Long Beach Public Schools recently hosted its annual Realtors Breakfast, meeting with area realtors to discuss the four major thrusts of district policy for the year: maintaining high levels of engagement for students and parents; ensuring that students are college and career-ready; providing opportunities for all students; and providing state- of-the-art facilities.
Superintendent David Weiss described the programs that the district offers, such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, and other college-level courses at the high school, as well as curriculum changes at the middle school and elementary level.
“One of our goals is to have our students take the most rigorous courses they can handle,” Weiss said. “We encourage everyone to take at least one college-level course before they graduate. As a result, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students taking advanced courses and a rise in our graduation rates. Our philosophy is to offer opportunities to raise the bar for all while supplying support programs to foster success.”
Weiss went on to outline other programs the district is proud of, including a diverse inclusive athletic program that offers 1,000 spots on high school team rosters and 680 spots at the middle school level. At the elementary level, students receive swimming, skating and health education instruction. In the arts, the district was named a 2011 Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation, and has produced four All-State and 53 All-County musicians in the 2011-12 school year alone.
The high school literary magazine, Fragments, has won more than 100 state and national awards over the last three years. Students in the science research program have also produced dozens of prize-winning projects at the regional, state, national and international levels. Students in the middle school Activities Promoting Thinking (APT) and elementary Learning Activities to Raise Creativity (LARC) programs have achieved state and national recognition in the Odyssey of the Mind and WordMaster competitions.
Weiss invited Michael DeVito, the district's chief operating officer, to outline the district’s progress on the $98.8 million School Preservation Plan, including the installation of a new turf field at the middle school and a state-of-the-art filtration system at the high school pool. Work is underway on additions at the Lido Complex and the high school.
Also present at the meeting was Island Park School Superintendent Dr. Rosemarie Bovino. She noted that the Long Beach and Island Park districts have enjoyed a longstanding cooperative agreement of cost-saving shared services. Through another cooperative agreement launched in 2009, Island Park residents may elect to send their children to Long Beach High School. A total of 96 Island Park students currently attend Long Beach High School, with another 34 Island Park freshmen scheduled to join their ranks in the 2012-2013 school year.
After addressing realtors’ questions and concerns, Weiss reminded them that his door is always open to them, as well as to potential homebuyers who have questions about Long Beach Public Schools.