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Opening Week Update

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Child Nutrition - Cares Act

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Elwood Board of Education Recognizes Amazing Staff

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At its meeting on Sept. 10, the Elwood Board of Education recognized four outstanding individuals for their unwavering dedication to the Elwood community. Congratulations to Lisa Gorman, Donna Kelly, Donna Scudieri and Dianne Wilkinson for earning 2020 Awards for Excellence from SCOPE Education Services.

Ms. Gorman and Ms. Wilkinson, both recent retirees, were unable to attend the meeting; however, the board did not allow for their contributions to go unnoticed. For 21 years, Ms. Gorman served as an ENL teacher at Elwood Middle School, where she worked diligently to advocate for her students and encouraged them to strive for excellence. She was also instrumental in implementing the Teachers College Reading, Writing program.

“Lisa is highly respected by her colleagues, administration, students and community members,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “She is a leader, mentor and friend to all.”

Ms. Wilkinson, the district’s former executive director for special education, left big shoes to fill upon her retirement last year. For 30 years, she has tirelessly dedicated herself to serving the district’s special education students. Her efforts and dedication led to the implementation of programs, such as Life Skills, Job Coaching and she was instrumental in the creation of the Alternative High School for secondary students with school phobia. 

“Elwood students with the greatest needs have their greatest advocate in Dianne Wilkinson,” Dr. Bossert said.

Following those remarks, both Mrs. Kelly and Ms. Scudieri were invited on stage and were presented with plaques commending them for their service to the district. For more than a decade, Mrs. Kelly has generously volunteered her time as a member and former president of the district’s Special Education Parent Teachers Association. For years, she has organized fundraisers, secured informative speakers for students and families and fostered activities to build a support network for parents of students with special needs. 

“She believes in the district’s focus on the whole child and supports programs that promote inclusion and equity,” Dr. Bossert said.

At the meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Business Lorraine Dunkel thanked Ms. Scudieri for being her “right hand woman” for over 19 years. As the district’s account payable clerk, Ms. Scudieri is responsible for processing invoices, as well as assisting with all purchase orders. She also serves as the president of the Secretarial Association and has worked closely with district administration to promote positive working relationships. Her colleagues describe her as a “true professional who brings honesty, integrity and an incredible work ethic to her position.”

 

Elwood Students Head Back to School

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The Elwood Union Free School District was thrilled to welcome students back to school on Sept.10. While the district opted for a soft opening, so all students were not in attendance, arrival and dismissal procedures went off without a hitch. Despite heavy downpours, students arrived with smiles on their faces, ready to learn. 

Students who choose to learn remotely this year, were also greeted with a warm welcome and, like their in-person peers, participated in ice-breaking activities. Teachers introduced students to their new instructional settings and allowed classmates to safely interact with their peers, make new friends and reunite with old ones.

The district looks forward to a wonderful 2020-2021 school year!

 

Superintendent's Conference Day Sets Theme for New Year

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For years, the Elwood Union Free School District has created a theme to help guide teachers, staff, students and community members through the upcoming school year. This year’s theme, “Embracing the new normal…together we can,” is no exception.  

To kick off Superintendent’s Conference Day on Sept. 8, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert welcomed his colleagues via video conference and provided them with five words to set the tone for the new year: safety, positivity, flexibility, collaboration and focus. Commending all in attendance for their hard work and dedication, he added, “The race for excellence has no finish line, nor does it pause during a pandemic or cease in a virtual environment.”

Other members of the Elwood community also shared welcoming remarks and words of encouragement, including Board of Education President James Tomeo, Teacher Association President Garrett Chesnoff, Administrators Association President and James H. Boyd Intermediate School Principal Denise Toscano and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Maureen Hull. Each spoke of the importance of equity, acceptance, diversity and inclusion. 

“Equity, acceptance and respect are essential to humanity and humanity is non-negotiable,” Dr. Toscano said.

As in previous years, the district will continue its work with The Long Island Consortium for Excellence and Equity, as well as the Anti-defamation League, to celebrate diversity and create a positive and safe environment for all. 

“We will figure it out together; we will get through this together and we will embrace this new normal,” Dr. Bossert said. “Together we can.”