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Superintendent's Message
Massena Central School Board of Education Update
December 16, 2016


 
Lock Down Drills
 
Over the last two weeks we have conducted lock down drills at the High School and Junior High.  Drills have also been held at the elementary levels this year.  These trainings, which are required by the NYS Education Department, allow us to practice our responses in case of a true emergency.  They includes participation of our local police department.  To make this an authentic experience, we do not inform the staff, students, or parents before the event.
 
In this era of social media, parents and other members of the community often immediately know when there is a lockdown at the school.  Some become concerned that there is a real problem which is impacting the safety of their children.  That is understandable.  However, if we are to be best prepared in the case of a real problem, we need to make these drills unannounced. Once the drill is near completion, we do post information on the webpage and use our communication avenues to inform the parents.  We ask that parents exercise patience and understand that we will provide information whether it is a drill or actual emergency situation.  The safety of our students is very important to us.
 
Assembly Holds Hearing on College Tuition and Debt
 
Recently, the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee heard testimony on rising college costs and student debt with an eye toward easing the burden on students in the state, who on average owe $32,200 in student loans.
 
Potential ways of addressing the problem include increasing state support for colleges and universities, expanding the state's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) from $5,165 to $6,500 and helping students complete their course of studies on time.
 
State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher asked lawmakers to increase support for the state’s public university system so that it is not forced to raise tuition on students, which it has done in each of the past five years.  She said that the total cost of a SUNY education, including room and board, has increased by 35% over the last eight years, from $17,880 to $24,201.
 
School Aid Legal Challenges Update
Here is an update from NYSCOSS Deputy Director Bob Lowry on two legal challenges that have been issued in regard to school aid.  Both could have a significant impact on our future operations in Massena depending on outcome.
There are two cases, one brought by a collection of small cities (the Maisto case), the other brought by a coalition of groups, including the Council (the NYSER case -- New Yorkers for Students' Educational Rights). 
The trial court judge in Maisto rendered a negative decision, completely ignoring the precedents set by CFE.
Here's an explanation:  
http://schoolfunding.info/2016/09/ny-trial-court-rejects-sound-basic-education-claim/.

The small cities have to appeal and will. 


NYSER is not as far along, but the last court decision was favorable to us, rejecting the state's request to have the case dismissed. 

Here's an update on the NYSER case -- 
http://schoolfunding.info/2016/09/ny-appeals-court-affirms-plaintiffs-right-to-proceed-with-the-nyser-litigation/

Massena Federation of Teachers’ Holiday Donations
 

Recently, the MFT distributed 50 angels from our local angel trees/St. Vincent DePaul so that local children will have something to open for Christmas.  Pictures here is MFT President Erin Covell and HS Guidance Counselor Bob Jordan preparing to distribute the gifts.
On December 1, 2016 New York State United Teachers in conjunction with First Books also donated over 500 brand new books to the three elementary schools and junior high school.    The timing was optimal as many of the teachers will give the books to students who cannot afford a new book.  A big thank you to NYSUT and First Books. 

Camp Colby Scholarship

 
Attached is a summer camp opportunity at Lake Colby in Saranac Lake for students who are 11-13 years of age. To be considered, students are required to write a one page essay entitled, “Why I’d Like to Attend Camp Colby. The camp offers a variety of outdoor experiences with lessons in science and problem solving.
 
Rural School Association Newsletter
 
Attached is a copy of the Rural Schools Association newsletter for December, 2016. It contains information about the widening poverty problem in our state as well as the issues that public school are experiencing in hiring certified teachers. We are currently experiencing the latter issue in the areas of special education. Despite two different recruitment efforts we cannot find a certified teacher for a special education position at the high school.
 
Albany Update
 
The following is information from NYSCOSS Deputy Director Bob Lowry in regard to several important developments impacting public education.
Regents adopt $2.1 billion state aid proposal

The highlight of the December meeting of the Board of Regents was the approval of the Regents state aid recommendation. The recommendation totals $2.1 billion, with a $1.8 billion increase in general support for public schools and $290 million for certain education investments. The proposal includes a $1.47 billion Foundation Aid increase as part of a three-year plan to pay down the $4.3 billion owed in foundation aid. The proposal also includes several modifications to aid formulas:
  • Phasing in a shift from using a three-year average for Free and Reduced Price Lunch student counts to counts of students with direct certification in other anti-poverty programs;
  • Updating poverty rate data from 2000 data;
  • Eliminating the 0.65 minimum for the Income Wealth Index to drive more aid to districts with low resident incomes;
  • Providing a minimum foundation aid phase-in to all districts of at least 66 percent; and
  • Providing a wealth adjusted minimum Foundation Aid increase of up to 1 percent for most districts on "save-harmless" under the existing formula – receiving more aid in 2016-17 than the fully phased-in formula would generate.
The Regents further proposed $100 million to expand and align the State’s prekindergarten programs, $100 million to support English Language Learners, $60 million to enhance BOCES programs in an effort to expand Career and Technical Education pathways, and $30 million for teacher and principal professional development.
The Regents proposal was largely consistent with the Educational Conference Board’s state aid proposal, which also included a three-year phase-in of Foundation Aid. The consensus of the state’s educational policy making board and major stakeholder organizations should provide legislators and the governor’s office with clear direction regarding state aid. As we have discussed before, the state’s fiscal situation has been deteriorating with each quarterly update from the Division of the Budget. That fact will make the upcoming budget negotiations very challenging for legislators seeking to drive more aid to school districts.
A piece of positive news is that the Governor has shown some willingness to consider extending the “millionaires’” tax. Full extension would generate more than $3 billion per year in additional revenue. We will keep you updated with state budget information in the coming weeks.

Commissioner Elia Updates Regents on Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Implementation

The commissioner provided the Regents with an update on the development of a state plan to comply with ESSA. The United State Education Department has now released final regulations governing accountability and assessments under ESSA, with final regulations regarding supplement, not supplant still outstanding. With these regulations in place, notwithstanding the potential upheaval to the system with the new administration, the Department’s ESSA Think Tank work groups continue to meet frequently to develop the state plan and accountability system.
Two of the hot button issues that generated the most discussion were the impact of opt-outs on accountability measures and local financial reporting requirements. Regent Cashin and Mead raised concerns regarding ESSA’s statutory provision that requires schools to count students that do not participate in 3-8 ELA and math assessment as non-proficient in schools with less than 95 percent participation for accountability purposes.
The ESSA statute requires that, if fewer than 95 percent of students participate in an assessment used for accountability purposes, those non-participants in excess of 5 percent must be counted as not proficient. Changing that calculation would require an act of Congress and approval by the President. But the regulations go beyond the statute in requiring states to take specific actions to promote participation.
The Commissioner discussed ESSA’s new per-pupil expenditure reporting requirements for school districts and schools. ESSA requires local school per-pupil reporting on expenditures for administration, instruction, instructional support, student support services, transportation, operation and maintenance of plan, fixed charges, preschool, and expenditures to cover deficits for food services and student body activities.
The commissioner raised concerns about local capacity to generate this type of fiscal reporting information. While most of this data is collected at the district level, school level reporting of this nature has never been required. The timeline for this requirement won’t be fully phased-in until the 2018-19 school year so we have time to work on the logistics. If significant disparities in local expenditures arise within a given district, more scrutiny of school district financing may arise.
The Department is aiming to approve a draft plan for public comment at regional meetings in late May through early June and to submit a plan in September to the U.S. Education Department for approval.
As the Department works through technical issues surrounding these new requirements, we will keep you informed.


Math, ELA and Science Standards

The Regents adopted new P-12 Science Learning Standards that will be implemented in all schools beginning July 1, 2017. These standards have been years in the making and were developed in coordination with Department employed educators as well as educators and other science experts throughout New York. Now that the standards have been approved, the Department will develop a New York State Comprehensive School Science Standards System Implementation Plan that will assist in the implementation of the new standards in preparation for the 17-18 school year.

In other standards news, the Department briefed the Regents regarding the ongoing review of proposed new standards for English language arts and mathematics. The Department has begun revising the new standards after the initial proposal was released earlier this year. The Department is also reviewing feedback from survey responses that were submitted through AIMHighNY. The current plan is for the Regents to approve final standards in the spring of next year and for the standards to be fully integrated, and for students to be assessed utilizing such standards during the 2018-19 school year.


Computer Based Testing

Department staff briefed the Regents on the progress of the transition to Computer Based Testing (CBT). During the 2015-16 school year, 60,000 students at 800 school participated in voluntary CBT testing. Certain Regents raised concerns about test privacy and whether students perform better or worse on CBT or traditional pen and paper assessments. Questar (the new assessment designer) is currently collecting data from schools that outlines eight technology-related requirements that school/districts must verify in order to participate in CBT. It appears that the Regents are taking concerns regarding technological readiness seriously, and that is an approach that should benefit all involved.
Immediate plans do not call for a shift to adaptive computer-based testing, which would help in shortening assessments. The same questions will be asked of students in both the computer-based and paper versions of the upcoming tests. Leaders of our Curriculum and Assessment Committee have urged the Department to expedite plans for adaptive testing.
 

English Language Learner Testimony

Council President Pat Sullivan-Kriss (of West Hempstead) and Executive Director Chuck Dedrick testified at the Assembly Education Committee hearing on ELL students last week. The written and oral testimony focused on the importance of state funding to supporting ELLs, the need to expand the pool of highly qualified educators to teach this vulnerable population, and state regulatory issues that make educating ELLs more challenging.
While the Assembly’s primary focus of the hearing was not about Part 154 regulations and the difficulties associated with implementing a one-size fits all model to ELL education, we felt it was important to discuss the impact of these regulations. This model is not effective for all districts, and especially so when considering that almost 400 districts had zero or fewer than 10 ELLs in the 2014-15 school year. Pat and Chuck also raised the importance of authorizing English as a New Language and bilingual education classes to encompass three contiguous grades, instead of the current two grade limit.
 
To assist you in serving ELLs, we will be taking a two pronged approach over the coming months. First, we will work with the Executive and Legislative branches to ensure they provide the necessary funding to all students, and to ELLs so that you have the necessary resources to educate ELLs. Without appropriate funding amounts, your job becomes ever more challenging.
We will also work the Regents and the State Education Department to seek adjustments in the Part 154 regulations to ensure that they are workable for all districts.
 
NYS Department of Labor Overtime Rules
Last month, a Federal court in Texas overturned a Federal Department of Labor rule that would have dramatically increased the salary threshold for overtime exemptions up to $913 per week from $455 per week. Employees earning less than the salary threshold are prohibited from being classified as “exempt” under the Federal Labor Standards Act and must receive overtime pay.
New York has its own threshold of $675 per week. The State Department of Labor has proposed regulations to gradually increase the state threshold and comments on this threshold were due to the Department by December 3. The following chart lays out the proposed salary thresholds:
Effective 
Date
New York City Nassau
Suffolk
Westchester
Rest of State
12/31/17 $975/week $825/week $780/week
12/31/18 $1,125/week $900/week $832/week
12/31/19   $975/week $885/week
12/31/20   $1,050/week $937.50/week
12/31/21   $1,125/week  
As noted, if adopted this month, the initial increase will occur before the new year. While the number of impacted employees should be minimal, this could have a mid-year fiscal impact.
 

Foster Care Transportation


Effective December 10, school districts receiving Federal Title I funds must collaborate with local divisions of social services to provide transportation for foster students to ensure that transportation to their school of origin is maintained. The school of origin is the school the student was attending when circumstances arose that resulted in foster care placement. The procedures that are required must ensure that students in foster care who need transportation receive it in a cost-effective manner and that either the social services department reimburses the school district, the district pays the cost, or the two entities agree to share the cost.
The State Education Department is currently working with the Legislature and the Governor to codify changes necessitated by the enactment of ESSA relating to the McKinney-Vento Act which relates to homeless student education. Those negotiations may present an opportunity for us to address any transportation cost issues that arise relating to foster student transportation.

Final ESSA Accountability Regulations

The U.S. Department of Education released final ESSA accountability regulations. As we said earlier, our three main concerns from the draft were addressed, albeit not perfectly.
Regarding the requirement for a summative indicator, the changes made were a step in the right direction, but did not fully address our concerns. The final regulations allow states to use a dashboard to explain how schools are doing on different indicators and to use ratings within ESSA as their summative rating without identifying a specific grade.
As for the timeline for identification of schools, the final regulations provide states with an extra year over the draft regulations to identify schools in need of support, requiring this identification starting in the 2018-19 school year. State accountability plan deadlines were also pushed back to April 3 or September 18 (from the proposed March and July deadlines).
We detailed the final regulations for transportation of students in foster care previously here. The final rule is much more closely aligned with the statute of ESSA, requiring LEAs to collaborate with state and local child welfare agencies to develop procedures around which agency will be responsible for the payment of transportation services.
A full description of the changes made is found in the italicized sections of this document.
High School
News & Notes
 
Distribution Day – Massena Community Center
 
Senior Kelly Southwick, member of the HS Link Crew, participated in Distribution Day at the Massena Community Center on December 14, 2016. Each year Guidance Counselors Erin Covell and Robert Jordan organize four groups of Link Crew members to help the Massena Community Center throughout the day boxing  and distributing food donations for those in need. This year 16 students were involved in the day. 
 
 
 
 
Holiday Magic



Ken Andrews once again invited the MCHS Mixed Chorus to perform with the Orchestra of Northern New York for their "Holiday Magic" concert series. The MCHS Mixed Chorus performed with the orchestra on Friday, Dec. 9th at Hosmer Hall at the Crane School of Music, and again on Saturday, Dec. 10th in the MCHS Auditorium.  The concert series was a huge success by all measures and both the orchestra and conductor Ken Andrews had high praise for our students! The left photo shows Kenneth Andrews working with the Mixed Chorus before the performance at Homer Hall. The right photo is the Mixed Chorus performing at Hosmer Hall with Soprano, Colleen Skull and ONNY. This is such a great opportunity for our students to perform with a professional orchestra.
Michael Nearny Presentation:
   
As a closing activity for the Freshman Academy Unit on Heroin Addiction, Michael Nearny, psychologist from Long Lake present to students and faculty how the human brain plays an important role in drug addiction. Mr. Nearny has spent many years working on research to support the claims that the human brain is responsible for many forces with males and female adolescences that make drug usage desirable. This presentation was sponsored again by the US Attorney’s Office in Albany as a way to support the efforts of the St. Lawrence County Drug Free Coalition and the Massena Police Department in the fight against drug addiction. Pictured in the right photo are: Kristin Colarusso-Martin of the coalition, Emily Gagnon from the US Attorney’s office, Chief Adam Love of the Massena PD, Michael Nearny, Lexie McGregor, student rep to the coalition, Amanda Mittiga, Freshman Academy Coordinator, Marilyn Morey from the US Attorney’s Office and Sarah Boyce HS Principal. 
Freshman Academy
 
Freshman Academy was reinstituted this year in an effort to increase academic support to incoming freshman. Teachers who are participating in Freshman Academy have a scheduled common planning period each day. During this 42 minute period, teachers collaborate on interdisciplinary projects, discuss student needs and meet with parent and students. Currently, the team has held 10 parent meetings and 12 student meeting. I believe their ongoing attentiveness to our students’ progress is the reason for the increase number of parents in attendance at Parent Night. The team has organized two projects so far this year, Fright Night in October and Drug Awareness is November. November’s project was a collaboration with the St. Lawrence Co. Drug Free Coalition, The Massena PD and the US Attorney’s Office. 
Students of the month was created to award those students for their efforts in maintaining proficiency in their courses. Pictured above from left to right are Lindsay Montroy, Meg Wilmshurst, Hunter Pryce, and Josh Daniels for October; Claudia Haverstock, Max Szarka, Andrew Cook and Sam Rusaw for November. These students were treated to hot chocolate and donuts donated by Dunkin’ Donuts and their picture was taken by students from Kara Warren’s PR Class for placement in the Courier Observer. Current discussion involve college visits, a third interdisciplinary project and activities to increase leadership skills in freshman students for next year. 
 
 
 
 
Newest Member of the Cheerleading Squad and 1000 points
              
Keslie Miller, pictured right, has always wanted to be a member of the Massena Cheerleading Squad. Keslie’s teacher, Roxanne Howard, decided to make that dream come true for Keslie. She approached coaches Sandy Brault and Tammie Jo Villnave with the idea and they made it happen. Keslie’s first game with the squad was Monday December 12 at the Men’s Varsity Basketball Game against Gouverneur. The same night that Dante Viskovich became the 6th basketball player to score 1000 points in the history of Massena Athletics. Way to go Keslie and Dante. We are proud of you both.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Native American Presentations
               

 
Native American students from Trista Girard’s English III and AIS classes provided presentations on Native American culture. Topics of the presentation included Residential Homes, Beadwork, Iroquois Confederacy and Lacrosse stick making. The students also provided fried dough, hash and corn soup, traditional Native American dishes. Georgia Oakes in seen to the right getting fried dough for those in attendance at the presentation. She and her father provided the fried dough. Rain Hill is pictured to the left answering questions about her presentation. The presentations were very informative and those who attended went away with new information they had not heard in the past. The food was great too.
 
JW Leary Junior High
News & Notes
 
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On behalf of the Faculty and Staff at JW Leary we would like to wished you all a happy and safe holiday season.  It is a honor to be able to work with the young men and women of Massena and we appreciate the trust you place in us every day to help your children to learn and grow.  We have been working hard so far this year (students and staff alike) and taking time to rest and recharge with family and friends is well deserved by all.  Enjoy the break and we will see you next year.
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Massena Girls Travel Basketball Plays in Syracuse
JWL Leary students playing for the Massena Basketball Association Travel Team had the honor of playing at halftime during a womens home Syracuse basketball game versus Niagara recently.  (JH students pictured above are Skarlett Wilson, Kailey Peets, Madison Ward, Josie Condon, Grayce Trimboli, Laylah Bingham, Joey Abrantes, Tori Jacobs, Mara Brown, Shaylena Mandigo, Rhea Bautista, Faith Halladay, Haliegh Armstrong and Aryssa Hopps)
 
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85+ Club at JW Leary
JW Leary is thrilled to announce the return of the 85+ club.  The club seeks to recognize and reward students who have earned an average of 85 or higher in every single class.  The club had become defunct in recent times due to the cost involved with organizing these activities for our students.  Thanks to a supportive Parent-Teacher Organization and the efforts of Mrs. Witkop, Mrs. Morgan, and Mrs. Czajkowski were able to arrange for our first trip in several years.  For $6, eligible students will be able to see Rogue One during school on Wednesday, December 21st.  These trips are designed to recognize the exceptional efforts of our students.  Students eligible for our first outing of the 2016-17 school year are listed below.
·       Joey Abrantes
·       Dakota Allen
·       Trey Amo
·       EliJose Araujo
·       Hayleigh Armstrong
·       Zack Barney
·       Carly Beckstead
·       Abigail Benham
·       Michael Bolia Jr.
·       Luke Bronchetti
·       Blayne Brown
·       Madeline Brown
·       Mara Brown
·       Sophia Brown
·       Jeanelle Burke
·       Nevada Chapman
·       Elizabeth Cichetti
  • Analeyna Cole
  • Aiden Coleman
  • Andralyn Coleman
  • Wyatt Colter
  • Emily Derouchie
  • Ryan Deshane
  • Logan Dobbins
  • Carlie Donnelly
  • Mason Donnelly
  • Lauren Duchscherer
  • Delany Durant
  • Tad Eddy
  • Brendan Finnegan
  • Ethan Firnstein
  • Craig Garrow
  • Augustus Gordon
  • Jenna Granger
  • Luke Greco
  • Delaney Grenon
  • Meredith Guyette
  • Faith Halladay
  • Anna Harvey
  • Holden Hewlett
  • Aryssa Hopps
  • Sofia Kaye
  • Aiden Kepper
  • Christopher Kucipak
  • Emily LaBarge
  • Mackenzie LaClair
  • Quze Lamu
  • Cassandra LaPradd
  • Dylan Lazore
  • Yanik LeBlanc
  • Lexie Livsey
  • Colby Loran
  • Noah Love
  • Lydia MacGilfrey
  • Aidan MacKenzie
  • Shaylena Mandigo
  • Olivia Morrell
  • Sean Murphy
  • Dalton O’Keefe
  • Bailey O’Leary
  • Mercedes Osgood
  • Christopher Paige
  • Kailee Paige
  • Dylan Paquin
  • Kailey Peets
  • Rocco Perretta
  • Shelby Pierce
  • Amanda Polarolo
  • Hailey Premo
  • Leigha Premo
  • Rachel Proper
  • Madisin-Mei Pryce
  • Jaelynn Richards
  • Harley Robillard-Ramatici
  • Benjamin Rogers
  • Elizabeth Rogers
  • Eliza Rosemyer
  • Emma Rupert
  • Shea Scully
  • Alexia Seeber
  • Auna Marie Shadle
  • Aidan Shantie
  • Jenna Stiles
  • Madelyn Taylor
  • Ella Thompson
  • Francisco Torres III
  • Grayce Trimboli
  • Kaydence Trumble
  • Madeline Tusa
  • Jack Violi
  • Luke vonBorstel
  • Madison Ward
  • Connor Wells
  • Molly Witkop
  • Marissa Yanacheak
 
Description: Image result for early dismissal
1/27/2016 Junior High will have an Early release for Professional Development
Please note that JW Leary will have an early release day on 1/27/2016.  We will be dismissing at 10:30am.  This early dismissal does not appear on the district calendar.  Please make appropriate arrangements for your students on that day.
Description: Christmas Santa Cartoon Card
JW Leary gets into the Spirit of the Season!!!!!
Monday 19th: wear RED
Tuesday 20th: wear GREEN
Wednesday 21st: wear a CHRISTMAS TIE, SCARF, HAT
Important Upcoming Dates @ JW Leary
12/16 15 Week Grades
12/21 First day of winter
12/22-1/2/17 Winter Break
Thursday 22nd: wear an UGLY SWEATER
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jefferson Elementary
News & Notes
 
Providing Feedback for State Assessments
Jefferson Fourth Grade Teacher, Barb Hewlett,  recently accepted an invitation to participate in the New York State Education Department’s Passage Review Meeting for the New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) Test. This review was conducted jointly by the New York State Education Department and Questar Assessment, Inc.
During the Passage Review Meeting, committee members reviewed passages that have been selected for use in developing ELA items for the spring 2019 tests. Participants read the passages and recorded their comments. They were asked to comment on the quality, complexity, appropriateness and fairness of each passage.  There was also a group discussion regarding each of the passages led by a facilitator from Questar.
The meeting took place over the course of two days; Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14, 2016 in Albany.
 
 
Jefferson Strategic Planning
The Jefferson Elementary Strategic Planning team is well underway with three selected target areas. The team’s focus will hopefully improve student attendance while increasing parent engagement with the school.
Develop a plan to improve student attendance.
Develop a plan to improve parents’ engagement in their child’s education.
Provide a rich set of academic supports and activities.
 
The team is focusing on developing a plan to improve parents’ engagement in their child’s education and recently distributed a survey to parents to gather feedback. This survey was distributed through email as well as a paper hardcopy delivered home with the students. The team anxiously awaits the results of the survey as they prepare to respond to the feedback.
 
Sample questions included
How do you prefer to receive information about your child’s activities and experiences at school?
Do you have enough access to the school and teachers by phone, by e-mail, and in person?
If you found it difficult to attend any school activity, is there anything we could do to make it easier for you to attend?
Are there other ways that you would like to be involved in your child’s school experience?
 
Do you have a special skill or hobby that you can share with the class or school?
Are you satisfied with opportunities for family involvement in your child’s school?
Have you been invited to participate in classroom activities? If not, would you like to?
 
Coat Donation
Mr. Jake Spriggs, Public Relations Assistant for Massena Memorial Hospital, presented an assortment of hats, mittens, coats, and scarves to Mrs. Jane Bain. Mrs. Bain, Massena Central’s Head Nurse, will assure that the donations go into the hands of boys and girls in need.
Thank you very much Massena Memorial for this kind donation.
 
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Fourth Graders Donate Items For Families in Need
 
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Each year around the holidays, we offer our fourth grade students a chance to model our character education theme for the month of December: Compassion and Generosity. In years past, we have donated items to the Massena Humane Society and have had food drives for a local food bank. This year, our students brought in gifts for a family in need. The children and their families sent in about 50 gifts for this family. We are proud of our fourth graders and their generous hearts.
 
Jefferson Elementary Chorus 
Winter Holiday Concert
Dec. 6, 2016
 
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Directed by Mrs. Nora Darling, Jefferson Elementary’s grade 5 and 6 chorus recently presented an outstanding Winter Holiday Concert. With standing room only in the crowd, the largest chorus ever at Jefferson performed a variety of heart-felt songs.
·       Kindled by the Flame
·       Angels Among Us
·       My Favorite Things
·       Believe-Polar Express
·       Rock Around the Jingle Bells
·       Christmas Medley
 
Newest Tie Club Member
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Jefferson Elementary Second Grade Student, Nicholas Gilbert, is the newest member of Mr. Richards’ Tie Club. Nicholas has reached 670,000 words read and 130 Scholastic Reading points benchmark. Congratulations Nicholas and keep READING!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Around the World Math Challenge
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Miss Courtney Johnston’s first grade classroom practiced improving their math fact fluency by competing in several rounds of “around the world” math fact challenge. As Miss Johnston presented a  math fact flash card, two students compete to be the first to solve the fact. The fastest fact whiz moved on to challenge the next student. The competition was exciting and motivating. 
The expectation for first grade is for students to fluently add and subtract numbers to 10.
 
Pre Kindergarten Holiday Preparation
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The Jefferson Pre Kindergarten students were recently busy getting ready for the holidays. Led by their teacher, Mrs. Hubert, the students brainstormed many ideas that would put them on the “nice list.” Mrs. Hubert helped them put their ideas into a letter to Santa.
·       Help mom and dad (fixing or cooking things)
·       Help grandma and grandpa
·       Eat all of our supper.
·       Clean up my toys/room.
·       Listen to my mom and dad and give kisses and hugs.
·       Make cards.
·       Play nice with my siblings.
·       Be kind to my friends.
·       Listen to my teacher.
·       Be kind to my siblings.
·       Donate some toys.
·       Give toys to my sister.
·       Be nice to my pet.
·       Help my friends.
·       Smile at my bus driver.
 
Pre Kindergarten Evening Holiday Celebration
Although the temperature outside was freezing, there was plenty of warmth felt inside as the Jefferson Pre Kindergarten students invited their families to an evening holiday celebration. Students and parents enjoyed donuts and hot chocolate as they each decorated their own tasty Christmas tree. Massena Central School District Superintendent, Mr. Patrick Brady, was the chosen guest-of-honor to read the traditional ‘Twas the Night before Christmas.
 
Description: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qQT_GZSjMwIL_yTsOSX2C-UvkLrQhl4XaZbgfXULDh2dysSEsViSwKFShobmCosrEmYY2ce3FEHkjgPp_PPoFolRcu51XIaojdvM6FoZGIZXbWucRTnuoKrvHhWxPYfrnTDZGUgj
 
Description: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/H7i1C7SpQ0juzRJG5uz_pWyJZGvMlbUALz6vjATnbJ11l4t6OOxZTl9CGEpX4BhKUuJfC4WAj4BUDS1fVHaWCg5tpQ2De1ZVGAqPAuJmJ6TIItjBzslL6wGowZ1F4j-FuJDj6iUHDescription: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/wkRyAZG8_G_Tua5hvNlOk7k_b6XurLGwJOGTKUKlV2vCpu6db_uUS4lFjb72zo3GNGiqyoKKZaKbUkGvqmm8S3_0g7g8NH5sxDIVMdIhu8ZW7j-h8jgn6kF3TvxIQVN-W4zP5KDc

Jefferson Elementary School Staff Mannequin Challenge
We’ve got Spirit. How about you?
Jefferson Jaguar Mannequin Challenge
 
Madison Elementary
News & Notes
 
Fourth Grade Researchers
Students in Mrs. Hartman’s fourth grade class have been studying about vertebrates in Science class.  The scientists in Room 309 researched a vertebrate of choice, identified the classification and used the Internet or an encyclopedia to answer various questions about the species.  Students then made a poster board displaying the information they found.  

 
Recognition for Perfect Attendance
Seventy-two Madison students had perfect attendance for the first trimester of school! Students who were not absent, tardy,  or dismissed early from school for the first trimester were recognized in their classroom.  Students who have perfect and good attendance in trimester 2 will be recognized again in March. At Madison Elementary we know that attendance is very important! Pictured are students from Miss LaCombe’s third grade class that received a certificate for perfect attendance.

 
It's a Winter Wonderland at Madison!
Students have been enjoying the fresh blanket of white on our playground this week. Our Owls have used fabulous teamwork strategies to roll the biggest snowballs and create some giant snowmen!

 
Ornament Decorating Night
The Madison Who Club hosted their annual Ornament Decorating Night on Tuesday, December 13th.  Students and their families were treated to a hot chocolate bar filled with delicious toppings, courtesy of our friends at Tarbell Management Group and Tim Hortons.  They enjoyed popcorn while creating some precious keepsake ornaments. Holiday magic filled the air with the arrival of Santa Claus. Students eagerly shared their Christmas wishes and had their photo taken with him. Thank you to all the families that came out to share in the merriment!

 
First Grade Bucket Fillers!
Mrs. Sova’s students filled up their classroom bucket with warm “fuzzies” so they celebrated all of their kindness and bucket filling qualities! Madison Elementary students receive bucket fillers when they show acts of kindness inside and outside of their classroom. 

 
Madison Library Media Center Webpage
The Madison Library Media website will amaze you with all of the resources provided for the students.  Click on https://goo.gl/VUIFH3 to access databases, browse e-books and browse interesting web links. 
Happy Reading!

When you click on the bright yellow highlighted, Madison Library Media Center link, you are connected to the Madison OPAC. Center for great resources, reading, and new facts.
#1 Keyword Search box allows user to see all/any material held in Madison's library.
#2 Blue search icon on the left leads you to Madison's databases. 
            Username: mdlibrary Password: search (all lowercase no capitals)
#3 Icon showing books flowing out of a laptop brings up all of Madison's e-books.
#4 Snap icon is for teachers to borrow materials from BOCES Library Resource Center. (Classroom book sets, kits, on-line videos and more.) Username: (first initial, last name) Password: media
Thank you to Madison's past librarian, Virginia Clary, for creating the OPAC explanation snapshot. Please contact Mrs. Michelle Rowley, Librarian,  if you have any questions.
 
 
Upcoming Events in January:
 
Tues.  3           Who Club Meeting 7pm in the Madison Library
Thur.  5           Owl-Standing Character Recognition  Assembly
Mon.  16         No School– Martin Luther King JR’s Birthday
Tues. 17          First Lego League Open House@5:00pm at Madison
Thur. 19          Board of Education Meeting @ the High School-6:30
Thurs, Fri.26&27 Early Dismissal– Professional Development
 
Nightengale Elementary
News & Notes
 
Nightengale Mighty Milers
 
Jeffrey Slack, Nightengale PE Teacher
Nightengale has joined the Mighty Milers Club. The Mighty Milers program is a FREE running program for kids of all fitness levels from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. It's designed to get kids moving and prevent obesity and illness. Participation in Mighty Milers helps kids build their self-esteem, and learn to make and reach personal goals. Over the course of a program cycle, children in Mighty Milers set goals to run and/or walk a certain distance and earn rewards for reaching milestones along the way.

Nightengale Holiday Concert
 
The Nightengale Entertainers, conducted by Ms. Caitlin Walton,  proudly presented the Nightengale Elementary Winter Concert on December 5, 2016. These students worked very hard to learn the music. We were all so proud of the work they accomplished. 
 
Description: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/XVOk9yR1VIVX3Al2H9sJrcxHO8iaxi_cueSNxzdr-e0PyUrwgQfu6Em9ya9gJ-n_Se9JexJYpi4NJqnFEk5Qg6mqZhwPTWoA06Fph4kmhj0qR7Pf820jIQYGQIuF6jgDBagf7bxSDescription: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/InMOs7vlBbIemTXXDFFKPOP0JtGQw24Egvc32MlwTOo3_fxiz1sqpxD2FviGV5jG6BCYaVb1n90s2208plXSignX9kSbOORNXXaIn2HAsMo_Ez6DDzoyfeFmwawylM64dy6zK9MUDescription: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_xQXwHiPhvN0fyXAm4aryq8QQhBNshVtAoTyY6MgFkKRvb3y1snX-UdPrzucuifJAznw1OLwkQXIJs3r7MjYBx6RymnOL_H8I5qL4-zO0ix2hfL5tkwTOUtMOGlQy46pN-jvxhBy
 
Nightengale Student Council Food Drive
I wanted to thank our Nightengale community, once again. Our Student Council collected 1,060 food items during the food drive. All donations were given to St. Vincent’s Du Paul. Many thanks to all who donated to the drive!!

Description: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9pm2vW3MZZaY9YzAMgwOA-EmXMvrNylBGMoMFXTshikf_9OL1Ue730wXgq2ya74vcyUwq_QpJ6A4rJAGVGepRfbm5v5GobotioFr9Z6qxDjT0jwH0cxCreDuw6sAuae5K7MMJFpk
Pictured in photo:1st row- Gia Portolese, Kristen Oliver, 2nd row-Ella Tusa, Hunter Young, Sal Perretta, Tallen Currier, Olivia Miller Back row-Morgan McGowan, Maddie Blanchard, Arden Amo-Rush,Sophia St. Hilaire, Jake Linstad, and Advisor Melissa Power
 
First Snowman of the season
 
Description: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/RNNqERjQkYeXahQZR-iRpgyX6OpltBIvYguwMU1k4s3mp7KYGKMeQqaDE_DBNNEoGkgsJO-cLTHirKFj3HuKVubuX5wghynme8Ejwq-atpMSO-iy21LrrjltD-U7wA5nrPO7440a
 
 
 
 
 
Thank You to Mr. and Mrs. HamelinDescription: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/ZUd9FSAKnj3PZv4xouOu4tg3a0wrcaQI18wVHo713y3hphtHRonzT_Va6tB2YjLmV8-9PdaOF79oN39l9vPSM-AQhsnhq4SYV9Km941L1IcmauWl2ltSGwIUVH8Z-VgC7z6Jnvg3
 
Last week Mr. and Mrs. Rick Hamelin donated three Kindles to Mrs. Perretta’s classroom.
They  will be using the Kindles in 2nd grade as supplements and enrichment for Math and ELA. 
The current educational apps we are using are:
-Xtramath (math supplement)
-Spellbot (spelling enrichment)
-Vocabulary spelling city (spelling supplement)
-2nd grade learning games (math and ELA supplement)
-Archaeologist- Jurassic Life- games for kids (enrichment)
-Word epic (spelling enrichment)
-Fun Spanish: Language Learning Games for Kids (enrichment)
-Kids Tangrams (enrichment)
-Seesaw (portfolio for student work)
-Padlet (interactive/collaborative workspace)
 
Description: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/uDPJjT1uPkfMZ3Vk1aG5WJjB_FM_eltyeQXrUUQkaOYrw1OL-mQNZ_7AcqUnuwF0S_YPAyMt3zqh7ah7S0oDBnQr6P141DaGGKXuXXKDiMWoWDkayrW98TicKC5VxHid_6sDyaCCDescription: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/Mk47rzplZYvAEK2vL2rayV3D4aSDmQzH2R2awrSy8Mz1MfJdMHfBLhIDpEXCOppQD4txG-_mrHTH8-queKNZj0-tLXghuN7Bb2XklJxVS3dFgEBW1XO8ii3Ep_ghHUOSFfyfypNY
 
Mrs. Winston, School Counselor
Thanks to all of you that helped with the Giving Tree and/or donated gifts to the Giving Tree last Friday!Description: 🎄
 
Nightengale Spirit SticksDescription: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/QAxMqZdZ0UEXBbf_rzQFgPNPrQHLqlz8ZuB1fOJSD2yHHnX6zI0UQxktp0S75YkuRB0XBBQj_b_3YaQDD6GqtWQWDSh27Gf3WN41XnzSIPaVtEvVa1zcRTGdWZN1pfLE5uVjOfCL
 
Spirit Sticks are small custom-embroidered patches that students can earn, collect, and display on a Nightengale embroidered key chain. Spirit Sticks promote school spirit and participation by providing meaningful extrinsic rewards with lasting value, beyond the school year.
We are very excited that our PTO came up this idea for our school. The PTO donated  a custom Nightengale Elementary keychain forall students. Students will have the option to purchase different Spirit Sticks to reflect all their unique likes and personalities.  The PTO will be selling Spirit Sticks on popcorn days.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the PTO via their facebook page or email at 
NNPTO84@yahoo.com.
 
Noble Nighthawks December 16, 2016

Description: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/jDwNJO7buB2c2_SC4adTlH_Pk7rCrI2sQzuP9LWtLYdCJ8kKJc6WyZL87Oqp2EN6m6K3AvzXle4PmEE2TynEiUxYxXUx_vaQVwBmDT85OrJxjDzsWxUO2hbSigI1Albva0l0Tuln
Next Week-
-No School on 12/23/16
 
Upcoming Events
 
12/19—Facilities Committee Meeting—5:00 pm—Junior High Library
12/23-1/2—Holiday Break; No School
Last Updated: 1/11/17
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