Manhasset public schools started back up on Wednesday, Sept. 5, and parents, teachers and students alike are being welcomed back to school with a totally redesigned user friendly website at www.manhassetschools.org. The new website is much easier to navigate and better responds to its users.
It has also been one year since the new Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera came to replace the retiring Charlie Cardillo. During that first year, Butera used the time to listen, learn and get to know the many people who make Manhasset what it is.
“One of my mentors shared with me that when someone speaks you learn a great deal…sometimes you learn a little—sometimes you don’t learn anything, but you never learn less—I know for me personally my greatest learning over the course of my administrative career has been to pause and take the time to listen.”
Last year Butera had a survey created for parents, students as well as staff. More than 2,700 responded to the survey. The results of the survey were clear—more than 90 percent of parents, faculty and students all agree the district has high standards for learning, but there is more to do. Butera wants to focus on the students’ well being. The results also reported that 25 percent of the student body feels sad.
“We know from our discussion that what we want for our students goes beyond just good grades and acceptance to universities of their choice,” said Butera. “We want students who are fulfilled, happy and resilient, and while many are, we know from many of our kids that our focus on their social and emotional well-being must continue. What is so inspiring is that I have never once, in spite of the district’s many successes, gotten the sense that we’ve reached the pinnacle…and that is a sign of an exceptional organization.”
Butera is also proud that Manhasset boasts the highest number of teachers who have received National Board Certification, which is designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers thereby generating ongoing improvement in schools. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. The certification process requires that teachers demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning in alignment with the five core propositions. They must exhibit a deep understanding of their students, content knowledge, use of data and assessments and teaching practice. They must also show that they participate in learning communities and provide evidence of ongoing reflection and continuous learning.
Security is an issue that is being addressed as well. Each school building will have a security vestibule installed. The security vestibule will be similar to that of the central administration’s office, featuring two sets of ballistic-rated glass doors as well as additional security cameras. All permits have been approved and work will be completed this fall.
In addition to freshly painted cafeterias at both Shelter Rock and Munsey Park Elementary Schools, students will have the opportunity to see firsthand these new improvements as they return to school this week.