Bay Shore High School performs at the 49th Annual Newsday...

Bay Shore High School performs at the 49th Annual Newsday Marching Band Festival at Hofstra University. (Oct. 20, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Dave Anderson

In her recent opinion piece, "Turn the target on entrenched racism" [Opinion, March 29], Deidra Parrish Williams included Bay Shore on a list of four Long Island communities she deems as having "poor performing schools." This statement, itself smacking of prejudice, is devoid of fact.

Bay Shore schools pride themselves on providing an innovative, globally minded and well-rounded education for all students. What is both unique and wonderful about our schools and our community is that students from our poorest families play, live and work alongside students from our wealthiest families to the advantage of all. Bay Shore Schools are, in fact, frequently looked to as a model of how diversity in schools is an advantage.

Here are some facts: The Bay Shore School District is a four-time winner of the National School Boards Association Magna Award, developed to recognize and promote successful school programs. Bay Shore High School is an International Baccalaureate World School and offers between 17 and 23 advanced placement courses annually.

Our high school music program is a four-time Signature Grammy School finalist and hosts one of the most distinguished writing conferences for students in the nation, Ethnic Pen, with a goal of highlighting how ethnicity and race have influenced authors and filmmakers.

Between 89 and 95 percent of our graduates attend college or university after graduation and over the past decade our students have been accepted to institutions such as Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and Dartmouth. Last year's graduating class alone was offered just shy of $6 million in scholarships.

What makes this possible is the passionately involved and committed Bay Shore-Brightwaters community, which stands behind its schools and enables them to attend to the needs of every student.

Terri Muuss, Bay Shore

Editor's note: The writer is the communications coordinator for the Bay Shore School District.