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Superintendents Conference Days Prepare Faculty for New School Year

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In a typical year, Northport-East Northport Union Free School District’s Superintendent’s Conference Days begin with a speech from Superintendent Robert Banzer, welcoming staff back for the new year. This year however, two additional days, September 2nd and 3rd, were added to provide adequate time for faculty to prepare for the unprecedented school year ahead. 
Beginning with building faculty meetings and followed by grade-level planning and collaboration meetings, each day provided teachers, administrators and staff with opportunities to discuss the upcoming year with their peers and plan for the hybrid instructional model chosen by the district to begin the year. 
On day three, Superintendent Robert Banzer gave his address, discussing the district’s guiding principles for the year: Relationships, Routines and Resilience. As Mr. Banzer walked staff and faculty through the importance of these three principles, he shared various quotes from great leaders about the importance of persevering through difficult situations. Acknowledging that this year may be a challenge, the Superintendent reminded staff to stay positive and remain flexible.
Following the superintendent’s address, Director of Student Support Services Shannon Dantuono led the faculty through a presentation on Social Emotional Learning, providing guidance on how to maintain well-being through stressful times. Beginning with a mindfulness practice led by Kacey MacPherson, a speech language pathologist for Northport High School, the presentation took time to emphasize the importance of fostering positive relationships with students to ensure they have the proper mindset for learning.  
Superintendent’s Conference Days concluded with four sessions for faculty that focused on new districtwide technologies and teacher collaborations, marking the last day before students return.