Dear Community Residents,
First, I would like to wish the entire Shoreham-Wading River community a happy and healthy New Year. As many of you are aware, the Board of Education and administration have spent the past month reviewing our district’s current security and safety protocols. We are committed to improving the security in and around our schools, as the safety of our students is the district’s top priority. I thank all the community residents who have taken the time to share their thoughts and suggestions with us. This is an ongoing process and one through which we will continue to involve the community.
As we move into the official school budget season, please be aware that the district continues to face a number of financial challenges. These include a very large increase in mandatory pension contributions and health premiums, additional unfunded state mandates and the continuation of the tax levy cap. As always, the district encourages community involvement. Please attend the scheduled budget workshops and Board of Education meetings. We need to hear your voice!
The challenge of implementing the mandatory teacher and administrator evaluation plan, otherwise known as the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan, continues. This year serves as a pilot year for our district, being the first year that it has been in place. We will continue to monitor how our APPR plan is working and, if necessary, make adjustments to the plan where needed.
(For those of you not aware, the APPR plan dictates that all teachers and principals throughout the district will be evaluated annually out of a total possible score of 100 points: 20 points will be based upon student performance on state assessments, 20 points will be based on student performance on local assessments, and the remaining 60 points will come from a principal’s evaluation of the teacher within the classroom.)
Board of Education committees related to space and facilities, policy, safety, legislation, audit and technology continue to do important work for the district with the help of community participation.
As always, please continue to contact me should you have any questions or concerns. By working together – whether it’s on the topic of school safety or school curriculum – we can make our district the strongest it can be for the students we serve. Finally, let me congratulate our seniors as they prepare to go off to college, to different kinds of employment and to service in the military.
Steven R. Cohen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools