By John Nugent
Mineola Middle School Principal Andrew Casale and his team cited gains in reading and math scores for the 2018 school year at a Board of Education meeting last Thursday.
They cited advances of 2% in reading and 4% in math growth scores using assessment tools in proficiency and growth designed by Northwest Educational Assessment. Math and reading scores exceeded most of the schools in New York State, Casale said.
He also noted that last year Mineola ranked considerably below the Nassau County opt-out rates for math and reading tests.
Deputy Superintendent Matthew Gaven cited the impact of the new integrated curriculum as a potential major factor in overall improved performance.
Assistant Principal Amy Trojanowski added that computer science and computational thinking with a focus on coding will become a significant part of the curriculum.
She also said that students will be given incentives to learn by earning badges for completion of various units.
Superintendent of Schools Michael Nagler spoke about “the pursuit of excellence.” He proudly said that Mineola Middle School is one of only six schools in Nassau County to be named to the list of “Schools to Watch” by the National Forum, an alliance of education professionals that promotes academic performance.
He also announced that the middle school earned the 2019 Student Voices Award for digital and project-based learning by the State Educational Technology Directors Association. It is the first time that a school from New York State has won. A team of students and educators will be invited to the association’s annual leadership summit in Washington, D.C., in November.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” Nagler said.
He cited the importance of student character in addition to academics and stressed a focus on student behavior and self-esteem.
Board of Education President Christine Napolitano added: “It’s not just the academics. All the other things are so important.”
Before the middle school presentation, Napolitano commented on the progress of capital projects in the district.
“I want to compliment Dr. Nagler for all the improvements that have been made,” she said. Nagler responded by recognizing the custodial staff for its efforts on the various projects.
The superintendent told the board that all administrative files that were affected by the recent cyberattack on the district’s computer network have been recovered. Technical staff members are cleaning up a few minor issues but they anticipate getting the system back to fully normal operations without loss of any sensitive data very soon, according to Gaven.