William Floyd to Open New Alternative Elementary Program in September 2017

The William Floyd School District is pleased to announce the formation of the William Floyd Learning Center.

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Gary Bretton will serve as the principal of the new William Floyd Learning Center.

Shirley, NY - March 15, 2017 - The William Floyd School District is pleased to announce the formation of the William Floyd Learning Center, a new alternative elementary school program, which will, at its onset, serve approximately 24 students (kindergarten through second grade) who are in need of a more intensive building-wide management system and a smaller student-to-teacher ratio. Scheduled to open in September 2017, the program is expected to expand in student enrollment and grade levels in subsequent years. The students who will attend are currently being educated out of the district.

Selected to lead the new program and serve as its principal is Gary Bretton, the current assistant principal at John S. Hobart Elementary School, who has served in that role since 2013. Before joining William Floyd, Mr. Bretton taught elementary school for nine years including seven in the New York City school system.

“We are excited about bringing our students back and providing them with an education in a much more intimate setting here at William Floyd,” said Kevin M. Coster, Superintendent of Schools, William Floyd School District. “With his previous experience in teaching and administration, we know that Mr. Bretton is the right person to lead this new program.”

The program is expected to be cost neutral in its first year and will provide additional cost savings to the community as enrollment grows in subsequent years. The cap is expected to be at approximately 80 students.

This new program will allow students to gain greater immersion in the William Floyd school community by receiving their education in district. It will also provide greater integration opportunities with their peers in the adjoining William Floyd Elementary School in shared spaces like the school library, the playground, gymnasium, cafeteria, at school assemblies, in cultural arts activities, at after-school clubs and on field trips. Being educated in district, also removes the need for students to experience extended travel time. Currently, students travel approximately 35 miles roundtrip each day to receive their education.

“By providing for this closer proximity, our students will also have more opportunities to be mainstreamed into classes that they otherwise would not have,” said Dr. Stacey Scalise, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Instruction, Administration and Pupil Personnel Services, William Floyd School District. “Students who respond to the building-wide management system may be considered for less restrictive special education class ratios or general education classes. These opportunities become more readily available to our students with this new program, and are much more difficult to attempt when they attend schools outside of our district.”

The William Floyd Learning Center will be located in the back of William Floyd Elementary School in close proximity to the universal pre-kindergarten provider, Just Kids. As a result, Just Kids will relocate some of its classes into each of the other four elementary schools and align the students from those catchment areas with their elementary schools.