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Superintendent's Message
Massena Central School Board of Education Update
February 26, 2016
APPR Hardship Waiver

This week, we received the following e-mail from the NYS Education Department indicating that schools who applied for the original hardship waiver for implementing the new APPR law will not need to apply for another as previously required.  This means that schools like Massena can continue to use the teacher/principal evaluation system under 3012-c instead of switching mid-year to the requirements under 3012-d which must be negotiated with related labor unions.  Since we are required to begin the new evaluation system by September 1st, we will restart negotiations very soon.

In light of the recent “transition” regulations (sections 30-2.14 and 30-3.17 of the Rules of the Board of Regents), which were adopted by the Board of Regents at the December meeting  and in an effort to address concerns from the field, all districts currently implementing an APPR plan pursuant to Education Law §3012-c under an approved Hardship Waiver will have such waiver automatically renewed and extended through September 1, 2016. No further applications will be necessary. 

For information concerning approval of APPR plans pursuant to Education Law §3012-d, please see the Department’s FAQ regarding Sections 30-2.14 and 30-3.17 of the Rules of the Board of Regents, available on EngageNY at http://www.engageny.org/resource/guidance-on-new-york-s-annual-professional-performance-review-law-and-regulations. For questions about implementing an APPR plan under §3012-c or §3012-d during the transition period, please contact educatoreval@nysed.gov.

Latest Education Articles

The following are articles about key educational issues as provided by the NYS School Boards Association:

Albany Times Union
Economic forecasters put up a caution light for future state spending

New York Times
Closely watched fight over California teacher tenure moves to appeals court

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Senators seek assurances from John King on new K-12 law

NYS School Boards Association’s Legislative Priorities

The following is a link to legislative priorities from NYSSBA.  It includes the full implementation of the Foundation Aid formula which would help the Massena CSD.

A legislative year brings new challenges. From reform of the learning standards to budgetary pressures to new laws and regulations, school districts continue to navigate a complex education system. With this in mind, the New York State School Boards Association offers recommendations for change that would help address these issues to benefit our students and communities.

NYSSBA 2016 Legislative Priorities
Resources from the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES

Download the Winter/Spring 2016 BOCES PD Flyer
Save the Date

Data & Assessment
Assessment and Question Bank
Work Day K-12


March 1, 2016​
PRESENTER: Stephanie Allen​
VENUE: BOCES ESC 40 West Main St., Canton
COST: $150​
Food for Thought:
To Today's parents assessment brings thoughts of high-stakes testing. However,
teachers use Formative Assessment to inform their teacher. In the article, "Formative
Assessment, What Do Teachers Need to Know and Do?
" Margaret Heritage describes
skillful implementation of formative assessments.

Student Engagement
Strategies to Engage Students
March 14, 2016
PRESENTERS: Don Mesibov and Tim Bedley
VENUE: BOCES ESC 40 West Main St., Canton
COST: $150
DESCRIPTION: Participants will be actively engaged with strategies they can use immediately in their classrooms. Tim Bedley will lead a team of facilitators from the Institute for Learning Centered Education so that participants can work in small groups with a facilitator at their table as they experience strategies for engaging students that can be accomplished in as little as five minutes and no longer than a full class period. The emphasis of this workshop is on practical application 1/4 strategies that are easy to adapt, do not require a lot of classroom time, and which put students in charge of their own learning.

Gallery Learning with Tim Bedley
March 15, 2016
VENUE St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES- 40 West Main Street Canton, NY
TIME Registration will be held from 8-8:30, session will start promptly at 8:30
COST: $150
DESCRIPTION: Tim will engage teachers in a practical, engaging, edulicious, hands-on training. Participants will learn to use student-centered techniques in a wall-mounted whiteboard classroom. Tim will model effective critical thinking activities and then involve participants in analysis and application of those activities.

Important Updates From NYSED


Do My Students Really Understand Math?
April 1, 2016
PRESENTERS: Becky Duprey, Dr. Victoria Klawitter, and Dr. Blair Madore- SUNY Potsdam Professors
VENUE: BOCES ESC 40 West Main St., Canton
COST: $125

Math Grant Districts (attend for free): Brasher Falls, Clifton Fine, Edwards Knox, Gouverneur, Hammond, Harrisville, Hermon Dekalb, Massena, Morristown, Norwood Norfolk, Ogdensburg


 Nicole Warr

VENUE: Varies

Note: Teachers may attend at any convenient site, not just their home district.

TIME: 3:30-5:30pm

​COST: FREE to all districts - Teachers from grant districts will receive a $50 stipend for all sessions attended.

DESCRIPTION: The goal of the MSP Grant is to help teachers learn strategies and mathematical connections that can be implemented in their classrooms to ultimately improve students' understanding of mathematics. Three sessions will be offered at each participating district. The topics for each session are:

Session One = Fact Fluency Activities

Session Two = Problem Solving

Session Three = Pacing/Prioritizing for 2016-2017 School Year

Brasher Falls Clifton-Fine Edwards-Knox Gouverneur
Feb 8 Jan 26 March 8 Jan 28
April 18 Feb 23 April 19 Feb 25
May 23 May 17 May 31 May 5
Hammond Harrisville Hermon-Dekalb Massena
Jan 27 Feb 9 Feb 11 Jan 25
April 20 April 5 April 7 Feb 22
May 18 May 3 May 19 May 16
Morristown Norwood-Norfolk Ogdensubrg  
Feb 10 April 4 Feb 24  
March9 May 2 April 6  
May 4 June 13 June 1  

Visit My Learning Plan to register for the session closest to you.
Administrator/Teacher Leader

Principals' Academy

April 29, 2016
June 3, 2016
VENUE: St. Lawrence university - Room TBD
COST: Continuation of Yearlong PD
Registration limited to currently participating Teacher Leaders/Principals

Instructional Rounds Visits

March 10 @ Norwood Norfolk (Middle School)
March 15 @ Norwood Norfolk (Elementary)
Additional Dates/Locations will be added to MLP
COST: Free
DESCRIPTION: Instructional rounds are one of the most valuable tools that a school or district can use to enhance teachers' pedagogical skills and develop a culture of collaboration. As a continuation of the work of the STLE grants, teachers and schools may still take part in instructional rounds visits.

Instructional Rounds Overview

March 9, 2016
DESCRIPTION: This session will provide an overview of Instructional Rounds. Instructional Rounds-a practice adapted to education from the field of medicine- embodies a specific set of ideas about how practitioner can work together to solve common problem and improve their practice. It is designed to help schools and districts support high-quality teaching and learning for all students. Instructional Rounds strategically connects school and district efforts with improvements at the instructional core and builds collaborative networks of educators who learn from one another about improving teaching and learning. this session is required for all educators who will participate in Instructional rounds visits and is a prerequisite for the Instructional Rounds in Action: Refining the Process. (Principal Academy attendees have already completed this session.)

Food for Thought:
Harvard professor Lee Teitel discusses the power of Instructional Rounds to improve teaching and learning in this podcast.


My Learning Plan Team Talk
April 5, 2016
VENUE: BOCES ESC 40 West Main St., Canton
COST: No Cost
DESCRIPTION: MLP Team Talk is a brand new incarnation of the annual learning meeting of customers in our area, previously called a "User Group Meeting." Based on customer feedback, the meeting name and format has been changed to more effectively engage teams of MLP users from across districts or organizations in real world problem solving and idea sharing. The purpose of MLP Team Talk is to support your district's MLP team in deepening the team's collective knowledge about our systems to empower your organization in fully maximizing all applicable features in support of your district's goals and best practices. Consistent with our past User Group Meetings, we will facilitate sharing across districts and respond to specific questions and interest areas. Participants will be on their own for lunch. PLEASE BRING A LAPTOP OR TABLET

Food for Thought

Teaching Students to Do Google Searches That Go Beneath the Surface
While we know searching in Google appears to be a straight forward process, Alan November examines student’s belief about searches and their actual ability to obtain relevant information.  He shares that students who are taught to complete an advanced search acknowledge how little they know about searching. Many searches return hundreds of thousand results but most students usually read only the first page. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they often conclude that Google can’t help them and look elsewhere.  November shares how to sharpen the search process to find needed information. 

For the full article read “The Advanced Google Searches Every Student Should Know” by Alan November in eSchool News, November 23, 2015.



School Library System Day
April 19, 2016 9am-3pm
PRESENTER:  Kelly Wilson
VENUE: Northern New York Library Network, 6721 State Highway 11, Potsdam
COST:  No Cost

Staff/Curriculum Development Network (SCDN)
Additional Resources:

Online Resources:

Educational Reading Materials:

Encouragement in the Classroom
by Joan Young

Helping students develop the grit and perseverance needed to be successful in a more rigorous academic program is a topic that needs to raise to the attention of all educators. Over the next year we will offer more professional development to help teachers develop these mindsets. 

Encouragement in the Classroom explores the small yet high-impact changes that teachers can make to transform students' school experience every day. Drawing from positive psychology research, educator Joan Young explains how fostering humor, mindfulness, resilience, curiosity, and gratitude in the classroom empowers students to learn from their mistakes, celebrate successes, and actively engage in learning. Filled with examples, this publication offers practical, classroom-tested strategies, routines, and rituals that teachers can use immediately to defuse the negative effects of stress and create a stimulating and supportive classroom culture.
  • Access the full list of available e-books here.
  • Contact your librarian or Kelly Wilson for the password, and find useful online books at INFOTRAC.
Other Learning Opportunities:
BOCES Adult Education Spring Course Catalog

Massena High School
News & Notes

Students Attend Scholastic Art Competition

Four students from Massena High School art classes attended the regional Scholastic Art Competition at Onondaga Community College on Tuesday, February 9th.  The students were able to review this region’s most talented artists’ work.  Included and recognized in this year’s show was Cashlynn Jaggers, a senior at Massena Central High School.  Pictured are- Noah Manning, Samantha Kormanyos, Sabrina Sunday, Cashlynn Jaggers, and Mr. Chad Simpson.
Wrestling Team goes to States in Albany
Hunter Perrine, Gavin Perrine and Austin Amo won sectional Championships this year and headed to the Times-Union in Albany to compete at the state level on Friday Feb. 26, 2016. The boys returned this afternoon along with their coach Mr. Scott Perrine. Mr. Perrine reported that Hunter won his match in Section II. He stated, “It’s a different world down there but Hunter was able to use some of the same moves Nolan Terrance used last year that won him the state title, to give Hunter the win of the Section II match.” He also noted that the young man who Nolan beat for the last year’s state title, won it this year. We’re proud of the boys and their hard work!
Massena Cheerleaders Take First Place

The Massena Cheerleaders competed in the Section X competitions at SUNY Canton on February 27, 2016. In the Team and Stunt Groups, the Massena team took first place in the Coed Division and first place in the Stunt Group. Both teams advance to state competitions held in Syracuse on March 5, 2016. In the All Northern Individual Competitions, Massena cleaned house. Emme Brault took first place in Best Toe Touch and Best Tumbling, while Cheyenne Larmore took first place and Breanna Love took second place in Best Pike. The Cheerleading Team has had a great year in local competitions. They have been working extremely hard every day and deserve these wins. The team is coached by Sandra Brault and TommieJo Villnave. Jenna Brault has also been on hand at practices to help out. We wish them the best of luck next weekend in Syracuse!

Close Up Conference in Washington DC

Tatum LaFrance and Tianna Back represented Massena CSD and the Mohawk Tribe at the Close Up Conference in Washington DC, February 6-12, 2016. They were accompanied by two students from Salmon River CSD and Mrs. Anna Thompson, advisor for JOM at Massena High School. Mrs. Thompson made arrangements for the four students to attend the conference.
According to Tatum and Tianna, student representatives from Native American Territories along the East Coast and Southern states met in Washington to collaborate on the current issues facing Native American Tribes. The students worked in groups to create a presentation which described their issue and included a solution. They later gave their presentation to the USET Council, which is the United Southern and Eastern Tribes Council. After the presentations, the council decides if their issue and solution will move to the government level where they will lobby for funds to help with the suggested solutions. Tatum and Tianna presented on the need for funds to continue the environmental clean-up of the Mohawk Territory   from GM and the need for more recovery centers for Native Americans suffering from mental illness and drug and alcohol use. The council selected their issues to move forward to the government level.
Tatum and Tianna reported that they never thought they would be presenting in front of thousands of people and to have the issues of the Mohawk Tribe recognized was an even greater feeling. They said it was one of the best learning experience and were inspired by a USET presenters who said, “You are not the voice of the future, you are the voice of now!” Well done ladies!
Instructional Rounds

Pray for good weather on March 9, 2016. A team of four high school teachers have been delayed twice from attending the Instructional Rounds Overview at BOCES due to school closures. Chad Simpson, Jessica Jarrett, Cristina David and Randy Freiman are scheduled once again, to attend the workshop on March 9. This workshop will prepare them to participate in Instructional Rounds at the Norwood-Norfolk Middle School on March 11.
Earlier Shane Halladay and Matt McKinley attended the same training and participated in Instructional Rounds at Norwood-Norfolk High School. Amanda Hamilton and myself have been attending the Principal’s Academy and attended Instructional Rounds at Colton-Pierrepont in January. I have used the January and February faculty meetings to present on Instructional Rounds so the rest of the staff has better understanding of them. From the information that was presented at the Principal’s Academy, one of the first steps to IR is to build a foundation of school improvement though understanding IR and sharing a common language with our staff. That is the purpose of the faculty meeting presentations. The March faculty meeting will conclude the presentations.
Upcoming Event March 11 and 12

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets to the Wizard of Oz online through our website: www.mchsmusical.com.  Additionally, you may purchase your tickets at the box office on Thursday afternoon.  Tickets are $11 and can be purchased with Cash, Check, or any credit/debit card.
Jefferson Elementary School
News & Notes

Jefferson Students are Zearning!

Jefferson second grade students in Mrs. Cook's class routinely visit the computer lab to reinforce and extend math skills taught in the classroom in a game based format. The Zearn.org website closely aligns it's content to the NYS Math Curriculum. Students are able to work at their own pace to reinforce content. Along with interventions at school, students are also able to log-in at home to "get ahead" in their learning.
GREAT INTERVENTION or ENRICHMENT TOOL!! By personalizing learning, Zearn gives all children access to numeracy. Zearn Math is comprehensive personalized learning and teaching. Kids learn and practice every objective on their time. It provides students with precise and supportive digital feedback, integrating paper and pencil transfer. Students are guided as they struggle and move forward once they show understanding. Teachers can plan and target instruction with Zearn resources and reports. Teachers can track topics and lessons for each students. Track progress signaling teacher of students that need attention.

Data Meeting Success

As part of the district's goal of reviewing and enhancing the provision of Academic Intervention Services, Jefferson teachers met recently for their second round of "Data Meetings" this school year. Each teacher came prepared to share out on their performance and progress of each of their students.  In essence, each Jefferson student in Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 are receiving an individual education plan to help them achieve. With the learning process moving in the right direction, teachers are sharing resources and working together to make sure each student is receiving the best opportunities of learn.
Jefferson Third Graders Rewarded

Mrs. Scott's students have an opportunity to earn a special luncheon each month with a surprise guest,  by successfully completing a reading challenge. Superintendent Brady recently was the guest of honor in Mrs. Scott's third grade classroom where the students brought  their lunches back to their classroom to dine with their esteemed guest. Each guest talks about their occupation and how reading has led to their success. They often share their favorite books with the students and the students do the same in return. Mr. Brady follows in the guest path of Mr. Tim Currier (Massena Mayor), Mr. Sean Scott (Mrs. Scott's husband), Mr. Richards (Jefferson Principal), Mr. Tony Moncibaiz (Border Patrol Officer) so far this year.

Newest Tie Club Member

Destiny McGee, Jefferson Grade Two student, is the newest member of Mr. Richards' Tie Club. Destiny has been working extremely hard on her spelling. She received a perfect score on her latest spelling test.

Introducing the Sound Muncher!
The Sound-Muncher makes a weekly visit to Mrs. Hubert’s Pre-Kindergarten classroom. During his visits, each student in the class selects an item and then identifies the letter and sound that the item begins with. Once the letter and sound have been identified the student has the opportunity to “feed” the Sound-Muncher. This is a fun, interactive way to help children distinguish initial sounds with a special focus on the letters being reviewed for the week.


Branching out with Books

The Spring session of Branching out with Books has started at Jefferson. Jefferson Students have the opportunity to participate in a free after school reading program called “Branching Out with Books”. Funded through a Charles Wood Grant, the “Branching Out with Books” program aims to help children in grades 1-3 develop a lifelong love for reading. The program begins at 3:00pm with homework help from SUNY Potsdam Education majors as well as Mrs. Russell (Gr. 2 Teacher) and Mrs. Smith (Literacy Specialist).
Mrs. Russell and Mrs. Smith will be overseeing the program each Wednesday afternoon alongside a few America Reads students from the Education program at SUNY Potsdam. The “Branching Out with Books” afterschool program consists of a healthy snack, homework help for those who need it, a read aloud, and follow-up activity. This semester we will be creating autobiographies. The students will each write their own using different genres of writing.
The “Branching Out with Books” program began on Wednesday, February 24, 2016. It is a free program made possible by a Charles Wood Grant and valuable partnership with SUNY Potsdam. The program runs from 3:00-4:30pm each Wednesday afternoon.
Madison Elementary School
News & Notes


Madison Elementary Student wins Chamber of Commerce Photo Contest!

One of our fourth grade students in Mrs. Earl’s class, Nevaeh Green, has been named the winner of the Massena Chamber of Commerce "My Massena" Photo Contest Teen Edition for her entry of "A Winter Night's Sky." She has won a Nikon camera and is very excited. We couldn’t be more proud of Naveah’s success.
(Courier-Observer Picture)

The Who Art Club

Madison Elementary wants to send out a big thank you to Patti Laraby (Madison Parent) and Miss Trish for all of their hard work with the Who Art Club.  5th and 6th grade students are able to work with Ms. Trish at the end of the day on pre-selected projects which give them chances to work with new and different art mediums.  The club and all of the materials it consume are complete funded by the Square 1 art fundraiser.  Square 1 provides our students with an opportunity to create art and have it transferred to a number of items (key chains, phone cases to canvas wall art) for purchase by family and friends.  The Madison art department and the Who Art Club are the beneficiaries of this work.

Thanks again to Mrs. Laraby and Miss Trish for all of your hard work and support of art at Madison

Mrs. Tishberg’s Second Grade Studies Teeth and Dental Hygiene this Week

Mrs. Tishberg’s second grade students have been learning about teeth and dental care.  They learned about the jobs that the different teeth have, identified and labeled the different parts of teeth, and made comparisons between their teeth and animal teeth.  They were introduced to new vocabulary words related to dental health.  Most importantly, they learned how to properly care for their teeth.
Students in Mrs. Hartman's 4th grade performed science experiments testing the best shape of "bird beaks" for picking up various types of food.

Important Upcoming Dates @ Madison
3/2 Dr. Seuss's Birthday
3/4 HS School Music Tour
3/4 End of Second Trimester
3/7-3/9 Kindergarten Registration
(call for details)
3/10 Early Dismissal - Parent
Teacher Conferences
3/11 & 3/12 Wizard of Oz @ MCHS
3/14 & 3/15 Outstanding Owls at 2:15pm
3/15 Family Night/Ice Cream social
(Grades 4 and 5 performances)
3/17 St. Patrick's Day
3/21-3/28 Spring Break

Nightengale Elementary School
News & Notes

Intervention and Data
Our first Math Data meeting was on February 26, 2016. We were able to discuss, individually, all students in grades 3-6. We looked at specific data to see if there was growth/regression happening and made decisions based on data, as to the child needed more or less service in math to be successful. We will be meeting once again towards the end of the year. I would like to thank me teachers and Mrs. Pelifian for all they hard work preparing for these meeting.s
Alcoa Foundation Grant
I have completed my mid year update for the Alcoa Grant at Nightengale. Almost all the money has been spent and we are seeing the rewards of the grant in every classroom at Nightengale. We recently purchased a camera that will be used to post student work on our front lobby TV and on our website. Below is a picture of the Smartboard be used by Mara Pelifian’s math students.

2016-2017 Kindergarten Registration
We are gearing up for our Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Pre-Kindergarten registration for our young learners.  We will be advertising throughout the Massena area with posters, radio interviews, newspaper stories.
Nightengale will have our screening on March 7, from 8:30am-3:00. Parents will meet in the front lobby for the directions on where the the registration will take place,.

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Jim Williams will be here on March 2nd for his presentation entitled, “Making Friends” for grades 3 and Kindergarten
  • Our Book Fair and Open House will be on March 15th 
JW Leary Junior High
News & Notes

On February 23, 2016, J.W. Leary math teacher Jay Czajkowski attended the BOCES workshop entitled Integrating Technology in the 5-8 classroom.
Teacher Nicole Charleson has been busy in her spare time working on the set of Wizard of Oz at the high school. Nicole has been helping to paint the set.
On Friday February 26 and Saturday February 27, 2016, FACS teacher Anne Root will be attending the New York State Family and Consumer Leadership Team meetings in Albany, NY.  The purpose of the development team is to raise standards in both teaching and learning in Family and Consumer Science programs and to support the NY state Common Core Learning Standards in all areas.
Anne Root will also be taking a team to the Iron Chef competition on March 12, 2016. The "Culinary Raiders" selected a healthy recipe on their own and modified it to fit requirements.  They also met with Mr. Bertrand our Cafeteria Manager to have him give them suggestions and speak to the possibility of their recipe actually becoming a school menu item.  They are creating, "Awesome Veggie Dippers", a baked vegetable/egg/breadcrumb mixture and a healthy marinara sauce to dip them in. The iron chef has several judges who rate the entries. Past judges have included Pat Brady.
Kevin McBath’s 3-d printer is up and running. He has had the opportunity to make a variety of plastic parts and items.
Mike Allen and his staff have been busy getting Google accounts ready for use in classrooms for curriculum related activities and lessons. Currently Kathleen Dodge and Catherine Donahue’s classes are ready to use the Google accounts. J.W. Leary greatly appreciates the hard work of the Tech department to do this.
On Friday February 12, 2016, Guidance counselor Keri Cooke and Principal Burt Peck met with Rachelle Romoda of SLL BOCES to discuss the P-Tech program. Ms. Romoda explained the program’s curriculum as well as its benefits and entrance requirements. She also answered questions.
The additional training for instructional rounds was to have been attended by Katherine Hayes and Nicole Charleson. It has been cancelled three times now due to weather. It has been rescheduled for Wednesday March 9, 2016.
Tony Cafarella’s grade 7 students recently completed a wall notes project dealing with the three major colonial regions. The students made a variety of notes and grouped them and then put them on display. Each wall represented a different colonial area.
Musical Tour at JH                  March 4, 2016
St. Patrick’s Dance                 March 11, 2016
7-8 ELA state tests                 April 5-7
7-8 Math state tests                 April 13-15
Career Day                              April 28, 2016
Upcoming Events
3/3—Policy Committee Meeting—6:30 pm—CAB
Last Updated: 3/15/16
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