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Jack Abrams School to Open as STEM Magnet School This September

Jack Abrams Intermediate School will reopen this September as a STEM Magnet School located on Lowndes Avenue in Huntington Station. The school was closed in the Summer of 2010 due to concerns about violence in the surrounding neighborhood.

Jack Abrams Intermediate School located on Lowndes Avenue in Huntington Station will reopen this September 2013 as a STEM Magnet School. The school, a 2-story structure that sits on 13 acres, was closed in the Summer of 2010 due to concerns about violence in the surrounding neighborhood.

In a 7-0 vote in favor, the Huntington School District #3 Board of Education tonight decided to move forward with the STEM Magnet School, villagetattler.com/2012/11/19/a-stem-magnet-school-being-considered-at-jack-abrams-school-building/, and will reopen Jack Abrams Intermediate this September 2013 for grades 3, 4, and 5, with a possible addition of grade 6 the following September 2014. Jack Abrams Intermediate School was closed in the summer of 2010, villagetattler.com/2010/07/19/boe-pulls-the-trigger-on-jack-abrams-kids-will-go-to-school-elsewhere-in-september/.

Tonight’s Board of Education meeting, the first of the 2013-2014 school year with returning trustee Bill Dwyer and new trustee Bari Fehrs, was held at Jack Abrams Intermediate School. On the agenda for discussion tonight were the STEM Magnet School Timeline and Testing Resolutions. Superindendent James Polansky discussed that the district did not know whether it would receive the federal grant money in time for the opening of the STEM Magnet school on September 4, and may not know until as late as September 30. But if the money comes through, noted Polansky, it most likely could not be held over until the following September 2014.

“We applied for other grants as well so we have many resources covered by these grants, including $40,000 in Bullet Aid, to be used for anything,” said Superintendent Polansky at tonight’s meeting. Polansky estimates that the district needs $241,000 just to open the school for this September. “Would I like to open with $12 million in hand? Absolutely,” noted Polansky. “But we can move ahead. Right now, the reward is greater than the risk of possibly not getting the grant.”

Board of Education member Xavier Palacios questioned if opening this September without the grant money would compromise the program to be implemented at Jack Abrams School. “And will it hurt any other programs?” asked Palacios. To which Polansky responded, “No, other programs will not be affected. We are not going to rob Peter to pay Paul. Coaches, staff, curricula are in place already. And we are not focusing all our energies on just this school.”

All board members were in favor of reopening Jack Abrams as a STEM Magnet school this September. “We take a leap of faith,” said Palacios. “This is our moment. I am all for it.”

Polansky added that letters were prepared and could go out as early as tomorrow, letting parents know about the  September opening of Jack Abrams and STEM Magnet school placements.

Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School will have a heightened focus on science, technology, engineering and math instruction and activities, as well as encompassing English, social studies and other areas of traditional education that are featured in the district’s elementary schools. Inquiry-based instructional strategies will be utilized.

As a magnet school, students will be able to participate in the STEM program regardless of their regular elementary attendance zone. The district has petitioned the State Education Department to open and operate the magnet school.

According to the district website, www.hufsd.edu, the district is looking into the possibility of creating partnerships with corporations, colleges and research labs and related organizations. Plans have been developed to renovate the school’s science laboratories to provide students with cutting edge facilities.

Another important item on the agenda of tonight’s Board of Education meeting was State Testing Resolutions. President Emily Rogan read the Testing Resolutions and all seven board members voted 7-0 in favor. “We must cut back on the over reliance on testing,” said Superintendent Polansky. “The connection to staff assessments is problematic to say the least. There’s more to education than testing and numbers. Standardized testing jeopardizes education and is adversely affecting some students.”

The board showed strong support in favor of the resolution against over reliance on state testing. Michele Kustera, PTA Co-President at Flower Hill for 2012-2013 school year, thanked the Board of Education for passing the Testing Resolutions. She was the only person to speak during the second public commentary. “Parents must stay engaged and continue to write letters,” stated Kustera in regard to State Testing issues. “There is strength in numbers. This is a great step forward for our district.”

 

 

 

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8 comments to Jack Abrams School to Open as STEM Magnet School This September

  • There's a method....

    Is the neighborhood around the school safe now all of a sudden?

  • My Town Too

    I’m thrilled that the school is finally re-opening and with a program that has such great potential for our students.

    Those who still feel the area is unsafe can choose to keep their children in their regular assigned buildings – no one has to move to JA.

    Now if we can get full day K back as we get more room in the primary buildings….

  • Although you may not “feel” safer around Jack Abrams, the facts indicate otherwise. The Huntington BID (Business Improvement District), led by Keith Barrett, has made great strides in the overall atmosphere around what had been a gang playground. The creation of a magnet school of any type is just one piece of the puzzle that is Huntington Station. If we, the residents, don’t support these steps, nothing will ever change for the better.

  • Anonymous

    Why do we allow a bad element to push out our schools??? We as a community need to stand together and go back to watching out for our neighbors and their children too! This a Great opportunity in education for our children with new ways of learning. I am excited and feel very fortunate to be able to have my child be part of the STEM Program. And a Big Thank you to Mr.Polansky with all his efforts in getting the STEM Program into the Huntington School District

  • hmmm...where is the money coming from?

    Yes its great that Jack Abrams is opening…but doesn’t anyone else wonder what part of the budget this renovation is coming from? How come it has never been disclosed? What specific budget code/lines iz being taken from? Contract negations perhaps??
    Also find it ironic that many students attending have parents that were very adamant it be closed! What’s changed?

  • Anonymous

    If you had been listening, you would know that there is no “renovation”. The building is in great shape and what they are adding is from grants. They are waiting on a larger grant that would lead to building renovation if it comes through.

  • You should listen

    If you had been listening, you would know that there is no building renovation. What they are adding is from grants. They are waiting on a larger grant that would lead to building renovation if it comes through.

  • Wow! Talk about a posting knikocng my socks off!

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