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Administrative Announcement
From the Desk of
Donald A. James, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Commack Schools 
 
September 20, 2021
 
Dear Commack Community,
 
I am writing this letter to let you know that at a Special Board meeting this evening, September 20, 2021, the Board of Education accepted my letter of resignation effective November 30, 2021, as I have accepted a position as the head of a private company.  Know that I have been truly honored to have served the students and staff as the Superintendent of Commack Schools for the last 10+ years, and as you might expect, there are a multitude of emotions I am feeling related to this decision. However, the acceptance of this new position is the right decision for my family and I and allows me to continue to work in education in a way that supports professional learning opportunities for educators, and the development of new teachers and aspiring administrators. 
 
Regarding the future of Commack Schools, I can say with confidence that the District is in great shape; schools have safely opened, and new programs have been implemented to support a successful transition back to everyday “brick and mortar” school for students. Further, I will continue to support the District and assure a smooth and successful transition to an acting or interim superintendent over the next several months.  One of the reasons I am so confident in a smooth transition and continued success is that Commack has a great administrative team, a committed group of teachers, and an amazing staff and Board of Education that will assure the District functions seamlessly through this transition.  
 
Know that my 10+ years here in Commack have been marked by many memorable achievements of which we can all be proud:
 
  • NATIONAL BLUE-RIBBON WINNER FOR 2020-2021
  1. Commack HS was named a National Blue-Ribbon School of Excellence Winner for the 2020-2021 school year – we expect the formal announcement on 9/21/21!
  • Access and Opportunity – Our Flagship Initiative that led to significant student growth!
All students were immersed in enrichment programs in elementary and middle school, project-based classes from K to 12 and enhanced programming throughout their educational career here in Commack.  As a result, 
  1. 98% of all graduating students take and pass at least one (1) college level course.
  2. 85% of all graduating students take and pass at least three (3) college level courses.
  3. 75% of all graduating students take and pass at least five (5) college level courses.
  4. College attendance rate is nearly 100%. 
    • Four (4) year college attendance rate is at an all-time high - 80%+
  5. SAT and ACT Scores Continue to Rise
    • SAT scores have risen steadily for years and spiked in 2021 with a 50-pt. increase
    • ACT scores have risen steadily for years and spiked in 2021 at our highest level
 
  • Special Education Programming – Students Attend Neighborhood Schools
  1. Developed and implemented full-service programs designed to meet the needs of all students making Commack the benchmark for meeting the needs of students.
  • Long Term Budgeting Practices – Financial Stability for Years to Come
  1. Budget stability for the foreseeable future with more than $35 million in reserves
  2. Budget passing rates average approx. 75% for 10 consecutive years
  • Solar Project – Commack Schools are “Off the Grid”
  1. Just completed the installation of solar panels district-wide sufficient to supply all eight (8) Commack Schools with 100% of the electricity they need 
  • Bond Issue – All Schools Receive Upgrades 
  1. $68 million bond, allowing significant upgrades to all district schools without raising taxes.
  • Marion Carll Property
  1. Completed lease with Long Island University and construction of the Long Island University Veterinary Campus, Commack – the only Vet School in the Metropolitan area
 
There was much, much more that was accomplished, but the above represents the heart of our work over the years, the work the community wanted, the work that benefitted all students, the work that could not have been accomplished without the dedicated staff and amazingly supportive parents and community here in Commack.  In closing, I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support as Commack became a national leader in education. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Donald A. James
Superintendent of Schools
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Contact Information
By Mail:  480 Clay Pitts Road East Northport, NY 11731
By Phone:  631 912-2000
By Email: [email protected]
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The Commack School District Mission Statement
Within the context of a caring community of learners, our primary mission is to provide an exemplary
learning experience that will allow each child to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes, and
values to become a successful, contributing member within our school community and greater society.
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