South Country Central School District Board Notes Oct. 30 Workshop Meeting

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In celebration of Board Recognition Week, the October 30 workshop meeting opened with the trustees being appreciated for their tireless dedication and advocacy. Board Recognition Week is an annual celebration sponsored by the New York State School Boards Association, which honors the trustees’ commitment to public education. In anticipation of the meeting, Verne W. Critz Elementary School provided a display of student art in the board room as well as a leaf garland, which was crafted by the students and hung on the board’s table. Select students also handed to each trustee a crafted pumpkin and, under the direction of music teacher Christopher Loeschner, students sang a variety of songs to the pleasure of the trustees and parents attending the meeting. 

Board of Education President E. Anne Hayes thanked the students for their thoughtfulness and said she believed they were attending the meeting for the Board to thank them. “Every day you come to school and leave school with a smile, you’ve been successful and made us feel good about that,” Ms. Hayes said. “Thank you so much for being who you are.”     

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Marlon Small delivered a presentation on Student Achievement Data. Director of STEM Jack Burke, Directory of Elementary Education Amy Brennan and Director of Humanities Jaclyn O’Hagan also contributed to the report which looked at grades 3-8 ELA and math assessment scores, test refusals and demographics for the 2018-2019 school year. The report also gave a glance at science, Regents and Advanced Placement results, as well as the graduation rate among all demographics. Mr. Small noted that test refusal rates continue to be a significant problem, but that the lower the grade the higher the participation. He also said the District is examining how to better tailor instruction and educational strategies so as to be aligned with the Board of Education priorities. 

Director of Elementary Education Amy Brennan also delivered a report on NWEA assessments and Response to Intervention. NWEA is an adaptive assessment for learning readiness administered to students in grades K-8 in the fall, winter and spring. She also discussed MAP growth, assessments which provide information about the instructional level of a student and a roadmap toward achieving mastery in core subject areas. Ms. Brennan explained that educators will intervene early and collaborate so as to effectively teach all students and explained how South Country teachers reach students through a multi-layered approach to needed intervention. Ms. Brennan noted that although data tells a story, educators must remember that there are students at the center.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held on November 13 at 7:30 p.m.