Readers Write Port Washington schools best days lie ahead

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The last 13 months have been the most difficult that most kids have experienced in their lives. From missed birthday parties, sports events, holidays and of course school. But as the weather continues to warm, we can feel in the air that better days lie just ahead.

We are at a moment when Port Washington is ready to turn a page and ready for a change. The pandemic has allowed pushed education to do things that were not possible even five years ago.

Kids who are sick can now attend class, assignments can be submitted and graded online and educational apps can be used to teaching coding to kids as young as five.
At the same time, having time away from school has taught our community just how much we miss it. Virtual education is a great alternative when necessary, but for most students does not replace the traditional student-teacher relationship.

Schools are the best place for our children socially, intellectually and developmentally.
I have the qualifications to be a great board member:
• I know the schools: my wife and I went to Port Washington schools and we have three kids at Salem.
• I am a teacher, I teach, lead discussions, write lectures, grade papers and ensure rigorous content is taught.
• I am a former health regulator, so I can help navigate complex but often flexible health regulations.
• My wife Lauren and I wrote 3 children’s books on COVID-19. They are available free. We have 30,000 downloads around the world to date.

I am running because now is the moment for change.

I believe Port Washington has all the raw materials to make our district one of the premier districts in the country.

First Port Washington’s teachers, paraprofessionals, and facilities staff have shown this year when districts across the country were shuttered, duty called and they returned to the classroom, with masks, new complicated precautions and the can-do ingenuity that the moment required. They were forced by circumstances beyond anyone’s control to figure out new ways of teaching under complicated and scary circumstances.

My children have had a great year. Thank you all for showing the stuff that this district is made of.

Second, Port Washington’s kids, put their masks on every single day, weathered being separated from friends, sitting behind desk shields and randomly being quarantined for weeks at a time. They rose to the moment and excelled and showed character.

Third, Port Washington parents are passionate about their children’s education. You can see this in the stands at Weber, Schreiber and Lion’s Field every weekend and from every sold-out school show and concert and driving around Port Washington after school seeing parents driving their kids from activity to activity. No parent does that just for fun.

To be a great district, we need to embrace this moment where so much has happened so fast and learn from it. The world of 2033 when my kindergartner is scheduled to graduate from Schreiber will be very different. If we want to continue being a great district, we need new ideas, more creativity and increased investment.

Each budget season I watch as the board squabbles over funding AGATE versus special education programs versus extracurriculars versus funding substitutes and paraprofessionals.

With a little work and creativity, we can have them all. Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective. Some think this is impossible. I ask for your vote and a little faith that it if Roslyn, Great Neck, Manhasset and Syosset can do it, so can Port Washington.

I will help bring the Port Washington school system to the next level. On May 18, Vote for

Adam E. Block, PhD
Schreiber Class of 1995
Candidate for Port Washington Board of Education

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