2010-11-24 / Local News

Sweet Home principals review elementary schools’ scores

by DAVID F. SHERMAN Managing Editor

The four elementary-level principals in the Sweet Home Central School District presented the Board of Education with a lengthy, multimedia presentation Nov. 16 on their progress in the Comprehensive District Education Plan.

Each said the recently revised state Education Department standards have caused them to rethink how to reach their goals.

Presentations were made by Joyce Brace, Glendale; Ann Laudisio, Maplemere; Dave Lovering, Willow Ridge; and Scott Wolf, Heritage Heights.

“Some students are not meeting the new standards,” said Lovering. “They must be identified early and interventions made specific to their needs. We have to challenge and support them.”

Proficiency levels for grade three math in the district have been severely affected. Two years ago, 96 percent of the students earned that level of academic success. It is now 58 percent in Sweet Home, he told the board.

“We have our work cut out for us,” Lovering said.

Overall literacy is critical, according to Wolf.

“These changes have made us take a different look at what we’re doing,” he said. “The elementary program was becoming tired. We are now doing more staff development to help all the kids reach these standards.”

He said the oral language program is a foundation for literacy, especially for those children who don’t speak English at home.

“Poor oral language directly affects their ability to read,” Wolf said.

Each principal agreed that 21st century skills will be needed by all students to reach beyond a basic education.

In other action, the board:

• Recognized school psychologist Robin Raphael for receiving the School Psychologist of the Year award from the Western New York Association of School Psychologists.

• Established a teacher on special assignment position for discipline at the middle school, effective Oct. 25.

• Approved a lease agreement with the Mel Ott Little League Inc. for use of facilities on the grounds of the middle school. The agreement was effective Sept. 1.

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