreams." ​One of the things that makes North Shore so unique is that we are focused on encouraging kids to dream. With these boundless opportunities, not only can our K-12 students dream, but they can explore their passions, think critically, meet friends with similar interests, find their voices, and ultimately mature to be successful individuals in school and beyond.  

Finally, last night I presented my initial 2018-19 Budget to the Board of Education and community. Please be on the lookout for much more information regarding how the 2018-19 Budget will afford our students with continued boundless opportunities.

Please join us during the next few months as the Board of Education navigates our Viking Nation through the line-by-line budget process. It will culminate on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 when our residents will have the opportunity to participate in the Budget Vote/Election of Trustees at North Shore High School Gymnasium, from 7 am -10 pm. We are grateful for the support of our parents and community for enabling the North Shore School District to thrive.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
Superintendent of Schools

Follow me on Twitter @PeterGiarrizzo



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