Minutes - Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools

May 8, 2014
In Attendance: A. Epstein, N. Bogdanov, L. Eisenberg, M. Gates, L. Zaretsky, M. Ferro, L.
Kreisman, S. Chinnappala, L. Stolls, S. Braverman, J. Baum, E. Margolin
1-Mr. Secaur thanked the members of the committee for their work this school year. He also
thanked Central Council for catering lunch at this meeting.
2-Mr. Secaur’s comments/Committee discussions:
The curriculum committee is an open forum at which many important issues are
There are many new administrators in the district. They take the committee’s comments
very seriously.
Many important things are going on in the district over the next few months including
the budget vote.
o Our district is in pretty good shape financiallyo The district is concerned about complacency regarding people going to out to
vote on May 20th.
The district will continue its philosophy to teach the whole child-4 A’S and 4 C’s
Some projects will be presented to the Board as evidence of our successes this year.
Standardized testing:
o Many students opted out of 8th grade ELA and math.
o Parents are angry that students got 2’s on last year’s exams when they had
gotten 3’s and 4’s previously.
o How much test prep is there around the district?
o 6th grade TC teacher’s guide said that March is “test prep” monthparents were concerned about this. Mr. Secaur explained that there is no
“test prep” month –but rather the students were exposed to the types of
questions, etc.
A group of superintendents is asking for King’s resignation as a result of the testing
Parents of 8th graders are very concerned about the exams.
o The committee gave kudos to the 8th grade math teachers who were under great
stress as a result of the exam.
There is a concern about 8th graders taking geometry next year because of all the
changes in curriculum and tests which have focused on those students. There was hope
that there would be a delay in the geometry test for another year, but it did not happen.
There is push by the feds to do away with local control
Teachers in Ogden and HES are preparing their students differentlyo Mr. Secaur is meeting about this now.
Differentiated instruction should be in place for all students- gifted as well as struggling
Baseline assessments are given several times a year
High Schoolo CBC course- ½ year computer course
o Business math
o District budget for the next 5-7 years has provided for many elective courses
Grammar continues to be a concerno Mary O’Mara is ensuring that there is PD in place to address the issue.
o Parents asked how we can support the high school students whose grammar
skills are very poor.
o Could it be incorporated into “publishing” in high school?
There will be no tracking in AP courses in the fall.
o Parents are concerned about how well teachers will differentiate instruction.
o The curriculum office will provide PD to help teachers meet the needs of all
o Parents need to be encouraged to advocate for their children and to notify the
admistrators if the student is having difficulty
o We need to strengthen the guidance faculty which is charged with the
responsibility of helping students and parents make good educational decisions.
o There are options for students who need to drop the AP courses.
A concern was raised related to a consistent approach regarding double acceleration.
Mr. Secaur will speak with Mr. Murray about the discrepancy, criteria and process.
Sept 18th 9:30 a.m.-First Curriculum Meeting for 20142015