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Update from the Superintendent of Schools, Nov. 19, 2023

November 19, 2023

Dear GNPS Community,

This letter is meant to serve as a follow up to the correspondence you received on Friday regarding an article printed in the NHS Guide Post Newspaper.

As part of the 100 day plan I published on the district website, I indicated that I would be reviewing all key policies and procedures that impact Great Neck Public Schools.  Admittedly, I had not yet had any conversation regarding how a student article progresses from draft to print.  Tomorrow morning (Monday), I will be meeting with building principals and Dr. Lando to acquire a firm understanding of this process.  I fully anticipate that moving forward, changes will be made to the oversight process to ensure accuracy in reporting, appropriate topic selection, editorial v. news item identification, etc.  It is our role as building and district administrators to identify solutions when problems arise and implement corrective action when warranted. 

Additionally, as I reported at the Board of Education meeting held last Wednesday, November 15, the primary focus of Superintendent’s Conference Day (held on Election Day) was an investment in News Media Literacy.  All members of the instructional staff, K-12, heard from our keynote speaker, Professor Howard Schneider, Dean of the School of News Media Literacy for Stony Brook University on the importance of this topic.  Professor Schneider helped to inspire our teachers to delve more deeply into this important topic.  We will continue to focus many aspects of our professional development on News Media Literacy throughout the year and into the Summer of 2024 to make sure this essential element of our curriculum brings benefit to both our students and our faculty.

I was saddened to learn that the students involved in the Guide Post publication received both unkind and threatening comments via text message and social media on Friday and throughout the weekend.  This is simply unacceptable.  Our schools are institutions for learning and this is a learning opportunity for all involved – inclusive of the faculty, administration and me personally.  In addition, negative commentary targeting the student editorial staff of the Guide Post on-line edition are also wrong and misplaced.  This student-led periodical is separate and apart from the printed edition. 

Thank you to each member of our community that reached out to a member of the administration (myself, Dr. Holtzman, or Dr. Lando) and/or the Board of Education.  We hope this correspondence, in addition to the one sent on Friday, helps to allay the concerns you articulated.  This matter will be fully investigated and corrective actions will be taken. While we cannot turn back time, we can commit to doing better moving forward. 

Kenneth R. Bossert, Ed.D.
Superintendent, GNPS