East Williston board votes to expand special ed vocational program to include Walmart and CVS

East Williston board votes to expand special ed vocational program to include Walmart and CVS
John Li, center, was honored by the East Williston school board at Monday's meeting for being named a Regeneron scholar. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The East Williston Board of Education voted to approve a contract with Walmart and CVS as part of a vocational exploration opportunities program for the district’s special education life skills students at Monday’s meeting.

The board voted unanimously 5-0 in favor of approving the contracts.

The program has already been in place, but CVS and Walmart are the two latest additions.

As part of the program, students will assist in inventory, customer greetings and customer relations, according to Lynn Mazza, director of pupil personnel services.

Mazza said the students greatly benefit from these vocational experiences.

At the meeting the board also voted unanimously to approve three new extracurricular activities at Willets Road School, including a Lego/robotics competition, a Cultural Connections club and a podcast club.

During the meeting the board also honored John Li, a Wheatley School senior who was named a Regeneron Science Talent Search scholar.

Li created three inventions that work together to reduce the time and cost of automobile transmission fluid and filter changes by up to three-quarters.

Li thanked the science and technology departments, and said the district should start promoting computer automated design in younger grades.

“It allows you to take your ideas and turn them into viable inventions,” Li said.

Board President Mark Kamberg said Li should be proud because he not only represents himself and his family, but also the entire East Williston community.

Superintendent Elaine Kanas also recognized Danielle Gately, assistant superintendent for instruction and personnel, at the meeting for receiving the Bright Light award by the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies.

The association noted that Gately is “often seeking ways to infuse digitals tools into her practice,” Kanas said as she congratulated Gately.

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