Elmont Online, Nassau County NY



Sandy Hook MemorialAll weekend, I have been fielding calls from community residents, talking to past members of the Elmont and Sewanhaka School Boards, and colleagues from other school district Boards of Education. We are all wrestling with the scope of the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives; their families and those who survived and must now move forward with these dreadful memories.

Needless to say, there is plenty of commentary to go around and we had plenty to say. From the fact the Elmont Online posted on its front page 4 different stories of gun violence in less than one week to “… here we are again – another quiet neighborhood, another set of innocent children.   We must be more engaged because you just don’t know where next”, said Pam Byer.   Another Elmont child advocate points to ”a culture of violence” and the ease with which we move as a community from violent episode to violent episode” falsely believing that each one is separate for the previous.

In the end we all decided that it’s best to simply provide some guidance on how to cope. To that end we restate the words from The Association of School Psychologists:

  1.   Model calm and control because children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Avoid appearing anxious or frightened.
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Justin AndrewsModel United Nations (MUN) is a program in which thousands of schools across the nation participate. This program is an academic simulation of the United Nations and students take on the roles of delegates and diplomats who attempt to solve complex longstanding international issues. Elmont Memorial High School has long been a model of excellence and has received a plethora of awards at international conferences and plaudits for the program’s outstanding work and reputation.

Public School program like MUN has had a profound impact on the lives of many students and one such student is a recent graduate of Elmont Memorial High School class of 2012.

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TUESDAY, JUNE 19 is an important day in Elmont.  From 6 am to 9 pm, registered voters will have the opportunity to vote on the revised Elmont Elementary School District Budget for 2012-2013.  Should the revised Budget fail, an even worse restrictive Contingency Budget will be imposed for the coming school year.  Your vote must be cast for continued good education in the Elmont Elementary School District. Take your neighbor to the polls with you and  Vote YES on TUESDAY, JUNE 19TH.

Livingston Chrichlow
Homeowner, Civic Leader

The red PhoneThe phones at Elmont Online have not stopped ringing since passage of the Elmont School Budget.  Some residents like Tudor Manor Civic Association President and community leader Joyce Stowe said “I am sending this message of Congrats to the people of Elmont in pushing through this vote--you included [Aubrey Phillips]!  This struggle is a foretaste of things to come!”

Other community leaders like Patrick Nicolosi of the East End Civic Association expressed some bewilderment.  In a Facebook post Mr. Nicolosi said “Of all the 124 school districts Elmont had the highest tax increase. It's not a great day for Elmont it's a sad day for those who can't afford the burden. We are still losing our young educated students to lower taxing states.

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pmeagwaliDear Community Members;

I am writing this letter for two very important reasons. First, thank you for reelecting me to the Elmont School Board. It is an honor and privilege to serve our community.

Secondly, as a resident and parent of children in the Elmont School District, I respectfully urge you vote "yes" to pass the Elmont School budget scheduled for a revote on June 19, 2012.

Much was made of the fact that the tax rate exceeded the state mandated Tax Cap of 2%. But what pleased me most was the majority community support of the modest 2.8% increase. The voting Elmont community supported our schools and a budget which the Board and Superintendent worked very hard to ensure was both educationally and fiscally sound.

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