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My Thoughts On Proposed Changes to Gifted and Talented

My Thoughts On Proposed Changes to Gifted and Talented Featured

My son Franklin was also in G&T programs until middle school. (My wife and I chose to home school him for all of middle schools because we knew he would not receive the basic attention he needed to be successful.) My daughter Samantha started G&T in 2006. At that time the program was maybe already two years in place in NYC. On Staten Island, District 31, there were a handful of elementary schools offering the program. As time went on, as the children reached 4th grade, parents became concerned that after elementary school there was no G&T program in our middle schools. I was president of Community Education Council 31 at the time. I specifically held a meeting and invited then Chancellor Klein for a discussion about creating a middle school G&T program. As a result of that meeting I developed criteria and choose locations for what is now known as the Middle Scholars Program, which was implemented on Staten Island.

As CEC president I gained insights to G&T programs, schools, and the Specialized High Schools. The mayor’s claim that poor, minority areas don’t have G&T is blatantly false, as is the reason to eliminate SHSAT. With the elementary school G&T programs, the problem was not that programs didn’t exist in minority communities. The problem was that principals did not want to send their top test scorers to another school. The result was most likely reduced school performance for their school and reduced school funding as every student had a value of at least $23K in funding. So, basically, they didn’t tell parents the G&T test was available to their children. Compound that with the fact that many of the students from predominantly Black and Latino schools that were accepted into G&T were sent to schools that were not predominantly minority, were more difficult to get to ( busing was not promised to G&T), and some faced disingenuous principals who gladly accepted the new students because of the increased funding but somehow managed to convince their parents that they were not getting along, missed their friends, and would be better off if they went back to their zoned school. This recommendation of sending the students back to their zoned school came, of course, after October 31st, when the students funding was locked into the G&T school. So, when the students went back to their zoned school, that school would have the students but not the funding.

As to the elimination of SHSAT, that is another scam being played on the people of NYC. With the dissolution of entrance testing, many of the high scoring students will be forced back into their zoned high school – many will leave the system. However, the result will give the appearance that testing scores and thereby education is increasing city-wide because you are spreading out higher-scoring students across the city.  There is a leveling off of test scoring; not as many schools do poorly and not as many schools do very well. It’s a redistribution of education.

Homeschool Resource Hub

Homeschool Resource Hub

Below is information pertaining to the enrollment of NYC Students in Homeschool through the New York City Department of Education.

**NOTE: Full-Time Remote Learning and Home schooling are not the same. Do not register for home schooling if you want Full-Time Remote Learning at a public school. To register for Remote Learning contact your child’s current school.**

Differences Between Homeschooling & Full Time Remote Learning:

Category Full-Time Remote Learning Experience Home Schooling

or method of instruction

Fully remote instruction at home is provided by public school teachers. 

Students participate in a regular schedule of age-appropriate, standards-based remote learning from home every day.

Instruction is provided by the parent/guardian (or instructor selected by parent/guardian) directly. 

Parent selects curriculum and materials; submits Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) for review and approval

Interaction with a public school teacher Students will have live interaction with teachers every day. The amount will vary by grade, depending on what is developmentally appropriate. None. Only students enrolled in a DOE school are eligible for remote learning.*
Technology used Students will use a DOE-approved online platform for lessons and submission of work. Students will experience whole class, small group and/or individualized instruction in an online environment. Parents/Guardians are responsible for technology; laptops/iPads are not available to home schooled students from the DOE. Parents are responsible for technology and curriculum.
Access to instructional resources Students will be able to access video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks. Students will not be able to access DOE schools’ video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks.
Engagement and assessment Teachers will regularly engage students and families to check student work, provide timely feedback, and adjust instruction as necessary, via remote learning platforms, calls, emails, video chats, etc. 

Students and families have access to grades and report cards

Parents/Guardians submit four quarterly reports throughout the year, along with an annual assessment 

Home schooled students and families maintain their own records; transcripts and report cards are not available for home schooled students.

Registration Families are asked to indicate their preference between blended learning and 100% remote learning(Open external link) by November 15 Families can commence home schooling at any point in the school year, not just July 1 with a Letter of Intent to that includes parent and child name, date of birth and home address. Students will be discharged from their current DOE or charter school.
Option to change instructional experience Families who chose full-time remote learning will be able to opt back into in-person instruction during designated timeframes throughout the school year. Families can decide to end home schooling and return to the a school at any time by contacting the local school or a Family Welcome Center.
Graduation option and credit accumulation Yes Home Schooled students do not earn high school credits and are not eligible to earn a high school diploma. High school equivalency options including the TASC are available.


You can register for homeschooling at any time by sending a Letter of Intent to with your child’s name, address, and date of birth along with a parent/guardian name and phone number. Include when you plan to start homeschooling your child.

You will also need to complete and submit multiple forms to the Department of Education during the time your child is homeschooled. Below are the forms needed to be submitted via email to the NYC DOE. The DOE will advise on specific timing requirements.

Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) Grades 1-6

Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) Grades 7-8

Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) Grades 9-12

Homeschooling Quarterly Report

Annual Assessment Written Narrative

Home School Attendance Calendar

General questions  / documents (other than letter of intent) can be directed to:

To view the New York State regulations for homeschool education please click here.

Poll: Should The COVID-19 Vaccine Be Mandatory?

Poll: Should The COVID-19 Vaccine Be Mandatory?



Radical Leftist Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill that would require all New Yorker’s who are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine safely be mandated to do so. Read the bill she introduced and let us know in the box below: do you think the COVID-19 Vaccine should be mandatory?

Complete the Form to Download The Bill

Mandatory COVID Vaccinations





Should The DOE Randomly Test Our Children For COVID Without Us


Find out more about Sam Pirozzolo for City Council by Visiting

Frank Aversa Joins Team Sam as Campaign Manager

Frank Aversa Joins Team Sam as Campaign Manager

The Sam For City Council campaign is pleased to announce the addition of Frank Aversa as campaign manager.

It is an incredible honor that Frank Aversa has agreed be at the helm of the Sam For City Council campaign. Frank is a political force to be reckoned with on Staten Island. Not only has Frank been the First Vice Chair of the Staten Island Republican party, Frank has been involved in numerous Republican victories and has dedicated much of his time to elect Republicans to office. In short, “Frank Aversa is a political guru and his presence is a signal to all that my campaign is on the path to victory”, said Sam Pirozzolo.

I am looking forward to helping Sam Pirozzolo with his City Council campaign. Sam is a life-long Staten Islander, not only has Sam already helped Staten Island through his service on the Community Education Council, Sam has been putting his name on the front of paychecks for over thirty years, not signing the back of taxpayer checks until they collect a pension. As a business owner myself we can never have enough citizen legislators who understand Main Street the way Sam does. Sam Pirozzolo is the right man at the right time for this job. ~ Frank Aversa

Sam Pirozzolo Testifies at MTA Toll Hike Hearing: Who Would You Rather Have?

Sam Pirozzolo Testifies at MTA Toll Hike Hearing: Who Would You Rather Have?

On Wendesday, December 9th, 2020, New York City Council Candidate Sam T. Pirozzolo (R-Mid Island) provided testimony to the MTA Board on the reckless elimination of the Staten Island resident discount on the Verrazano Bridge. Below is his statement.

“On December 9th I provided testimony to the MTA about the possible elimination of the Staten Island Verrazzano Bridge discount.

There were many speakers before and after me, each with a very compelling reason for the MTA board not to raise transit fares or to eliminate or the Verrazzano Bridge discount.

Instead, I used the remainder of my time to address my fellow Staten Islanders and NYC residents. I pointed out that the members of the MTA board they see sitting before them are mostly appointed by Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, other members are appointed by governments of Long Island. So, in essence, these members will vote the way they are told to vote by the people who appointed them. If Staten Islanders and New Yorkers really want input into fare increases they must reach out to their state legislators, their Democrat state legislators in the Senate and Assembly in particular. 

I suggested if the MTA really wanted to find money to cover costs that they should look inwardly to all of the recent fraud we have read about in the papers and they should do more to eliminate waste. They should remove their hands from the pockets of hard working New Yorkers and leave us alone especially during this pandemic. “

We need to hold our legislators directly responsible for increases in transit fares and the constant hearings they hold which pretend to give a voice to the people. These hearings are a farce, ultimately the decision to increase fares and eliminate the Verrazzano discount is made by the Governor and the mayor and approved by our state legislators which hold a Democrat majority in both houses.

Read David’s Testimony Below, and let us know. Who would you rather have? Would you rather have the same old, begging and pleading or someone who will stand up, directly address the real issues and suggest solutions. 

Thank You, Chief Corey

Thank You, Chief Corey

New York City Council Candidate Sam Pirozzolo (R-50 C.D) issued the following statement about the departure of Chief Kenneth Corey of Patrol Borough Staten Island.

“Assistant Chief Corey has been an outstanding commanding officer of Patrol Borough Staten Island and I thank him for his selfless service. I have fond memories of Chief Corey meeting with my family and spending an ample amount of time with us, after my son “took his job” for a day. Chief Corey has tackled tough issues, while always reaching his hand out to the community and listening to the concerns of Staten Islanders. I congratulate him on his new assignment and welcome Chief Frank Vega. I look forward to working with you and the entire NYPD to ensure the safety of every Staten Islander and New Yorker alike.”

Sam For Cty Council: #siStrong #Together

Sam For Cty Council: #siStrong #Together

We are certainly living in some unprecedented times. People are afraid, people are tired, and no one knows what is going to happen next. This is just a reminder that no matter what, we will get through this #together. No matter what happens we have been blessed to live in America and sooner rather than later this will all be a memory. #siStrong

Sam T. Pirozzolo Statement On Closing School Due To Coronavirus

Sam T. Pirozzolo Statement On Closing School Due To Coronavirus

March 13, 2020

I am calling for an immediate shutdown of NYC Public Schools.

As a former Community Education Council President for Staten Island I have helped guide parents and the Department of Education through some difficult times. None probably more notable than the PCB problem we had on Staten Island and in many city schools.

Now, with the Coronavirus, just like then, the Mayor and the Chancellor are dragging their feet and not acting in the best interests of our students, our parents, our teachers, and our school staff. It is simple to understand the fear our teachers have; basically, they are just like fish in a barrel, waiting for the Coronavirus to come to them. It’s not if our schools and staff begin to become infected – the infections have already begun. If we allow the Coronavirus to get a foothold in our schools then surely the virus will spread from student to student to teacher to administrator and throughout the city within days and weeks. Our healthcare centers may be overrun with asymptomatic patients. Closing our schools now may help keep our children and families safer and reduce future burdens on our healthcare facilities. In the end, while I do believe that fear will be our greatest adversary, I believe that our schools should be closed. If the mayor and chancellor wish to choose some school locations to remain open to operate as health centers for students, so be it, but to put an entire school system at risk for any other reason is senseless.

The governor and the mayor have already said that “Social Distancing” is a way to fight the spread of the Coronavirus and have put an end to all gatherings of over 500 people. Last time I checked, most NYC schools have more than 500 people. Why are our students, teachers, and parents being treated with such disregard?

Sam T. Pirozzolo

Vice President, NYC Parents Union

Candidate for City Council Staten Island



By Sam Pirozzolo | Originally Posted on

To secede or not to secede, that is the question. Folks, if you don’t know now let me tell you, the secession movement is well underway. In the last nine years over one million residents, many of them your family, friends, and neighbors, have fled the tri state area, no group faster than retirees with city pensions. Companies like IBM, GE, and Westinghouse have led the charge of businesses who have run for the hills. Even Amazon, run by the ultra-liberal billionaire Jeff Bezos was run out of town before he even put a shovel in the cold Queens dirt.

Yes, secession is all around us. That’s why it was only a matter of time before secession reared its head in the forgotten borough of Staten Island. This is why I created the website where you can go to read the documents from the attempted secession of 1993, participate in surveys, have your voice heard in forums, and participate in this most important conversation. I look forward to this site, and my Facebook page STexit Staten Island to provide all Staten Islanders an opportunity to participate.

Stexit. Image Credit: Peter Miller, Photography; Artwork and Text, Staten Islander

Stexit. Image Credit: Peter Miller, Photography; Artwork and Text, Staten Islander

Is secession right for Staten Island? No one can say with any degree of certainty at this point. But for my money, for my instinct, I say commonsense dictates it is likely the right move for Staten Island residents. Is there a no more commonsense reason to believe that we are the forgotten borough then because we are, in fact, the forgotten borough? People are very smart, and they know when they are getting shortchanged and Staten Island is getting short changed. Have you ever heard one of our elected politicians tell us that we have gotten more than our fair share? No, you haven’t, because they stand in unison with the shortchanged theory.

There are commonsense reasons to believe that secession would bring prosperity and a better quality of life to Staten Island. First, we have the second highest per capita income in NYC, just short of Manhattan. Unlike Manhattan, with so many of the ultra-rich, our middle-class taxpayers likely pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. Commonsense says we should see no proportionate loss of income tax revenue if we taxed at the same rate as NYC. The same goes for sales tax revenues. If we have a high per capita income, is it reasonable to think we spend higher amounts than other boroughs? And those property taxes – do you know that Staten Island and the Bronx pay a disproportionate rate of tax to value as compared to the rest of the city? From an income standpoint, we should do just fine.

What about expenditures? Staten Island has 6.5% of the population, but thankfully our crime rate is so low we only have about 3% of the police. I’m betting that most city services are the similar. Except, we probably have far fewer NYPD traffic cops who direct traffic. I’ll go out on a limb and guess we have less than one percent of these employees. I’m sure Staten Islanders are paying for a lot of them to direct Manhattan traffic. Don’t even get me started about our woeful road conditions or the failure of our transit system that gives us one of the highest commute times in the nation.

But alas, the Naysayers are out in full force with unsubstantiated scare tactics. One of their favorite unverified cries is, “Our property tax will double.” That surely strikes fear into the heart of Staten Islanders, where the largest percentage of residents own their homes. However, to cry our taxes will double doesn’t make it true. Unfortunately, as city residents we are once again second-class citizens in our own homes. Several years ago, NY State passed a law that says property taxes are capped at a 2% increase per year. Unfortunately, as NYC residents, we were excluded from this property tax cap. So, leaving NYC would actually include us – for once- in this benefit. So, under existing state law our property taxes can’t just double, unless you are projecting a doubling over decades.

Should we do anything this important just because commonsense says we should? Of course not, but should we ignore commonsense? Don’t be silly. If you’ve read this far then you are probably one of the Staten Island residents who don’t want to move, or maybe simply can’t flee like so many of our friends and neighbors. That’s why now it is so important to bring every Staten Islander to the table – to do the math – and formulate the best plan to break free from a city that has at the very least, convinced us that we are getting the short end of the stick. Or, maybe it’s the time, we were educated that we have it better than we think, we should remain the forgotten borough and just be quiet. The point is, its facts, education, and reality that should guide our decision not fearmongering, hyperbole, hearsay.

Sam Pirozzolo is a native Staten Islander. Sam and his wife just celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary, and have two beautiful children who attended both public schools, and were home-schooled. He is running for City Councilman position to succeed Steven Matteo.

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