Students continued to advocate for their teacher and board continued to consider the specifics of a turf field to be installed at the high school. Those were a few of the takeaways from the May 4 meeting of the Mamaroneck School Board, which also featured the 5th grade Strolling Strings from Chatsworth and Murray and a long list of students recognized for achievements in music, FBLA competition, and Original Science Research.
Students Persist in Their Support
A dozen high school students attended the beginning of the meeting, before the large crowd of students receiving certificates arrived. About half of the smaller group spoke out in support of Mamaroneck High School English teacher Jennifer Rosenzweig, who is up for tenure this year. The students learned before spring break that she had not been recommended for tenure. Since then, dozens of students have spoken up in Mrs. Rosenzweig’s support, on Facebook, in a petition, in meetings with administrators, at board meetings and at a protest at the high school during lunch on April 30.
The students acknowledged the seriousness of the tenure process, as well as the confidential nature of personnel decisions. Still, said senior Janaye Stanford, “we can’t help but feeling we’re being lied to.”
Senior Sam Sawyer noted that both administrators and tenure were designed to better the educational process and suggested that there had been a “communications breakdown” that “must be fixed.”
Neither the board members nor Superintendent Paul Fried responded to the students’ comments.
Tenure awards will be made at the next board meeting, on May 11. The May 4 agenda did not include any mention of tenure, but did indicate that the board was meeting in executive session to discuss employment matters both before and after the public session.
Rubber or Coconut and Cork?
The board also heard from fields consultant Bill Aniskovich, who has been charged with helping research various types of infill to be used in the artificial turf field to be installed at the high school. The board previously pledged not to use recycled rubber for the infill, and now must choose an alternative.
Mr. Aniskovich and Athletic Director Bari Suman explained that two alternatives are being considered. One is a natural coconut and cork infill, such as the product manufactured by Italian company Limonta, which has been used in hundreds of fields throughout Europe. The other is a virgin synthetic rubber known by its chemical abbreviation, EPDM. Both are relatively new in the United States, and the board had a number of questions regarding performance and durability.
Most of those questions, however, remain unanswered. After expressing frustration with the lack of available information, the board asked Mr. Aniskovich to renew his efforts to learn more about both types of infill so that the board would be in a position to make a final decision when bids come in on May 18.
Mr. Aniskovich admitted that he had not obtained much information on the coconut-cork fields, but expressed concern that an organic infill could support plant growth or even mold. Both he and Fields for Kids President Jim Hanley were able to grow grass seed in dishes filled with the organic infill.
Mr. Hanley cautioned, though, that the experiments grew grass under conditions quite different than those that would exist if the coconut-cork infill were used in a turf field. He said that he was very impressed with a field installed in Riverdale last fall, which included the organic infill.
Increased networking to get information about older fields using the organic infill is necessary, said Mr. Hanley. “It just takes a little gumshoe work.”
Board Members React to School Visits
Board members also reported about the visits they took to each of the six schools, where they were focusing on assessments, in accordance with one of their goals for the year.
Rick Marsico, board vice president, observed that “assessments are going on all the time” in the schools, although classic tests – known by educators as summative assessments – “are a very small part of that.”
Other board members commented favorably on the complexity of the assessment process and the extent to which students are receiving targeted instruction as a result of all the assessment that goes on.
It’s a complicated area, noted board president Linnet Tse. Teachers often have different philosophies of how to assess students. For example, to what extent should effort or progress made over time impact a grade? Should the district – or even individual departments – have a common philosophy in this area?
Examination of these issues will continue next year.
Upcoming: The board’s next meeting will be on May 11. Facilities use fees will be discussed and an update on the infill research will be presented, assuming new information is available. Tenure awards will begin at 7:30.
The following students were selected to participate as All-County members
|Tori Revich||Sopr 1||Central||Chorus||Elementary|
|Jack Spiridellis||Alto 1||Central||Chorus||Elementary|
|Sophia Danziger||Sopr 2||Central||Chorus||Elementary|
|Nicole Inocencio||Alto 2||Central||Chorus||Elementary|
|Emily Engel||Sopr 1||Chatsworth||Chorus||Elementary|
|Chloe Malushaga||Alto 1||Chatsworth||Chorus||Elementary|
|Anna Kiernan||Sopr 2||Chatsworth||Chorus||Elementary|
|Liliana Laughlin||Alto 2||Chatsworth||Chorus||Elementary|
|Lily Schwendener||Sopr 1||Murray||Chorus||Elementary|
|Zack Owen||Alto 1||Murray||Chorus||Elementary|
|Courtney Sawyer||Sopr 2||Murray||Chorus||Elementary|
|Maddy Land||Alto 2||Murray||Chorus||Elementary|
MHS Jazz Band A Members took 1st place in the 7th annual Sleepy Hollow High School JazzFest. In addition, they won awards for Best Latin Selection, Best Trumpet Section, Best Saxaphone Section and Best Rhythm Section. This is the second year in a row that the MHS Jazz Band A has taken first place in this high school jazz band competition
The following students were selected as Jazz Band members.
Jazz Band A:
|Jacob Forsyth||3rd trumpet||MHS||Jazz A Band|
|Evan Garwood||1st Alto Saxophone||MHS||Jazz A Band|
|Michael Stein||2nd Tenor Saxophone||MHS||Jazz A Band|
Jazz Band B:
|Jonathan Brandom||drum-set||MHS||Jazz B Band|
|Joshua Kogan||1st Alto Saxophone||MHS||Jazz B Band|
|Danny Neuman||Alternate Piano||MHS||Jazz B Band|