As a 16-year resident of Wantagh with 3 children in the school district, I am extremely aware of the challenges that Wantagh faces.
First, we must strive to maintain the educational excellence for which Wantagh is known. Starting in kindergarten and ending at graduation, it is imperative that Wantagh Schools prepare our children to be college and workforce ready. We must work to improve the academic rigor and move rapidly to institute the new common core principles and state-mandated APPR standards. Wantagh needs to show strong support for academics, arts, and athletics in order to provide our students with a well-rounded education.
The Wantagh School District needs to assemble a strong administrative team, led by a committed superintendent, who understands the complexities of raising academic standards while maintaining fiscal responsibility. The district must be accountable to both the students and the taxpayers for a quality education that is also cost-effective.
One topic that has stimulated a great deal of discussion is whether or not a full -day kindergarten program should be instituted in our district. While it may be advantageous to the students’ education, we need to examine the topic carefully. Affordability is the main issue here. How much would the cost be to taxpayers? While the state offers an incentive to start just such a program, would it be sustainable by our district once instituted? Wouldn’t the program benefit the district by attracting younger homeowners to move to Wantagh, thereby increasing the tax base? Wouldn’t the students be better prepared with an extra year of education? As a member of the BOE, I would work closely with my counterparts to make the right decision.
I am committed to serving my community, and I understand the time, effort, and dedication that is necessary. I respectfully ask for your support on May 15, 2012.