Sewanhaka readies new programs for the fall

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As the start of the 2018-19 school year approaches, the Sewanhaka Central High School District has set up everything it needs in order to launch two new programs for the students in the district this fall. Superintendent Ralph

Ferrie described the new Academic Learning Center as a resource that will serve students who have been suspended from school.

“There will no longer be your typical out of school suspension, as those students will attend the Academic Learning Center at our CTE building in Sewanhaka,” Ferrie said.

District officials hope that the ALC will help deter students from being suspended, something they said similar programs have accomplished in other districts. They also see the program as a way to halt the learning gap that students face when they are suspended, because the students will attend a full day of classes at the ALC.

In addition to the ALC, the district will also launch its Alternative School Program, which allows nontraditional students who usually attend night classes to study at the school during the daytime. John Kenny, who had served as Sewanhaka High School’s asssistant principal, has been put in charge of overseeing the Alternative School Program along with the ALC. Kenny said the Alternative School Program will have four teachers, a teaching assistant, a school psychologist and a counselor available for its more than 30 students this fall.

“This is an excellent support program for our students, and many districts have similar programs that have proven to be a great help for the students who need it,” Kenny said.

With Kenny’s transfer to the Career and Technical Education building, the district announced the transfers of two other assistant principals in the district. Paul Naraine will be transferred from Sewanhaka High School to Elmont Memorial High School, and Alicia Calabrese will be transferred from Elmont Memorial High School to Floral Park Memorial High School.

The school safety and security subcommittee, which reviewed the district’s safety protocols and security systems in spring and early summer, has also ended its evaluation. The district will be implementing new security locks and systems in all five high schools for the 2018-19 school year.

“This board takes it as a serious priority,” Del Santo said. “We want to balance security and safety with a proper learning environment.”

Ferrie added that the district would also finish its implementation of the One-to-One program, which will allow all students in the district to have iPads by the beginning of the school year.