The Sidewalks of White Plains


WINGS is saved for Eighth Graders

Board of Education elects officers.

By John Bailey


CityLine: July 6, 2001 -- Education House

Vocal protest by eighth grade parents at two PTA meetings at the Highlands School and Eastview School in June, have influenced the School District to reinstitute WINGS for eighth graders at both the Highlands and the Eastview campuses.

The grassroots protest began when the District notified parents that WINGS would no longer be offered to eighth graders in the 2001-2002 school year ostensibly because there was no time for it in the schedule due to the need to teach new science and family courses mandated by the state.

At the two meetings, it was strongly suggested by parents that time could be taken out of X-period to preserve the popular program for high achieving students.

In a letter to Middle School Parents, received last week and signed by Dr. Saul Yanofsky, the District has announced it has completely reversed its position and that WINGS would again be part of the curriculum at Eastview and Highlands campuses next year.

According to the letter, Eastview eighth graders will be offered WINGS three times a week in the second English Language Arts period. Half the students will attend WINGS class during the A-B-C "day" cycle and the other half will participate on D-E-F days. Yanofsky's letter advises that this split will "enable the ELA teacher to work with a smaller group during the second period, thus increasing the intensity and differentiation of instruction during that period as well."

English Language Arts studetns will also be grouped according to ability, with the WINGS students having nine periods of ELA in each cycle, instead of twelve, plus the 3 days of Wings classes.

Meanwhile, a different arrangement will rescue WINGS at the Highlands campus, where eighth graders will receive WINGS three times a week during the longer X period that exists in the Highlands schedule.

Both resolutions of the WINGS dilemma reflect suggests made by the parents in meetings with Dr. Iervolino and Dr. Yanofsky in June.

At the annual Reorganization Meeting on July 2nd, the White Plains Board of Education reelected Donna O. McLaughlin to serve as President for the coming year. Mrs. McLaughlin is in her second term on the Board and has three children in the White Plains Schools.

Stephen Sules was elected Vice President and has served on the Board since 1999. He is the principal in a local insurance agency and also has three children in the schools.

At the same meeting, the oath of office was administered to Susan R. Kirkpatrick, who was elected to the Board in May to serve a three-year term beginning July 1st.

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