Herricks board announces completion of seven district goals during 2020-21

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Herricks board announces completion of seven district goals during 2020-21
Superintendent Fino Celano says the school district will soon be able to have a one to one ratio of students to chrombeooks. (Screengrab courtesy of Brandon Duffy via YouTube)

Herricks School Superintendent Fino Celano said Thursday night that the district was able to accomplish seven goals that it had set to be completed by September.

“Goals become measures of accountability,” Celano said at a Board of Education meeting at the Herricks Community Center also available on Zoom. “As great as we are as a school district, we’re looking to always improve.”

Celano discussed goals that were completed, were in the midst of completion or were set to begin this school year. 

He said the goals reached in the last year included refining technology to enhance instruction during three different modes of learning. Last year staff and technology needed to handle in-person, hybrid and remote learning. 

“The pandemic forced school teachers, administrators, students and everyone to experiment and to learn new methods of using instructional technology,” he said.

Another goal that was completed but is set to be expanded upon this year is the new teacher internship program in conjunction with Hofstra University’s School of Education. Last year, only one student teacher was able to work at Herricks but now the district has three, according to the superintendent. 

“There’s a lot of added value to our programs, and at the same time, you serve as a center for the new teachers to learn,” Celano said. “They’re really learning from the best when they work with our faculty.”

The other five goals completed last year in the district included a curriculum review in guidance, refining the district’s mental health curriculum, refining the annual performance professional review plan, designing systems for online staff recruitment and planning for capital improvements. 

Multiyear goals the district is currently completing are enhancements to the curriculum in different subjects, as well as maintaining a climate of inclusivity, cultural sensitivity and equity. 

For the  2021-22 school year, goals that were announced include a curriculum review in social studies. This will incorporate a committee designed to find the best practices through surveys and trends in the field, which will be presented to the Board of Education in the future. 

Also included in the new goals were an enhancement of instructional technology plans. Each student will have a Google Chromebook. Currently, all students in grades four to 12 have a  Chromebook, Celano said. The next step is to incorporate grades two and three. 

Celano said the other upcoming goals included revisions and enhancements to school guidelines and updates for renovations in the district, including the high school auditorium renovation project, which the board got an update on at the last meeting. 

The superintendent made clear that despite the issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the school district was able to accomplish much of what it set out to do last year. 

“We’re very excited to continue to work hard for our students and community here in Herricks to really focus on the ideas of continuous improvement and getting to the next level,” he said.

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