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Monday, November 24, 2014
Letters to the Editor

Thanks to Dr. Johnson

To the Editor:
A fully open mind deserves praise. In this spirit, I want to publicly thank Dr. William Johnson, the superintendent of schools in Rockville Center.
At the Nov. 6 Board of Education meeting, Johnson announced the formation of a cross-elementary-school team of parents and administrators to consider issues such as school configuration and class size.
As one of the longest-tenured superintendents on Long Island, Johnson has most likely seen his fair share of generations of parents looking to revisit the issue. Recognizing its importance, though, he is re-opening the issue.
Why does it matter? Our school budget should allow for an average of 20 students per class in our elementary schools. But the distribution around the average is large — with both smaller and larger class sizes presenting specific challenges.
As important, we have the new and uncharted Common Core Curriculum waters to navigate. Re-examining our approach in light of its demands is prudent.
And finally, Johnson has spoken in prior board meetings of the long-term downward trend in enrollment. Given the well-reported budget challenges all schools face, evaluating options for responding to these trends has great value.
Taking a fresh look at the decisions we have made and all the options available to us has great value — even if, in the end, we conclude that our Rockville Centre Schools are the best they can be.
So thank you, Dr. Johnson, for partnering with interested parents and for keeping a fully open mind.
Hopefully, in coming issues of this newspaper we will be able to read about the findings of the group he has convened.

Peter Sharnoff
Rockville Centre

Praise for police

To the Editor:
Each week I read the Herald Crime Report and see the outstanding job the Rockville Centre Police Department does under the command of Commissioner Charles Gennario. It might be a good idea for the Village trustees to patrol from time to time with the police officers to witness first-hand what they are faced with on a daily basis. I believe the police department should be commended for a job well done.

Richard P. Torykian, Sr.
Rockville Centre

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