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BOE Discusses Curriculum in Light of Common Core Standards

Computer Network for Education Policy also updated.

The Massapequa School District has outlined their efforts to align itself with the upcoming state-mandated Common Core learning standards.

Speaking to the Board of Education Thursday, Thomas Fasano, assistant to the Superintendent, the Board said there will be no changes to the district’s Course Content booklet; for the 2013-2014 school year.

“Our focus has been the Common Core Standards...how well do our current course offerings align with the Common Core, and prepare our children to achieve, to meet their goals?” he said. “We’ve been speaking for several years about 21st century skills and college and career readiness is certainly at the core of Common Core.”

Fasano said the district looked long and hard at courses the Board of Education has supported, and based on the high achievements of students in areas such as Advanced Placement testing, as well as available opportunities for college credit, they decided for the first time in five years not to recommend any new addition to the curriculum.

“We want, as much as possible, to make the final year of high school mirror the first year of college,” he said. “The focus this year ultimately comes down to three things- clarity, consistency, and the Common Core. Those are the drivers for our analysis, and our proposed revisions to the Course Content booklet this year.”

Superintendent Charles Sulc  viewed the recommendation that no new courses be added in the curriculum for the upcoming school year as proof that the current program they have in place works.

“Right now we just need to make sure that we’re aligning our courses with the Common Core, that the kids are getting the benefits out what a Common Core curriculum is in Math and English Language Arts,” he said. “We will then make tweaks in our courses to make sure the kids are properly prepared for college. I think we’re in the right direction right now.”

Executive Director for Assessment, Student Data & Technology Services, Robert Schilling, also held a presentation on updates made to the Computer Network for Education Policy.

The law that requires that the district have such a policy, which is known as the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which was enacted in 2001 to address concerns regarding children’s access to inappropriate content on the internet.

“Under CIPA, we were required to put filters in place to filter out pictures that are obscene or harmful to minors, and to monitor online activity of minors,” he said. “In 2012, CIPA was re-authorized in an act called the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act. Now, in addition to the two areas that were already in place, there is now a third that needed to have required language in our policy, specifically in the area of educating minors in appropriate online behavior as well as cyberbullying awareness and response.”

Schilling pointed out that the district already had such measures in place as part of their standard policies already, educating children as early as in the first grade on computer usage and expanding the scope upwards with higher grades.

And as a part of his Superintendent’s report, Charles Sulc announced that the newest production of the Massapequa Drama program would be the classic musical "Into the Woods."  He also confirmed that this year’s senior graduation ceremony would once again be held at Hofstra University on Monday, June 24, 2013.

“It’s a great facility,” he said. “We’ve had many, many compliments from parents on the graduations we’ve head there.”

The next meeting of the Massapequa Board of Education is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 3, at 8 p.m.

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