G.N. school board touts Lunar New Year celebrations

Joe Nikic

Great Neck school board officials said recent Lunar New Year celebrations allowed students and the community to embrace diversity on the peninsula.

The Board of Education president, Barbara Berkowitz, said at Monday’s school board meeting that she attended celebrations by both the Great Neck Chinese Association and Great Neck Korean Civic Association over the weekend.

“These were both wonderfully joyous events,” Berkowitz said. “It was a wonderful celebration and recognition of diversity in our community and we’re so proud of this diversity as well.”

Superintendent of Schools Teresa Prendergast said she enjoyed seeing some of the district’s students involved with an important aspect of their culture.

“From my perspective, it was a joy to be able to see our students on stage being proud of their cultural heritage and being able to share with everyone in the community,” Prendergast said.

Great Neck was the first district on Long Island to recognize the Lunar New Year as a holiday on its school year calendar after the board voted to approve its inclusion in March.

Since the Lunar New Year lands on a Saturday this year, the holiday would be officially recognized for the first time on Feb. 16, 2018, since that is a Friday.

Also at the meeting, Prendergast said the United Parent Teacher Council’s Legislative Affairs Committee would meet over the next couple of weeks with recently elected state Sen. Elaine Phillips and Assemblyman Tony D’Urso.

She said the purpose of meeting with the state legislators was “to talk about and to introduce them to our school community so they can advocate on behalf of public education and the needs of our district.”

Also at the meeting, Prendergast said the district has begun its “reverification of residency” process.

She said families of students entering the ninth grade would need to re-register with the district to ensure that it has “an adequate count in terms of enrollment figures and that we can take care of all the documents that are needed to guarantee to our community that students who are educated in Great Neck Public Schools live in the Great Neck Public Schools” district.

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