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Slideshow: Oceanside, Island Park students return to school


Class is back in session as Oceanside students returned to school on Tuesday, while Island Park ushered in the new school year on Wednesday.

In Oceanside

There are plenty of changes in the Oceanside School District. New courses at the high school include app creation, college anatomy and physiology, demystifying and redefining mental health and wellness, introduction to Japanese and magic of words: growing up with Harry Potter. There will also be the addition of an Advanced Placement capstone, which offers students an in-depth experience that supports college and career readiness. 

District officials are also fine-tuning literary initiatives in early and middle grades to strengthen students’ foundational reading skills and have partnered with Columbia University Teachers College to provide high-quality professional development.

In science, the district enters Phase 3 of aligning its kindergarten through 12th-grade curriculum with the next generation science standards. The phase includes developing curriculum on scientific argumentation on the secondary level and expanding Makerspace curriculum for elementary students to engage in collaborative science and engineering problem-solving experiences.

In elementary mathematics, the district is implementing tools that will target individual and small group needs in the areas of fluency, automaticity and number sense.

The 2019-20 school year will also see the development of individual progress plans for all sixth graders, which will guide their progress through middle and high school to ensure that they are prepared for college and careers. In addition, the district is establishing a partnership between Molloy College’s Rebecca Center Music Therapy program and OHS’s life skills class.

New staff members entering the district include Dr. Frank Zangari as the new principal of Fulton Avenue School No. 8, Melissa O’Geary as director of data assessment-administrative services and Anna Hall McGovern as director of early childhood special education.

“As the school year gets underway, I want to focus attention on the concept of shared leadership,” Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington said. “We’re calling it #OSDLeadWithMe. This theme acknowledges the role every member of our school community plays in nurturing students’ overall growth and well-being. When we work together in shared responsibility to create and innovate, the rewards are tremendous.”

In Island Park

There are also many implementations and enhancements in courses and programs to look forward to in Island Park Public Schools in 2019-20.

The new school year will bring two new English Language Arts programs, and college units of study will be taught in fifth through eighth grade. New science curriculums are also earmarked for kindergarten through fifth grade, and new science dimensions units are planned for grades six through eight.

New programs for the district include the implementation of several career and technical education courses, as well as technology education modules for sixth through eighth grade students.

Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School will welcome a new principal in 2019-20, as Cynthia Cameron joins the school after spending the past 13 years in administrative roles at schools in Queens and Elmont. She takes over for Jacob Russum, who spent 10 years as principal and will now serve as the district’s director of pupil personnel services.

Idowu Ogundipe has also joined the district as a business administrator. A state-certified accountant, Ogundipe has a wealth of business experience and previously worked in the Shelter Island School District as a business leader. In his previous role, Ogundipe was instrumental in district budget development, daily operations, policy revisions, business resolutions, staff supervision and negotiations with bargaining units.