The Island Park Public Schools’ Nov. 26 Board of Education Meeting featured Student of the Month recognitions in addition to a report on the updates to the guidance programs that meet new state regulations and incorporate social emotional learning.
Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School and Lincoln Orens Middle School principals Jacob Russum and Dr. Bruce Hoffman announced the respective Students of the Month from each grade. Cooper Gottlieb (kindergarten), Luke Testerman (grade 1), Leeya Ravener (grade 2), Isael Jaramillo (grade 3), Emanuel Navarrete (grade 4), David Habib-Roldan (grade 5), Juliana Michaelson (grade 6), Emmalee Egan (grade 7) and Mia DeBellis (grade 8) received medals and certificates of excellence, and the principals read remarks from teachers that described the ways these students demonstrate positive characteristics and serve as role models.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rosmarie Bovino shared that the district is doing more to help students relieve anxiety, create an environment that is less stressful for them.
“Keeping kids connected to each other in positive ways is one of the key factors in creating a healthy school environment,” she said.
Dr. Bovino introduced Guidance Counselor Andrea Porzelt, who discussed the phase-in of revisions to the guidance program that will promote academic success while helping students feel safe and comfortable within school buildings. She reviewed current and new state regulations and noted the biggest change, which is that K-5 students will have information on college and careers through core curriculum created by school counsellors. Another new development is that students in kindergarten through grade 4 will now have access to a school guidance counselor on a part-time basis.
Also at this meeting, Dr. Bovino acknowledged Island Park alumnus Darren Foster, a successful filmmaker. Foster co-directed the film “Science Fair” for National Geographic, which received the DuPont and Peabody Awards for documentary journalism and filmmaking, the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award and the South by Southwest Film Festival’s Best New Feature Film Documentary Award. Most recently, he and his co-director won a Critics’ Choice Award as Best First-Time Directors. He made a special visit to Lincoln Orens on Nov. 21, when he shared his experiences with students, who then viewed the film.