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Superintendent's Message
Massena Central School Board of Education Update
May 6, 2016

 
Happy Mother's Day
 

 
Liability Insurance Threshold
 
At the Board meeting on Thursday we discussed the use of our facilities by outside organizations.  The question was raised about the amount of liability insurance recommended by our carrier, Utica National.  Upon checking the Building Use Form which is posted on the District website, it states that the amount of $1,000,000 for general liability insurance is required.  Our representative from Utica National was contacted and he recommended the same threshold.
 
Social Media Policy
 
At the Board meeting on Thursday, communication specialist Rebekah Grim gave a presentation on our new social media presence this year.  Here is an article of the presentation from the Courier Observer.
The question arose about the District’s policy in regard to teachers and students using social media as part of instruction.  Board Policy 6191 Staff Use of Computerized Information Resources guides decision-making about this subject.  In general, the use of social media has been largely restricted on a need to use basis due to the potential for access to inappropriate sites.  This access may broaden in the future as more teachers are becoming aware of how such technology can enhance instruction and learning.  The challenge will be the loosening of restrictions for educational purposes without opening access to information which would be improper.  This was a key topic at our Google Summit in Montreal last weekend.  It will also be discussed at our Technology Committee meetings as we continue to plan for the use of new technology in the classroom.

NYS Grade 3-8 Math Exam Opt Outs

This weekend, the Courier Observer presented an article about the number of students who opted out of the NYS Grade 3-8 Math exams. Here is a link to the article.  It does not mention Massena so I thought I would give you the numbers again in case there were any questions.  As with the ELA exams, the number of Grade 3-8 students in Massena who refused to take the test declined from last year (21.03% vs. 40.36%).  Our highest number of math test refusals were also in Grades 5, 7, & 8. 

Student Transfers from Akwasasne
 
Students who live in Akwasasne have several options for attending school both on the American and Canadian sides of the border.  For example, many choose to come to Massena while others attend school in Salmon River.  Over the years, requirements have been established for such transfers to ensure that it is accomplished in a manner that does not continuously disrupt the education of students. This can occur if students transfer frequently, especially in the middle of the school year.  As always, if student health and safety is a factor, exceptions are made in consultation between school officials.  Board of Education Policy 7141 Transfer of Students Who Reside on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation provides the requirement that families must decide by June 1st each year as to which school they will be sending their child(ren) the following year.  This deadline is consistent with the Salmon River CSD.  As this date is fast approaching, I want to remind our Native American families of this policy so they can make plans for enrollment choices.  
 
High School
News & Notes
 
                                                      

Staff Development Day

On April 29, 2016, Stephanie Allen from BOCES worked with Special Ed, Math, Science, ELA and Social Studies teachers on interpreting SED Regents data. Teacher looked at 3 year performance trends on Power Standards, noting commonalties amongst disciplines. An area of concern is students being able to define academic vocabulary used in regents questions across discipline. A take away task for teachers was to spend more time interpreting the data and developing strategies for working on those areas of concern.
 
Encore teachers spent the day at the Jr High Poverty Simulation, Regional Workshops and the Google Summit in Potsdam.
 


Google Summit in Montreal

On April 30 and May 1, a Google Summit was held in Montreal. We were able to choose from a variety of sessions for administrators who are interested in increase technology capacity in their buildings. Included in the sessions were discussions on best practices for teacher, students and administrator in shared decision on technology, increasing empathy in your buildings, programs for teachers to incorporate into their lessons, differentiated instruction and developing technology plans. The picture above was a lesson from EdTech 360, where students are given clues to finding the key to open a locked box. The lesson allows students to collaborate and problem solve using skills from math, science, social studies, technology and art.
                                   
 
Walk In

On May 4th, teachers gathered in the faculty parking lot located by CAB to walk in to school with their colleagues as a sign of solidarity and supporting education for the families of Massena. Coffee and doughnuts were provided by our Student Council and then all walked in the high school together at the start of the school day.  Schools nationwide joined us as we come together in the name of solidarity and commitment to educating our community's children.  Participating in the walk in was a simple yet powerful way to support education and to stand side by side with our colleagues. 
 

 
Cultural Sensitivity Training

Robin Logan, Title VII Teacher, is shown above presenting to approximately 40 athletes on cultural sensitivity. Mrs. Logan used a variety of images from the past and present that depict Native Americans in a negative way. She informed the students on the history of the Native Americans being placed in boarding school many miles away from their homes. While in boarding school, they were forced to give up their language and culture in order to assimilate into mainstream society. Mrs. Logan also presented on current abuse of Native American dress used by the fashion industry and during sporting events that are degrading to the Native American people. It is anticipated that this training will continue next year and will include all students as well as athletes.
 
         
 
ATTABOY Concert

Each year, BOCES provides performers through the Fine Arts CoSer. This year at the high school level, cover band Attaboy performed on May 5 at 9:30 to 9th graders. The band played a variety of popular songs while incorporating a message of being true to yourself and avoiding false ideas of body image and belonging. Students and teachers were invited to be a part of the performance and had a great time. At 7:00 pm that same day, Attaboy performed a free concert to approximately 250 students and adults. After the show, the four band member were on hand to talk to students and pose for selfies. Staff and students enjoyed the concert, even though it was at 9:30 in the morning. Not the best time for loud music. Nick Henrie and Joe Gambaccini are shown after the evening performance.
 
JW Leary Junior High
News & Notes

 
JH art student Ryan Frost received the Best in Show award for the 7-8th grade category given at the NCATA 2nd annual regional K-8 Art Show. The show was hosted by the St Lawrence- Lewis BOCES Center in Canton with an opening ceremony on Thursday May 5th. The show will continue through Thursday May 12th. Ryan's Art work was created in colored pencil. It is a self portrait. The assignment was developed to teach tints, shades and value. Other students participating in the show were Gideon Jaggers, Mercedes Osgood, Andralyn Coleman, Garrett Vaquez, Gabrielle Brothers, Jade Fields, Haley Reome, Layla Bingham, Ellary Peets, Hayleigh Armstrong, Molly Witkop, Delany Durant, Destiny Davis, Elise Sienkiewycz, and Abigail Benham. The JH PTO helped with the square one fundraiser this year, and helped pay for the entry fee!!
 


On April 15, 2016 the following students from JW Leary junior high school, Massena, NewYork, participated in the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) solo festival, held at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam: Andrew Cichetti (trumpet), Cameron Cox (snare drum), Robbie Southwick (alto sax), ), Gideon Jaggers (alto sax), Abby Benham (snare drum), Kaicey Eggleston (flute),  Dave  Alderson (band director), Jack Witkop (trumpet), Madeline Green (trumpet), Seth Denney (alto sax), Molly Witkop (French horn),

All performers scored in the excellent to outstanding range for their instrument and level.  Their band director is Mr. Dave Alderson.
 
 

 
The JH PTO celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week by doing a variety of things for teachers. They provided breakfast, gifts, lunch, coffee, soda, etc. on multiple days. Tarbell Management provided breakfast on Monday May 2. The decorations, gifts and presentations were incredible. A big thanks to our PTO!!!!
 
On April 29th the J.W. Leary Junior High School hosted a poverty simulation for its staff as well as community members and other district staff. It was well received and provided participants with an opportunity to experience what it is like to experience poverty.
 
Jefferson Elementary School
News & Notes

 


Second Grade Butterfly Release

The Jefferson parent group, Friends of Jefferson, generously purchased butterfly houses and larva culture cups for all of the second grade classrooms. Starting from a cup of larva, students were able to watch the butterfly lifecycle firsthand. Once the butterflies were ready to spread their wings, they were released into their natural environment.   
 
                  
 
Reading Specialist for the Day
 
Jefferson 4th grade students, Samantha Nason and Briallen Harper-Moulton, recently earned the honor of being Reading Specialist for the day. Samantha and Briallen read 1,500,000 words through the Scholastic Reading Counts program. They each worked alongside Ms. Faith Bish for the entire day teaching a variety of grade levels through games and other structured activities. Both young ladies are students in Mrs. Barbara Hewlett's classroom and have been devouring books all year. They both earned the honor of Teacher-For-a-Day earlier this year before taking on the Reading Specialist role by reading 1,000,000 words. Samantha wishes to become a classroom teacher in the future.
 
 

Student Teacher and Reading Specialist

Superintendent Brady greeted two fourth grade students at the beginning of the day before they took on their special roles. Christine Grant (left), became the teacher-of-the-day in Mrs. Hewlett's classroom. She assisted in planning and implementing the day's agenda. Christine earned this honor by reading 1,000,000 words.
 
Also from Mrs. Hewlett's classroom, Briallen Harper-Moulton served as a Reading Specialist for the day with Ms. Faith Bish. Briallen earned this honor by reading 1,500,000 Scholastic Reading Counts words.
 


Tarbell Management Group Thanks Teachers

The Tarbell Management Group showed their appreciation for Jefferson teachers by treating them all to a delicious lunch. The teachers and staff certainly appreciated the lunchtime recognition. Pictured is Principal Duane Richards, student EliJose Araujo, teacher Dee Cook, and Tarbell Management Group owner and Jefferson parent, Ryanne Araujo.
 
              



Math and Movement

The long awaited Math and Movement Family Fun Night finally took place in the Jefferson gymnasium on Thursday, April 28. Telling time has never been this fun. Fractions were made easy. The gym was filled with enthusiastic students, parents, and teachers. The students and  their parents moved from station to station as each child engaged in the fun and educational kinesthetic activities. This outstanding family activity was received from the Health Initiative’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Project, which is funded by the New York State Department of Health.


 
The Fourth Grade Garden Club

The Jefferson Garden Club for 4th grade students have now met four times so far this year. They have been learning how to have a healthy garden with the right soil, proper spacing, and proper location. They have also learned about germination, harvesting, and about the many variables that affect plant growth.




Birds of Prey

Mr. Mark Manske, founder of Adirondack Raptors, brought a variety of birds to Jefferson Elementary this past week to teach students about birds of prey in our area. He covered the eating habits, nesting and migration patterns, and how the birds utilized their senses.
 

 
Jefferson Grade 5/6 Chorus
 
The Jefferson Elementary Fifth and Sixth Grade Chorus completed their concert series for the school year on Wednesday, May 4. The concert, directed by Mrs. Darling, was composed of all songs arranged by Alan Billingsley for "Let's Sing...Songs of the '70s". A special thank-you goes out to the Friends of Jefferson Parent Group for purchasing the very groovy tie dye shirts!

The program included:
  • I Just Want to Celebrate
  • Lean on Me
  • Old Time Rock and Roll
  • You've Got a Friend
  • Y.M.C.A.

 

Arbor Day Presentations

The Superintendent of Massena Electric, Andrew McMahon, visited Jefferson Elementary on Thursday, May 5 to educate Jefferson's 5th grade students about the importance of trees in our community. Joined by Jill Winters, New York Power Authority Manager of Community Relations, John Gwozdz, Arborist from New York Power Authority, and Gary Pecore, owner of North Racquette Greenery, Mr. McMahon explained that a variety of trees and plants will once again be donated and planted at Jefferson to beautify the school. The students learned how trees are able to assist homeowners with heating, cooling, and beautifying their homes. Mr. Pecore demonstrated the proper technique of planting a tree. Many thanks to the partnership of  the Massena Electric, New York Power Authority, and Mr. Pat Curran for their generous donation to our school. Each student was given a sapling at the conclusion of the presentation to be planted at their  homes. They were able to choose from spruce, lilac, red maple, or red oak. 
 
Madison Elementary School
News & Notes

 


Math and Movement Comes to Madison

We are fortunate to be hosting a Math and Movement Family Night next week.  This will be an opportunity for families to come to school and experience Math & Movement™.  Math & Movement™ is a kinesthetic, multi-sensory approach to teaching math that incorporates physical exercise, stretching, cross-body movements, yoga, and visually-pleasing floor mats designed to encourage students to practice math concepts. The Math & Movement™ program allows students to physically hop, walk, crawl, dance or touch the mats and banners as they learn thus using more learning modalities (visual, auditory, motor and kinesthetic) when practicing.
 
The event will be in our Gym on Thursday May 12th, from 5-6pm.   Families and their children are encouraged to attend to experience this program.   This will be a great opportunity to get out as a family and come visit our school.  Juice and cookies will be provided by the Madison Who Club.  We hope to see you there.
 

Muffins with Mom is a Huge Success at Madison

On Friday May 6 Madison Mom’s were treated to a treat with their children. The Madison Who Club arranged for muffins, juice and coffee for our students and their mom’s.  This event is one of our most highly attended events of the school year and we are always grateful to see so many of our students and their parents at school. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all of our little owl’s mothers.
 
                                              
Mr. Marjcik's students make a huge pyramid of cups during their recent Cup Stacking Unit which focuses agility, speed and accuracy of Movement. 


 
Mrs. Hartman's 4th grade book club finished discussing Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, with Mr. Carvill, an MST student teacher in Mrs. Hartman's class.
     

 

Square 1 Arts Fundraiser Winners Announced

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses in Massena we were able to have 3 grand prize winners. The top 3 highest sales in the whole school. Madelyn L. was number 1 and received Jenga, Headbandz, An Italian Affair gift card, The Good Dinosaur DVD, a dino plush, 2 free skate passes, a $20 arcade gift card, and a $25 pre-paid visa. 2nd was Riana B. and she received an Amazon Kindle Fire HD, A Dominos meal voucher, $20 gift card for the arcade, 2 movie passes, and 2 free skate passes. 3rd was Nathan P. and he received a Jansport backpack loaded with art supplies, a McDonalds meal for 4 pass, 2 free skate passes, 2 movie passes, and a $25 pre-paid visa. 
 
The highest seller per grade level each received a Crayola Art kit, a learn to draw & sketch pad or mandala coloring book, 2 free skate passes, and a meal voucher from Italian Affair, Dominos, Rapidz, Tim Hortons, or Pizza Hut. The lucky winners were K-6 Kristopher B.(picture), Addyson B., Jordan M., Michael H., Kaitlyn P., Jenna H., & Elizabeth G.
 
The highest sale per classroom each received a prize of their choice, a kids meal from either Jrecks, Subway, Dairy Queen, or Wendys plus a $5 Tim Horton gift card, a coloring book, and a free skate pass.
The highest sales per grade level will receive classroom parties from Stewarts, Hannaford, or Tim Hortons. And the Mrs. Albert's classroom won the Grand Prize and will get a Kids Workshop compliments of Home Depot.

And for helping to motivate their students staff were given tickets to enter a drawing for the Classroom Supply Cake. Mrs. Hartman was the lucky teacher who won!
 
Important Upcoming Dates @ Madison
5/8/2016 Mother's Day
5/13/2016 Orchestra Recruitment Tour
5/17/2016 School Budget Vote
5/18/2016 MD Art Club
5/25/2016 Grade 4 Science Test-
Performance
5/27/2016 NO SCHOOL - Snow Day Give
Back
5/30/2016
NO SCOOL - MEMORIAL
DAY

Nightengale Elementary School
News & Notes

 


Birds of Prey

Mark Manske, Adirondack Raptors, came to Nightengale with his birds of prey presentations. He had a captive audience of almost 500 students. Mr. Manske brought four birds of prey including the school favorite, “Scooter.” Mark Manske established Adirondack Raptor Inc. in 2008 and is the sole owner of the company.  He was a public school educator for 27 years, an Adjunct Professor at Paul Smith’s College from 2007 to 2012, a wildlife rehabilitator from 1994 through 2002, a master falconer since 2003, a master raptor bander since 1988, and a licensed nuisance wildlife control agent from 2008 through 2012.




 
Arbor Day Event
 
Nightengale celebrated our annual Arbor Day event. Andy McMahon, Superintendent of Massena Electric, orchestrated the event with the help and support of the NYS Power Authority and Alcoa. Mrs. Bronchetti and her first grade students prepared poems to read for the tree planting. Nightengale planted a Red Maple in honor of their classmate, Aiden Henry who died this school year of leukemia.
 

Patriotic Day
 
Muffins with Mom
 
Muffins with mom. Thanks for hosting this wonderful event PTO! We served over 350 muffins to some of the finest moms in the world!!!
 

 
F & P Calibration
 
The three elementary buildings worked together, with our literacy coach, on Friday May 6th to calibrate teachers for our Fountas and Pinnell running record system. The purpose of calibration is to ensure that a group of educators evaluates student work consistently and in alignment with the scoring criteria, which increases the reliability of the assessment data. When scoring is calibrated, student work receives the same score regardless of who scores it because all scorers interpret and apply the criteria in the same way.



Teacher Appreciation Week

Our Nightengale teachers and staff would like to thank the Tarbell Family for their lunch donation in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. In addition to the Tarbell Family, our own Nightengale Parent Group provided the Nightengale Staff with breakfast, a dessert buffet, chocolate, lunch, and a coffee cup!!! Thanks to EVERYONE who made Teacher Appreciation Week the best ever!



 
Mr. Webb’s class performing a play entitled, “The King in the Kitchen.”



Nightengale Elementary Upcoming Events
  • 5/10 6th Grade Physicals
  • 5/11 Head Start Tour
  • 5/12 4th Grade to Upper Canada Village
  • 5/12 & 5/13 Strategic Planning (Con’t)
  • Week of 5/16 Nightengale Book Fair
  • 5/17 Massena Central Schools Budget Vote
  • 5/18 & 5/19 6th Grade Trip to 4H Camp Overlook
  • 5/19 Orchestra Recruitment Tour
  • 5/20 Popcorn Day 

District Upcoming Events
 
5/10-- JW Leary Junior High Spring Choral Concert--7:00 pm--HS Auditorium
5/11--National Honor Society Inductions--7:00 pm--HS Auditorium
5/12--13—Strategic Planning Meetings—8:00 am-3:30 pm—Chamber of Commerce
5/19--Academic Awards Banquet--6:30 pm--HS Cafeteria
Last Updated: 5/24/16
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