Welcome Back Message 2015
We are excited that the new school year is about to begin. We had a very
busy summer in which over 1500 students attended various programs
including the Summer Academy of the Arts, secondary summer school,
science research, and programs for English Language Learners and special
We are pleased that the Freeport High School June graduation rate
reached a record 80%, the highest in memory. We are also proud that our
students received a record-breaking number of academic recognitions as
well as outstanding acknowledgments in music, the arts and athletics.
In this school year, we will continue to provide professional
development for all our staff to deepen the implementation of the Common
Core Learning Standards. Our efforts are focused on readying our
students for college and careers. We are expanding STEM (Science,
Engineering, Math and Technology) programs. We look forward to the
implementation of the Pathways In Technology Early College High School
(P-Tech) Grant, a grant that will allow students to earn a free
Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Mechanical Engineering in a
6 year program that includes high school, college coursework, and
internships in high tech companies. Freeport has also acquired a 2 year
grant for the purpose of providing a high level, intensive professional
development program for secondary math teachers in a partnership with
Hofstra University in order to strengthen instructional practice and our
math curriculum. Through dual enrollment programs with Farmingdale
State College, students will have the opportunity to earn college
credits while still in high school. We work in partnership with The
Cradle of Aviation in which Cradle staff works with our teachers in
implementing hands on learning in the various running STEM programs in
We continue to work within a community that believes educating our
children is a high priority. We are truly fortunate to have such a
school-community partnership as a foundation for our success.
We cannot wait to welcome the children back. Our staff is enthusiastic
and anxious to get started and we look forward to a successful,
productive school year for students, parents and teachers.
Dr. Kishore Kuncham
Superintendent of Schools
Welcome Back Letter 2014
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year. I hope you are excited to begin
another successful year. We have always valued a quality education, and this
year we will continue to provide the academic opportunities our students need
to be successful.
The members of the Class of 2014 are currently attending many
prestigious colleges and universities across the country, beginning their military
careers or starting in the workforce. Many have earned competitive academic
and athletic scholarships and left a legacy of success for those who follow.
Over the past several years, our district has been confronted by the loss in
state aid, the impact of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, state and federal
mandates, and rising costs. For several years, we have been forced to make
reductions in programs and staff in order to propose a school budget that was
within the property tax levy cap. This year, we were finally able to deliver
a budget without any reductions that maintains all current programs and
services while remaining within the tax cap. We are grateful to our community
for their confidence and continued support and to our elected officials for the
additional aid they provided to our school district. We must continue to work
together to advocate for our school district both locally and in Albany. We are
hopeful our voices will be heard so that assistance from the state will continue
and we can anticipate similar support in the coming years.
Despite our challenges, we will continue to deepen and strengthen our
work as we strive to provide a quality education, implement the Common Core
Learning Standards, and implement data-driven instruction and other aspects
of the education reform agenda.
Moving forward, despite all challenges, our number one priority is to
educate our children with the skills needed to be college- and career-ready and
to teach our children to become productive and compassionate citizens of our
global world. We know that a strong school-home-community partnership
is absolutely essential to achieving this goal. I encourage all parents to be
informed, maintain an open line of communication with their child’s teachers,
communicate with administrators and staff, and become involved in the PTA.
This calendar contains valuable information about the numerous meetings
and student events that will take place throughout the school year. Please plan
to attend as many as possible. I look forward to seeing you, and our students
will appreciate your involvement and support.
Dr. Kishore Kuncham
Superintendent of Schools
Holiday Message 2012
This school year has been marred by the catastrophic impact of hurricane Sandy. Many of you may not even be back in your own homes. And now the horrific event in Newtown, Connecticut has staggered each of us as educators, as parents, as community members. It is difficult to summon up the holiday spirit.
On the other hand, these tragic events are the occasion for each of us to treasure even more deeply the people in our lives that we love and hold dear. And, these events trigger a response in us that makes us feel the need to do something for those for whom such such tragedy has befallen. These feelings are at the core of our humanity, and actually are the very essence of the holiday spirit in the truest sense.
With our day to day challenges and frustrations, we too easily take for granted the many positive things in our lives. At this holiday time, I hope you will each take some quiet, thoughtful time to contemplate what is really important to you and to be thankful for all those valuable possessions that money cannot buy.
On behalf of the Board of Education and the central administration, I wish all of you a peaceful, joyous holiday season. May we work together to greet the challenges the new year will surely hold.
Dr. Kishore Kuncham
Superintendent of Schools
Welcome to the start of another school year. The 2011-2012 school year
was a productive one indeed. The Class of 2012 earned many significant
recognitions and numerous scholarships to prestigious colleges and
universities throughout the country and had the highest graduation rate
in many years.
We also had our first semifinalists in the prestigious Siemens Math,
Science and Technology national competition. We implemented a new
computerized data system that includes a parent portal through which
parents can access their child’s school records online. Taxpayers
approved our bond issue under the Qualified School Construction Bond
program, thus making possible many needed improvements while saving the
district approximately $1 million in interest costs. Taxpayers also
approved an expenditure from our Capital Reserve Fund for the
construction of our new synthetic turf field with lighting. Our academic
achievements and the success of our athletic program and music and fine
arts programs have been sources of pride for our school district and
The 2012-2013 school year promises to bring opportunities for greater
achievements as well as challenges we must conquer together. The impact
of operating under the new tax levy cap law will continue to be a major
challenge that we must face as we plan for the future. We will fully
implement the Common Core Learning Standards and the new APPR program
for evaluating professional staff. We will open our new artificial turf
field and will continue our traditional focus on peace in our world with
concerts and assemblies, culminating with our annual Peace March in
We are well aware that the self-discipline and work ethic necessary for student
success begins with what is taught at home. The research is clear; children benefit
when parents and the schools work closely together. Be in touch with your child’s
teachers and the support staff in your child’s school. With your crucial
support, I know that we can look forward to a successful year for your
child in all of the programs that we offer. I encourage you to
communicate with administration and staff and to become involved in the
I hope that your summer was enjoyable and that you are now ready to begin the
new school year with renewed enthusiasm. I look forward to working with
you and seeing you at our many student events throughout the year ahead.
It gives me an overwhelming sense of pride to share with you all of the
many outstanding recognitions our students and staff have achieved since
the start of the school year. On the local, regional and national
levels our students are excelling and our staff is being honored. Thanks
to the hard work and dedication of our administrators, faculty and
staff, our students are demonstrating every day that they are preparing
themselves for college upon graduation and will be ready to compete and
be successful in the future.
The Class of 2012 has already raised the bar on academic excellence for
those students following in their footsteps. I am confident they will
continue to bring pride to our school district and community. Not one,
but two of our seniors were selected as National Merit Semifinalists in
the prestigious Siemens Math, Science, Technology Competition for their
advanced science research project. Additionally, some of our seniors
were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program and the
National Achievement Scholarship Program for their academic excellence.
Our students are also successfully engaged in college-level advanced
science research projects partnering with NASA, Stony Brook University
and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Attendance at our College and Career
Night was at an all time high and clearly showed that parents and
students are planning for the future. We are planning for the future as
well, and the implementation of the NYS Common Core Learning Standards
to be introduced into our daily curriculum starting with the 2012-2013
school year. For more information visit www.engageny.org.
We are also dedicated to promoting peace throughout our school district,
community and the world. Every day our students are engaged in
humanitarian service projects to help those less fortunate. The
outpouring of support and participation during our annual Peace and Love
Concert and Art Exhibition was both heart warming and inspiring. Our
students are learning that peace begins with us. We embrace our
diversity and celebrate both our differences and similarities.
Lastly, we are already into the design phase of several of the projects
overwhelmingly approved by voters on September 20th. Plans for the new
high school synthetic turf field and cafeteria air conditioning have
already been approved by the New York State Education Department. All of
the design plans are expected to be submitted to the state for approval
on schedule. Our goal is to complete all of the major projects by the
fall of 2012.
As the school year continues, please plan to be a part of our success by
attending the events, concerts, plays, athletic competitions and
academic awards ceremonies still to come. Our students are the
beneficiaries of the quality education provided for all students and
will rise to the top with your continued support. Their success is a
source of pride for us all.
Our new school year is off to a strong start and our students are
already demonstrating their commitment to succeed. I am very proud to
announce that two of our high school seniors have been named
Semifinalists in the prestigious Siemens Math, Science, Technology
Competition. This year, our students will be engaged in advanced science
research projects partnering with NASA, Stony Brook University and
Brook Haven National Laboratory. I also share with pride that several of
our seniors have earned distinguished recognitions in the National
Merit Scholarship Program and National Achievement Scholarship Program.
Freeport is also home to a Long Island Math Scholar. These outstanding
recognitions are a testament to the hard work of our students,
administration and staff, who are devoted to providing a quality
education to all students. Competing and achieving on a national level
is something in which we should all take pride.
So much has already happened that brings pride to our school district
and community. Thanks to the overwhelming support of our community for
our referendum vote held on September 20, we are already in the design
phase, with plans for the new high school synthetic turf field and
cafeteria air conditioning having already been submitted to the New York
State Education Department for approval. Our goal is to complete all of
the major projects by the fall of 2012. We officially opened our new
high school track with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 10, and we
have completed the boiler replacement at Atkinson and the air
conditioning installation in the high school auditorium. These projects
as well as those in progress provide a safe and healthy environment for
our children while protecting and maintaining the value of our
facilities. Your support is the foundation of our school district.
To see so many students and community members embracing the goal of
peace during this year’s annual Peace and Love Concert and Art
Exhibition was truly a heartwarming experience. Our efforts to promote
peace are ongoing, and I believe Freeport is leading the way and making a
difference. Our students and staff are continually demonstrating their
concern for others. Congratulations to New Visions staff and students
for achieving their goal of fundraising $10,000 for the American Heart
While there is much to be proud of, there is still much to be done. This
year the financial planning challenges will be further compounded by
the property tax cap, which has been approved by the state. As we work
to develop the 2012-2013 school budget, be assured that we will continue
to do all we can to provide a quality education in a fiscally
conservative environment. Each year, the challenge becomes greater as we
are faced with reductions in state aid, continued unfunded mandates,
and escalating costs outside of our control.
Please visit our website at www.freeportschools.org for the latest news
about our school district. I hope to see you at the many community
events, concerts, plays, athletic events and academic awards ceremonies
still to come. We must continue to raise the bar and settle for nothing
It is with a great sense of pride that I invite you to join me in
celebrating the most recent accomplishments of our students and staff.
With just a few weeks remaining in the school year, our students
continue to demonstrate their commitment to bring pride to our community
through their hard work and dedication to success. Our Board of
Education, Administration and staff collaborate every day to ensure that
all of our students receive the quality education they need to excel. I
am confident that the success they are experiencing now will pave the
way for a future where they will, no doubt, continue to contribute to
the success of our global society.
The achievements featured in this newsletter are the result of a
curriculum that is ever evolving and should be looked upon as the
foundation for the future. Our goal continues to be to provide students
with the best education we can offer. This will enable them to be
college-ready upon graduation, with the confidence of knowing they can
pursue the career of their dreams. We must continue to raise our
expectations and expect nothing less.
As we have finalized our budget planning for the 2011-2012 school year,
we are well aware of the financial challenges we face. Reductions in
state aid will continue to make it even more difficult to achieve our
goals. However, we will not be deterred from our mission. We will not
settle for second best. Be assured we will continue to operate as
efficiently as possible, remaining mindful of our promise to the
community to be fiscally responsible.
During the remaining months of this school year, I look forward to
seeing you at the various concerts, art shows, theatrical events, and
athletic and academic recognition ceremonies. We still have much to
There is no other profession in which noting accomplishments is more important than in education. Our accomplishments are not a direct reflection of any one individual, nor are they an achievement by any one person. When those of us in education celebrate achievement, it’s because our children have done well. As a group of professionals we celebrate the gains of the school community…we see a brighter, healthier future for children.
In this issue we have highlighted a few of the accomplishments we celebrate in our school community - some of them academic, some of them social…all of them important in the life of a child. At the same time, we look forward to achieving more. We will never stop when there is so much that can be done. Each child is clay to be molded…each team is a group that can learn from each other. In every classroom we need to “kick out the ladder” to move to the next level. I spoke in our last issue about “intensity.” It is this intensity that leads us to achieve in the classroom, in the arts, on the field, and in the community.
Last year we began a new program to help bring inner peace to our students as they struggle with the stresses of daily life. We often look at childhood as filled with fun, but today’s world has added new pressures that many of our children have difficulty understanding. The YES program teaches them de-stressors they can use for a lifetime.
We are proud to release our top ten graduates for this year. I hope you will take as much pride in their accomplishments as we do. We know every graduate has the potential of doing great things in the years to come.
The Board of Education applauds the parents and guardians of our students as partners in this journey of preparing our children for the future. We look forward to continuing to make this year even better than the last. There is no hurdle we can’t overcome together.
Kishore Kuncham, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
I hope you have had an enjoyable and restful summer. Summer presents such a great opportunity to explore, learn and reflect.
I began last year with many goals and expectations for myself, the staff and the community. Who would have guessed that the support and outreach I received would have been so overwhelmingly positive? It was exhilarating to have garnered so much support for our schools. The tremendous support we experienced for our budget is one measure of the connection we have to our community.
This summer, the grade 3 through 8 test score adjustment from the New York State Education Department was a surprise to all of us. I know that this state-wide readjustment of student performance levels is not a reflection on the work of our wonderful staff. Key administrators met during the month of August to review our results and to consider an action response that will enable all of our children to meet proficiency standards. I want you to know that I am prepared to offer whatever support is needed to enhance our strategies to reach the new standards.
I am pleased that there was a significant increase in the graduation rate. Our goal for this year is to continue this increase. We will continue to see Freeport Public Schools move forward. We have the talented and innovative staff to become a premier district on Long Island.
Let’s strengthen our partnership with each other and in the community, and let’s reach outside for those collaborations that can impact the lives and futures of our children.
I look forward to welcoming you back on September 1st at Freeport High School. A continental breakfast will be served from 7:30am to 8:15am followed by a staff gathering in the auditorium at 8:20am.
May the remaining summer days bring you joy, growth and renewal. With your continued support and professionalism I know we will make this another outstanding year.
These are difficult economic times for many individuals, for the State, and for public schools. Freeport School District officials have been sensitive to that this year with a budget increase of 1.88 %, one of the lowest increases in many years, after $2.8 million in cost rollbacks. Historically, our school district has had a track record of prudent, fiscally conservative financial management which is best illustrated in comparisons to other Nassau County school districts.
It is important to understand whether the District is controlling its finances properly. Freeport spends less per pupil than 42 of the 56 districts in Nassau and the district has actually decreased the tax levy in each of the past two years. The average tax levy over the past four years is less than one percent at .63% while the four year average for Nassau County is nearly four percent at 3.96%. Standard and Poor’s has awarded a bond rating of AA to the Freeport Schools, a rating earned by only six of 300 S&P districts, and Freeport is among only five percent of New York Districts to have received a clean audit from the State Controller’s Office.
Freeport is losing $4.5 million in State Aid for next year. In response, the District has cut 20 positions for 2010-2011, closed the Alternative School and has reduced funding for our Extended Day support, equipment, textbooks, capital projects, and supplies. However, the budget provides for maintenance of core existing programs and instruction.
There are two critical elements required to meet our current budget challenge: ensuring quality education and holding down costs. First, we must know whether the children in Freeport schools are achieving good results. The facts tell the story. The State Education Department’s most recent report on our district shows that English, math and science scores continue to rise for both elementary and high school students as well as our high school graduation rates.
There are many opportunities for us to come together as a community. One of the most important occasions is to vote on the school budget. Our children are our future; and whether a family has children attending Freeport schools or not, we can all agree that they deserve the best education we can provide.
As superintendent, fulfilling this responsibility is my highest calling. The community has entrusted its most precious resource, its children, to us at Freeport schools. We have been challenged to find ways to maintain quality education at a time of serious financial constraints – limitations that are affecting all Long Island communities.
An approved budget will cost the average Freeport homeowner approximately 82 cents per day. On the other hand, a defeated budget will result in $2.7 million of additional cuts in staff at all levels, services, and programs such as summer school, after school support programs, clubs, sports, etc.
I would like you to know we are listening to all voices in the community. The Freeport Board of Education reviewed every possible measure to save money. This has resulted in making budget cuts that have the least impact on the quality of education of our students.
The reputation of Freeport schools continues to grow, thanks to the support of the community. Although we are challenged to succeed in this current financial climate, I know that working together we will continue to achieve positive results for our children.
August 27th, 2009
It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of excitement for the coming year that I welcome our students, faculty and staff back to school. You will see that many changes have taken place in our district in recent months, making all Freeport schools even more vibrant places to learn.
I do hope you will be able to participate in the “First Day” activities in each school to which all parents are invited. You will have a chance to meet your child’s teacher, accompany your child to class, and learn about the curriculum and the expectations of the teacher. It is crucial for you to stay involved with your child’s school throughout the year. The learning experience is most beneficial when parents and the schools work closely together.
As a parent myself, and as your new superintendent, I want our children to be excited about the opportunities and possibilities in the new school year. I am hopeful that you will join me in setting high expectations from the very first day for ourselves and, most importantly, for what your child can accomplish in the new school year.
As you know, our public schools are a focal point of this great community. They hold an important place in our hearts and play a vital role in helping to build Freeport pride. With this in mind, I want to assure you of my personal and professional commitment to open dialogue about all district issues. I look forward to continuing our journey together as we strive for academic excellence for our children throughout the school year.
July 20th, 2009
While I have had the great pleasure of working with many of you during my 15 years with the school district, I wanted to take a moment to officially introduce myself as the new superintendent of Freeport Public Schools - a role that I am truly privileged to hold.
I offer my gratitude to the Board of Education for this honor and pledge to continue to build upon the sound academic and fiscal platform that has helped to define my tenure here. I also want to thank Dr. Eric Eversley for his service to the district and wish him well in retirement.
As you know, our public schools are a focal point of this great community. They hold an important place in our hearts and play an important role in helping to build Freeport pride.
With this as the backdrop, I want to assure you of my personal and professional commitment to an open dialogue with you. When we take the time to work together we create a stronger community overall.
Also, you will be pleased to know that I will be working with the board to finalize the district’s goals for 2009-2010 and look forward to sharing them in the weeks to come.
I invite you to visit our Web site regularly for updates from me and to learn more about our district activities. I look forward to continuing our journey together and am thankful for your support.
July 7th, 2009
Dr. Kishore (Kish) Kuncham officially took over as Superintendent of Freeport Public Schools on July 1, bringing with him a wealth of experience in public education and the corporate sector.
The superintendent moved to his new post after completing his fourth year as Deputy Superintendent. He has been an administrator with the district for 15 years — 10 as Assistant Superintendent — and has more than two decades of senior executive-level experience in public education and in the corporate world.
Dr. Kuncham is a passionate and uncompromising child advocate and an exceptional leader whose extensive executive experience and vision have provided financial stability par excellence to Freeport School District.
Under his guidance, Freeport’s bond rating soared from one of the lowest to one of the highest in the state. This year, Standard and Poor’s once again upgraded the district’s bond rating to AA, a status reached by only a handful of districts that are rated by Standard and Poor’s. In addition, the district received a clean audit from the Comptroller’s Office in 2008, one of the few districts to do so in New York State.
Dr. Kuncham has created a highly sophisticated educational technology infrastructure for Freeport students and played a central role in successful bond referendums and school budgets. He recently brought a successful $17 million bond issue as well as Energy Performance Contracting bringing $8.6 million of capital improvements to the District at no cost to taxpayers. In addition, his successful implementation of an energy education program, creation of reserves and cash management strategies has provided a savings of over $3 million in the last five years.
As a key cabinet member, Dr. Kuncham has brought valuable expertise in the business management areas, public policy and governance, curriculum and instructional areas and personnel. He has had critical involvement in various educational initiatives, such as the implementation and opening of the first magnet schools on Long Island, class size reduction initiatives, the designing and opening of a brand new elementary school, a science research program, a full-day kindergarten program, an alternative school, as well as various other programs to improve student achievement.
Dr. Kuncham was recently the recipient of the Rotary Club’s Civic Leadership Award. He is a past president of the Nassau Chapter of New York State Association of School Business Officials, has been elected to the Board of Governors of the New York State Insurance Reciprocal, and serves on the executive board of NYBEST. He has also served as the Chairman of the Public Relations Committee of NASBO, as a member of the Finance Committee of New York State Association of School Business Officials, and served on the Advisory Committee of Nassau Music Educators Association. Additionally he is past Vice President of the India Association of Long Island and has sat as an Executive Member of the Institute of Indian Culture.
He is a recipient of PTA’s highest award, the New York State PTA Distinguished Service Award as well as the Freeport PTA Council Lifetime Membership award.
In addition to his doctorate, the new superintendent holds a law degree, a master’s degree in Business Administration, and a professional diploma in Educational Administration.
May 19, 2010
To All Freeport Residents:
On behalf of the Members of the Freeport Board of Education, District administrators, teachers, staff, — and especially our wonderful students — I want to express my sincere gratitude to you, the Freeport community, for approving the 2010-2011 School Budget.
This has been a particularly difficult year, primarily due to severe State budget cuts and a freeze on much-needed foundation aid. Thanks to your support, our District will continue to move toward higher student achievement and performance. Our quality instructional programs, specifically designed to benefit different types of learners, will continue to help our children reach full potential. And, our award-winning sports teams and after-school activities will still be a source of pride for our district and community.
During the last few weeks, there has been much politicized and misleading rhetoric in the media concerning the school budget. I am thoroughly impressed and extremely grateful to the citizens of Freeport who have taken the time to separate the “spin” from the truth and to recognize the quality education and results that Freeport Schools have produced, and will continue to produce, at a cost far below other school districts ($2,800 per student below the Nassau County per student average).
We pride ourselves on our superior financial practices and assure you that we will continue to exercise prudent fiscal judgment. Passage of our budget is a vote of confidence in our district, its leadership and management practices, and its ability to deliver the best possible education to our children.