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Massena Central School Board of Education Update

January 13, 2017

 

The Board of Education Meeting scheduled for January 19, 2017 will begin at 6:30 pm in Room 314 of Massena High School.  It is anticipated that the Board will go into executive session at 6:30 pm to discuss such topics as personnel on the agenda prior to the regular meeting.

 

There will be a BOE Finance Committee meeting at 5:30 pm in the HS Student Affairs Conference Room.

 

Special Education Program Review – Update

 

Consultants from Futures Education toured the District on January 11-12 to interview staff and visit our special education programs.  The visitation was part of the process to analyze our special education programs to “Maximize the instructional and financial efficiency of services for students with disabilities” as presented in our 2016-17 District goals.  After an initial kick off meeting the pair of consultants divided their time visiting each of our buildings as well as the BOCES program in Potsdam where many of our students receive services.  Futures Education have also received a variety of documents including information on budget, Academic Intervention Services, and staffing.  Based on their experience, the consultants will now analyze the information from the visitations and the data to:

 
  • Assess our model and continuum of services within the special education program.

  • Evaluate data such as student achievement and referral rates to identify strengths and area of improvement for the program.

  • Review staffing levels and program budget for potential efficiencies.

 

I have attached their proposal to the Board agenda for a more detailed view of their objectives. A report and presentation to the Board will be forthcoming within the next 6-8 weeks.

 

NYS Real Property Law 485-A – Update

 

At the November and December Board of Education meetings, the Board discussed a proposal from the Village of Massena to implement a tax exemption under NYS Real Property Law 485-a in an effort to revitalize the downtown area.  The resolution, previously enacted by the Town and Village of Massena, provides a tax exemption to any person or corporation who is interested in converting a current commercial property into a mixed business and residential usage.  At the December Board meeting, there was a request to ask the Village if they had data which would indicate that the exemption works to attract businesses that could be sustained.  I continue to await this information and will send along once received. I have reattached some further background on the request to the Board agenda.

 

School Budget 2017-18 Calendar – Adoption

 

At the Finance Committee meeting on 12/8, the Committee approved the preparation calendar for the 2017-18 school budget.  It has been placed on the Board agenda for review and approval by the full Board. It once again has ample opportunity for public input during the process with the first public forum scheduled for 2/16.

 

Community Schools Model

 

In the 2016-17 state budget, the Governor presented and the legislature accepted a proposal to allocate funding for schools to develop a Community Schools model.  A Community School is a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. It has an integrated focus on academics, services, supports and opportunities to strengthen student learning, families, and communities. The state has allocated $100 million to high needs schools to implement this model. Their vision is that each school district receiving funds “shall set aside from its total foundation aid funds to support new or expand Community Schools strategies defined in statute as: “the transformation of school buildings into community hubs to deliver co-located or school-linked academic, health, mental health, nutrition, counseling, legal and/or other services to students and their families to support costs incurred to maximize students’ academic achievement.”

 

At the Board meeting on Thursday, I will discuss our recommendations for using the current funding.  One factor impacting these decisions is the pending Governor’s budget proposal for 2017-18. We are reluctant to commit to programs requiring recurring funding unless there are continued allocations for the District in subsequent budgets. We expect to have the Governor’s budget proposal by 1/17.  I have attached a presentation on Community Schools to the Board agenda with further details.

 

Consolidation Discussion - Fraser Report

 

At the December Board of Education meeting, the Board requested that the issue of school consolidation be placed on the January agenda for further discussion.  In preparation, I have attached the Frazer study for reference as this report to date has formed the basis for potential options to consolidate schools.  I look forward to this discussion on Thursday night.

 

Resolution - NYS Minimum Wage - Effective 12/31/16 - $9.70/Hour

 

As of December 31, 2016 the New York State minimum wage rose from $9.50 to $9.70 per hour. This increase will impact our substitute rate for support staff including Maintenance/Operations staff, Teacher Aides, Food Service, and Bus Monitors.  A resolution to raise the rate to meet this labor law has been attached to the Board agenda. The minimum wage will continue to increase until it reaches $15 per hour. The NYS Department of Labor has published the prospective rates for 2018—$10.40; 2019—$11.10; 2020--$11.80; and 2021--$12.50.  The District will need to plan for these rate hikes as it will impact our regular employees as well.

 

Resolution - Long-Term Teacher Substitutes - Uncertified

 

Currently the Board of Education has established rates for certified and uncertified substitute teachers as well as a long term substitute rate for certified subs. However, it does not have a long term substitute rate for uncertified subs.  Though we would not use this option often, we do have a need at this time for a position at the high school. Therefore, I am requesting that a new rate be established for an uncertified long term substitute.  

 

Here are the current rates:

 

Uncertified substitute daily rate--$80

Certified substitute daily rate--$100

Certified long term substitute rate (After 25 days in position) --$150

 

Here is the proposed current rate:

 

Proposed uncertified long term substitute rate (After 25 days in position) --$120

 

Donations to the District

 

We are pleased to announce that the District has received several generous donations over the last couple of months. The list of donations for your review and acceptance are attached to the Board agenda and presented below:

 
  • Patricia A. Bell Trust--$7265.70—no specific usage required. The District was named in the Bell Trust and received the funding as part of a legal settlement.

  • Connect Kids Transportation Grant--$209—to transport Madison Elementary students to Robert Moses State Park

  • Mr. & Mrs. Rick Hamlin—3 Kindles—to Nightengale Elementary School

  • BJ’s Adopt a School Program--$500—to purchase four Kindles at Madison Elementary

  • Massena Museum—rock collection—for HS earth science classes

  • Lions Club--$300—for elementary libraries

 

We appreciate the generosity of our community in presenting these donations. They will be of great use for supporting the education of our students.

 

New Book Purchase - Learn By Doing - Google Docs

 

BOE Policy 8340 Textbook/Workbooks provides guidelines on the selection and purchase of textbooks.  Specifically, it states:

 

"Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education shall designate the textbooks to be used. Textbooks, once designated, cannot be superseded within a period of five (5) years except by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Board."

 

Accordingly, the High School Business Department is requesting the purchase of twenty new textbooks for a Google course to be taught in the spring.  The rubric and purchase order are attached to the Board agenda. Principal Sarah Boyce will discuss further at the Board meeting.



 

Internal Claims Auditor

 

Our internal claims auditor has taken a position with the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES. Accordingly, we posted and advertised for the position but only received one applicant who did not have experience in this type of work.  However, we can receive this service through the BOCES with our current internal claims auditor though eventually another person may be assigned to our District. The difference in cost from BOCES to the District is $25/hr vs. $21hr respectively.  Since the internal claims auditor works approximately 12 hours per month the increase in cost would be $48 per month or $576 per year.  The service is not aidable at this time.  Also, since we are billed by the BOCES for various services, it would be a conflict of interest for the BOCES internal claims auditor to review these claims.  Therefore, we would need someone else to take responsibility for any claims generated by the BOCES.  

 

Given the minimal increase in cost and the lack of interest in the position, I am recommending that we contract with the BOCES for internal claims auditing services. Our HR Specialist Tracey Supernault will assume the role of reviewing BOCES claims at no additional remuneration.  Resolutions for these appointments are attached to the Board agenda.

MCSEA Negotiations

As mentioned in the 1/6 BOE Update, the District negotiating team met with the MCSEA on January 5th to begin talks on a new labor contract. The teams agreed on ground rules for negotiations and will meet on February 8th to exchange proposals. Our negotiating team will meet on 1/17 to finalize proposals and will review them with the Board in executive session on 1/19.

 

Board Policies

 

Since the last Board of Education meeting in December, we have had two Policy Committee meetings. Therefore, there are several policies on the agenda for your consideration.  I would call to your attention three policies which may trigger discussion based on their nature:

 

Policy 3320 Animals of School Property—This policy combines the new Erie 1 Policy 3320 Use of Service Animals discussed previously with the Board and existing Policy 8214 Animals in School. It also adds language about pets on school property.  The idea is to create on all encompassing policy in dealing with animals for education, service, and community purposes.  Our insurance agent and counsel have been consulted on the policy.

 

Policy 7316 Student Use of Personal Technology—The changes to policy acknowledges the increased use of technology of all types in the classroom and widening to non-instructional areas, and allows for use of personal devices in certain settings. An accompanying regulation would relax use of personal devices in such areas as the cafeteria and hallways for high school students at the request of the HS Building Leadership Team. The policy better reflects the realities of the electronic environment in which we live but maintains strict prohibitions in areas such as locker rooms and testing areas.  

 

Policy 7313: Suspension—This policy deals with student suspensions in a variety of circumstances.  Specifics were added on the suspension from BOCES, transportation, extra-curricular activities, and in-school suspension. There was also language included on teacher removal of students and interventions such as counseling and PINS petitions.  The Committee recommends close review by BOE at first reading so that we may discuss any potential issues at our next meeting before this policy comes up for full approval.

 

Please review the minutes of the Policy Committee meetings for further details.

 

Other News

 

For those who love hockey, the IIHF World Junior Hockey championships showcases the best talent around the world under the age of 20.  Earlier this month, these up and coming stars were on display in Toronto and Montreal where the United States took the gold medal in a thrilling shootout victory over Canada.  For those who stuck around the television that night to watch the medal ceremony, you may have been surprised to see newly appointed Massena Athletic Director Gavin Regan handing out the gold medals to this group of excited American youth.  

 

In addition to his role as AD, Gavin is vice president of International Hockey which covers both Olympic men’s and women’s hockey as well as world juniors.  He is also on the USA Hockey Board of Directors.  Congratulations to Gavin and the USA World Junior Team for this exceptional accomplishment.

 

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Canton native and Boston University player Jordan Greenway shares a medal moment with AD Gavin Regan.

 

Here is a North Country Now article about Gavin Regan and the World Junior Hockey medal ceremony




 

Jefferson Elementary

News & Notes

 

Jefferson Hot Shots

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Front Row:

Tapeni LaBrake, Matthew Thatcher, Bayley Rochefort,Haileigh St.Louis, Madison LaDuke, Lilly Coffin, Julianna Hubbard, Kaniehtentha Thompson, Hayden Green, Cullin Smith, Kaylie Snyder

 

Back Row:

Pat Henrie, Travis Burnett, Alorha Shantie, Nicholas Marino, Chase Becht, Chyler Richards, Camdyn Farmer, Payton Benson, Milagros LaTorre, Jenna White, Jayden Avery, Sophis Monacelli, Kaden Bush, Samantha Nason, Supt. Patrick Brady

 

Each year on the day prior to holiday break, Jefferson Elementary holds a “Hot Shot” basketball competition. Coordinated by Physical Education teacher, Mr. Patrick Henrie, the competition involves students attempting to score baskets by shooting from one of five spots. The further the spot is away from the basket; the more points it is worth. The shooters have one minute to score as many points as they can.

 

This year’s overall female winner was sixth grader Chyler Richards and overall male winner was sixth grader Chase Becht.

 

This year’s guest shooter was our very own Superintendent, Mr. Brady. Mr. Brady squared off against Chyler and Chase for a one-minute shoot out. Although Mr. Brady and Chase gave it a great effort, Chyler ended up defeating both of them in the challenge.

 

Chyler and Chase will next compete in a district-wide competition at the high school on January 26.


Grade 6 Genius Hour

Two Jefferson Elementary strategic goals are directed at improving student attendance and providing students with enrichment activities. A new sixth grade initiative recently launched by sixth grade teachers, Michele Porcaro, Paige Arcet, and Nicole Terminelli will certainly serve to accomplish both of these.

 

Genius hour is an opportunity that students will have each week to explore a topic passionate to them while challenging their own creativity in school. Students are allowed to choose a topic, determine a "driving question", and then research/explore/create. Students spend several weeks researching their chosen topic before they start their creativity. Their finished product will ultimately be shared with their class, the school, and possibly the world. The teachers serve as facilitators throughout the process assuring that they remain on task.

 

The sixth grade teachers made a small modification to the daily schedule each Friday allowing for an undivided "Genius Hour" time for students to explore.

 

Genius Hour has its origins with the search-engine giant, Google. Google allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time to work on a pet project of their choice. They found that productivity increased when they allowed people to work on something that interests them.  They have determined that 50% of Google's projects have been created during genius hour.

Click below to find out more about Genius Hour

What is Genius Hour?

 

NYSED Early Learning Standards Task Force

We have been notified that Jefferson Elementary Grade 2 teacher, Mrs. Dee Cook, has been selected to participate in the New York State Early Learning Standards Task Force. Mrs. Cook was selected based on experience and qualifications from more than 800 applications.

 

The committee will include New York State classroom teachers from prekindergarten to grade 2, including special education, ESOL teachers, school administrators, curriculum specialists, parents, and college professors.

 

New York is dedicated to ensuring that our students have the best learning standards possible in the early grades, and as a member of this workgroup, Dee will be charged with the important job of making recommendations on how to strengthen the State’s early learning expectations. Additionally, the group will discuss how to effectively communicate early childhood policy and best practice to the State’s families and educational community.

 

We certainly thank Dee for volunteering to be a part of this important work. With her input, we are confident the work will result in the best set of learning standards for New York State.

Newest Tie Club Member

Jefferson Third grade student, Tavis Deshane, was nominated to the Tie Club by his teacher, Mrs. Tyo. Tavis has challenged himself in reading and has accumulated 116 Scholastic reading points. That’s a lot of reading! Keep up the great work.

 

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Life-Long Leisure Activities Physical Education Unit

Each year Jefferson Physical Education students complete a three-week unit that exposes them to a variety of activities that they can do throughout their lives to remain active physically, mentally, and socially. During each class period, students rotate through stations that introduce them to new experiences. The activities include: square dancing, line dancing, Just Dance activities using the Wii, spinning bikes, ping pong, foosball, jumping rope, and cross-country skiing when weather permits.

 

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Teddy Bear Day

Mrs. Bellinger’s Junior Kindergarten students completed a week of reading many “bear” books and making “bear” snacks by celebrating Friday with a Teddy Bear Day. They each brought a stuffed “bear” friend to join them in class.

 

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Kindergarten Writing

Jefferson kindergarten student, Kamden Bigness and Isabella Barbarito are pictured below with a display of their latest writing activity. The writing pieces were a combination of high frequency words, winter vocabulary, and blended words. Before writing the piece, the students listened to the book Snowmen at Night in which snowmen come alive and enjoy different outdoor activities. The students imagined what their snowman would do while they were sleeping. Some ideas included dancing, partying, snacking, singing, eating, and playing.

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Math and Movement

Math interventionists Darcy LaBarge and Raianna DeLorme are pictured assisting kindergarten students with their number counting using the Math and Movements mats. These teachers have just returned from a two-day intensive Math & Movement training that focused on movement-based learning strategies to support the NYS Math standards and boost student achievement. Using movement can help kids learn, retain, and gain valuable skills while exercising their body and mind at the same time. Best of all, kids love to learn this way!

 

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Calendar Items:

January 16    Martin Luther King Day    No School

January 26    Internet Safety Presentation    Grade 5

January 26    Early Release Staff Development Day   

January 27    Internet Safety Presentation    Grade 6

January 27    Early Release Staff Development Day   

 

Early Dismissal for Staff Development

January 26 and 27                

  • All Elementary walkers, transfers dismissed at 11:15AM

  • Pre-K AM – Gr 6 dismissed at 11:30AM

 

Nightengale Elementary

News & Notes

 

Math and Movement

Our new Math and Movement rack was built by Joseph Cootware, husband to Mrs. Erin Cootware’s. This rack will help organize and provide access for all students in the building to our mats.  A big thank you to the Cootware family!

 

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Egg Drop

Mr. Webb's 3rd Grade class learned about gravity through taking the Egg Drop Challenge!  Each student was challenged to use the "Salad Box of Science" to design and create a device that would protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a height.  Prior to building their egg drop device, students needed to sketch and label the parts of their device on paper and list the materials they would use.  Students also needed to name their device and put sponsorship advertisements on the outside.  Designs incorporated the use of mashed potatoes, sponges, peanut butter and Jello!

 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/4C1Imv5FsJ-5zz7fM-nA93dEIM5buiiyoTZvHrs7zVBaXvS-cR0xhdHeGr5DCVvoHvJV0x597ISzkkv6GV-s-14LJ4qdn5XyGGgMloHFmOsXi2cI-NVs7H4nEl1bLV0mh6QnQpEjhttps://lh6.googleusercontent.com/3JwEFomrcwqfG0HlQDHDjQ_i8dnItTnSPp2QdHtrvYbWa2SyMcIGgdOyoqV5hPFaDkJ8nOZUFEZsqfwmuQqIWIVbzJ9QV3bQaOEwBpI_TeRA0z-zXXi-5_I80RZd-dpkoAKrq9n_

 

Pennies for Back the Pack

Nightengale collected pennies for Back the Pack as part of our “Give Back to the Community School Project.” Nightengale was able to donate over $100.00 for the program. Back the Pack provides healthy, hearty snacks for children in need. Food items are placed discretely in the backpacks every Friday. Back the Pack provides snacks for over 260 children per week in the Massena Central School District.

 

Prodigy
Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game for grades 1-7 that integrates Common Core into a role-playing game using a Pokemon-style wizardry theme. Students complete math questions to level up (become more powerful) and ultimately defeat Crios, Prodigy’s main antagonist.


Based on the student’s profile and an invisible diagnostic run during the preliminary tutorial, students are placed at a math level. As they play, question difficulty is increased or decreased depending upon their answers and facility with the skills. If a student struggles with a concept, following questions will backfill the necessary skills.

As the student works through the math problems, many lessons (but not all) include virtual manipulatives to help solve the problem:
These include a speaker to say the question, a hint button to provide help, detail on the required skill, and a drawing tool to work through the answer. These encourage students to build their own problem solutions in a way that works for them rather than relying on a teacher or parent.

The game includes over 300 math skills, broken down by grade level.

 

Students can play Prodigy on any device with an Internet browser, including your computers or tablets, just by going to prodigygame.com/play. Older devices may experience performance issues when playing.

 

Pictured below are Bryce Buffam and Owen Nemier working on the Prodigy assignment.


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https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/NwmPqWK06r5HxxWhMY9qt-nCozrJtjcn2enHGAWU-dfZb41p-xeRR3B1AjmbCkLkQTqGe3CwLHdtZPUdjHrdDfCxjcIJ-sRUzBwuAzc3MhhpFBJkIH4vdxeV_szA7emrlGT09Hko

 

Multiplication Fact Jenga with Mrs. Nichols

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/bbtci5ls8ywmuvd7d-7UCguYvV55zhQj4JvBmvDilynjY05QY67a7fQlLcIb82IE0qHjhoKU-nniRakk0NUmY-UKJXpLKBQnUSVu76liNiNof8YXZn83rt03OZlKZcBEUaAgCTPahttps://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6sELkBFqYs0bpAQcKnGmz-RX6orAttpOd3-CDiZ8is3Ry0hCfBvFPdO1LonrULzlJpidu6gT9HVlWVmfgQY8lxGhMzOGuUfFV3bHW_BuM2eH5so6hR0jc0IqW0vGAMn7ShpZYtwFhttps://lh6.googleusercontent.com/U-TLoGNvkkTFv7HXdMqQQkjcAmRNSfRKr0_Xr434sM9u4OefKxTPEDEck7OYkF5QhDvlQVbSVtXgJTd4g03TC2V2fu9d2ympTT35PsJvzbsFOoOH5VRtMfjCGQ1tyPmAdBLFoU1f

 

Nightengale Library News

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cPsnxnNdqpf0etNQ0XP-2o7_b0TM2SB-Q6hM9nFj4E2ccNRRe4-lsleSWUoNTx1hQ0hVPyeAkN0IY17QNgOcEN-dX9ucEWpavOqJAt7J37p1DA1vRy_HkMDjDMEHQZ2-9pOs0aDr

On the library web page click on the bright blue - Nightengale's OPAC: OPALS link.
You are connected to the Nightengale OPAC. 
Center for great resources, reading, and new facts.

#1 Keyword Search box allows user to see all/any material held in Nightengale's library.
#2 Blue search icon on the left leads you to Nightengale's databases. 
    Username: nighthawks84 Password: search (all lowercase no capitals, no spaces)
#3 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
#4 Tatler icon has all the Massena High School yearbooks scanned in pages from 1928 to 2012.
#5 Every day there is a new online story from the Tumble Book Library.
All questions or for help you may contact Michelle Rowley

 

Our Christmas Giving Tree Programs was a success!  We provided approximately 87 Nightengale children with Christmas gifts this year!  Thank you for your generous donations!🎄🎄🎄

 

Nightengale ECO-TEAM

 

Grade 6 Science teachers in the district have been given a wonderful opportunity to participate in a grant from the National Wildlife Foundation and ALCOA.  It is entitled, "W3, Waste, Water, & Watts."  Each "Eco-Team" will be formed from grade 6 students.  This grant demands that these students decide on a "W" to address in their school, give an audit, use the data to form and eco-action plan, execute & monitor the plan, sponsor a host event in the spring with the assistance from ALCOA employees, and much more.  The entire 7-step plan is to be student run. I am their facilitator, along with Ashley Blanchard.  

Your Eco-Team has decided to address the watts usage in our school.  The students are currently on the audit step.  When we return from break you will have a classroom watts audit in your mailbox.  Please fill it out the best you can.  Please email any questions you have to me and I will direct them to the Eco-Team.  The students will then use your data to decide on an action plan for our school to monitor throughout the winter.

 

Grade 6 Eco-Team
Connor O'Geen                    Scottland Prue
Toni Plourde                    Sydney Cardinal
Kalya Yeddo                    Douglas Taillon
Emily Agen                        Tyler Currier
Daniel Bickford                    Lia Paige

Kristen Oliver                    Robert Wagner



Nightengale Raider Pride 2017

In years past, our community has suffered heartbreaking losses of members young and old. In these times, we have united and supported the loved ones left behind of those we have lost. With that being said Friday, January 6th, has been slated for the 3rd Annual "Wear Red for Fallen Raiders". Let's come together and show our support by wearing our brightest red!https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/83yX9mpNSeqS8xdnW_lVer9zSb2XffLdFIsbOXnYiPgZaCJRCbh9V2jM2XmPEDIsa4_Z5pM8l45qKPafKoTwL5QTb9cUQ3Lv3iaqGGys-Z8b1Jb0ZW6prGPoc12N2WAAQOCcTPL1

 

First Noble Nighthawks of 2017

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Jx-hUWRtWLZUE_BwoAODgPLhaIRTwgouzk3WtQyYUbTqGLRwbB4P8sJwCz_usiiRpUj7nCLfUa6AhZshqJkQTaME9-VDyYZC93TadlYqRicmwRZoIfLa5JvYFzes_KMZXV7PlNDP

 

LATCH KEY CLARIFICATION-

 

Before & After School Childcare

Before and after school childcare is available for all Grade Pre-k-6 students in the Massena CSD.

The Latch Key Program will be held at the following locations:
6:30am - 8:30am - Nightengale Elementary School
3:00pm - 6:00pm - Nightengale Elementary School
Parent/Guardians must be present to sign their child in and out daily.
The cost is $2.50 per hour per child. A family discount is available for three or more children at a cost of $2.00 per hour per child.
►If your child/children attended the program last year, all forms need to be completed again for the new school year.

If school is delayed, there will be no Latch Key child care. However, MCS will continue to offer Latch Key on unscheduled early release days or when there are no after school activities until 6:00 pm.


For more information about paying for childcare, contact Mrs. Tracey Adams at 764-3700 x3020.

 

Upcoming Events-

  • No School Monday 1/16/17- MLK Day

  • 1/20/17 Popcorn Day and Spirit Sticks Sales

  • Early Dismissal for Elementary School on 1/26 and 1/27 @ 11:15

 

Madison Elementary

News & Notes

 

Winter Chorus Concert

The Madison Elementary 5th and 6th Grade Chorus presented their 2016 Winter Concert on December 15, 2016. The chorus is made of thirty 5th grade students and nineteen 6th grade students. The chorus worked very hard to prepare 4 songs in two voice parts. Members of the chorus also did a great job decorating the gymnasium for the evening. The students sang "Christmas Bells are Ringing" by Mark Patterson, "Lean on Me" by Bill Whithers and arranged by Mollye Otis, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" by John Lennon & Yoko Ono, arranged by Jill Gallina, and "Jingle Bell Rock" by Beal & Boothe, arranged by Alan Billingsley.

 

Bell ringers for "Christmas Bells are Ringing" were Kasiah Burdick, Kayle Nelligan, Aurora Smithers, and Lexie Adams. Soloist for "Lean on Me" were Elisa Fewell, George Condon, Angel Landon, and Chase Gladding. Four 5th grade students created a dance routine to go with "Jingle Bell Rock." Dancers were Angelina Joslin, Dana Grenon, Riana Baxter and Maddison Goolden.

 

K-2 Concert News

The Madison Elementary Kindergarten, First and Second Grade students presented a holiday concert on Monday, December 19. The students learned winter and holiday songs during November and December to share with their families and friends. They also each had a piece of art which were displayed that they created under the direction on Mrs. Carol Gonthier, elementary art teacher for Madison and Nightengale Elementaries. The Kindergarten students sang "Jingle Bells", with bells played by Jasmine Kellison, Crew Henry and Jillian Henry-Wood. They also sang "Christmas, Don't Be Late", and "Sleepy Bells." The first grade students sang "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," "Deck, Deck, Decorate December" and "We are Thankful." Finally, the second grade students sang "A Kwanzaa Carol", "Jingle Bells", and " We Are Thankful" which was their first song with 2 singing parts. All of the students did a wonderful job singing and being professional performers.

 

 

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can!

To introduce persuasive writing, Mrs. Albert's and Mrs. Peets' fourth graders read part of the book, “The Gingerbread Man”,  to find that the gingerbread man was fleeing for his life.  To solve his problem five teams applied their math knowledge to design, construct and decorate a model gingerbread cottage to sell to the gingerbread man.  Each team worked to write an essay persuading the gingerbread man to “buy” their cottage.  They have also created advertisements for the sale of their cottages that were placed around the school.

 

 

Caring and Sharing in Second Grade

During the holiday season the second grade students at Madison were emphasizing the spirit of giving, caring, and sharing.  The character education theme for the month of December was Compassion.  Therefore, they decided to practice this character trait by helping to support the Back the Pack Program at Madison Elementary.  Our students brought in items that were donated to the program.  Our families at Madison will benefit from the donations that were collected by our second grade students.  Our second grade students were very generous during this holiday season!  

 

Fourth Grade Activities

Mrs. Earl’s class celebrated their classroom community with a pancake breakfast, decorated Snoopy stockings, and made gingerbread house photo ornaments to give to their families.

 

Caroling

Buddy the Elf (Mr. Todd) and Mrs. Burnett went to each wing at Madison to gather students and sing holiday songs.

 

 

Pre-K Fun with Families

Students in Mrs. Wilmshurst’s morning and afternoon classes had great holiday fun with their families.  The students sang holiday songs, made an edible craft and enjoyed each other’s company.

 

Third Graders Show Compassion

The third grade students and their teachers went to the St. Regis Nursing Home to sing Christmas carols and brighten the day of the elders. Here you will see the students practicing the carols that they sang.

 

December Owl-Standing Character Award Winners for Compassion

Developing character-based good citizenship in students is one important goal at Madison Elementary. Character-based behaviors are essential to learning. By focusing on areas like caring, respect and responsibility, we reinforce and support academic achievement.

December’s character trait of focus was COMPASSION. Teachers and staff helped to remind the students what COMPASSION looks like at school and at home. Teachers nominated one student from their classroom that displays the character trait of COMPASSION. The nominations were then shared with the special area teachers and staff. The votes were then tallied and ONE student from the grade level that best represented that character trait was recognized on January 5th during their lunch time with their families. This month we had a tie in third and fifth grade!

The students who were recognized for being compassionate are:

Top row: Kasiah Burdick, Cheyenne Sova, Auston Phillips Middle Row- Hannah Morgan, Christine LaBar, Trinity Goodfellow, Aaron Sova Front Row: Camryn Hartford, Domonic Quaife

 

All-County News

Several students from the chorus have been selected to be part of the 2017 St. Lawrence County All-County Elementary Chorus. They are Naava Blue, Breawnna Eckstein, Elisa Fewell, and Roy Gamble, with Chase Gladding and Makiah Moniere as alternates. The students will learn 4 songs at extra school practices before meeting with the entire chorus in February. The students will perform with over 100 other 4-6 grade students from all over the county at the OFA Auditorium on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 2pm.

 

LATCHKEY CLARIFICATION-

Before & After School Childcare
Before and after school childcare is available for all Grade Pre-K - 6 students in the Massena CSD.
The Latchkey Program will be held at the following locations:
6:30am - 8:30am - Nightengale Elementary School
3:00pm - 6:00pm - Nightengale Elementary School
Parent/Guardians must be present to sign their child in and out daily.
The cost is $2.50 per hour per child. A family discount is available for three or more children at a cost of $2.00 per hour per child.
►If your child/children attended the program last year, all forms need to be completed again for the new school year.
If school is delayed, there will be no Latch Key child care. However, MCS will continue to offer Latch Key on unscheduled early release days or when there are no after school activities until 6:00 pm.

For more information about paying for childcare, contact Mrs. Tracey Adams at 764-3700 x3020.

 

Upcoming Events:

You are invited to attend the 10th Annual FLL Robotics Open House on Tuesday, January 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm in the Madison Elementary School Cafeteria.  You will be able to see team Mad-Jeff and the Nightengale Robotics team operate the robot each team designed, built and programmed.  Both teams will have their science presentations on display, too!  Hope to see you there!

 
  1. 1/18- Martin Luther King Jr. Day, NO SCHOOL

  2. 1/19- Board of Education Meeting @ 6:30pm

  3. 1/24- UCP Puppet Show for Kindergarten and Grade 3

  4. 1/26- PD Day 11:15 Dismissal

  5. 1/27- PD Day 11:15 Dismissal

 

JW Leary Junior High

News & Notes

 

December 2016 Students of the Month

Each month 3 students (1 7th and 2 8th grade) are selected as students of the month.  These students are selected and agreed upon by the entire JW Leary through a rigorous nomination and review process.  Students who are selected must demonstrate the following criteria:

 

Scholarship: Scholarship is demonstrated by a student's willingness to learn. Scholarship means always doing the best work possible and being committed to putting in the time needed to achieve to his/her potential.

 

Leadership: Leaders take the initiative to be involved in the school community as well as the local community.  They can be characterized also as a student who helps others in their daily activities without motivation for reward.

 

Character: Character is doing one’s best to make the right choices. “Students with good character demonstrate respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship in their actions.”

The winners for December 2016 are:

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https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/T7RNjNKACLlumUBynAVkq8_1ykMRxyDWUZdGXqwLupYnhpKMcMAcpFeY5D4IW07LC2PpuCxl0PhustgMtCA-NXLG6FuHWUxyZAkwf4y4_Kvikf6fEAd0Hg0LbgAaGrXmzQC0mXwS0FI    Andralyn Coleman

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/sfIOhSNYQmuQMA89gJE8pWfJDEPTWW1aj_loOoCZs3AtKFxwtsyj42u5iW4pYcQ0KVzPK8jVzpsbN9bQk985-L6mUctMw4Jh6CfyeNx4yPscGjrlCBpM82Yg0OvBQZSj9bu39yHj-DM    Cody Lawrence

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Looking Ahead to NYS Testing this year

NYS Testing lies ahead of us as winter transitions into Spring.  In order to help with you planning for the Spring the dates for NYS Testing which impacts Junior High students are as follows:

        Grades 7 and 8 ELA Exam is March 28, 29 and 30

        Grade 7 and 8 Math Exam is May 2,3 and 4

Grade 8 Science Performance Exam is to be determined between May 24 and June 2 (It will be one day only during this testing window)

Grade 8 Science Written Exam is June 5

While it may be early to be thinking about this, in reality March is not that far away.  We will be sharing more information as test time approaches about the importance of the examinations and how we utilize the results to strengthen our programs.   For now, it is sufficient for you to know that it is our goal that every JW Leary student takes the exams and to gives us their best effort.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about the exams, please contact the school.  We are more than willing to talk to any of our parents about the exams and provide you any information we can.

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RTI/ AIS Update

Coming up at the end of the month will be our second round of Data Meetings.  These meetings are designed to examine the performance of all students in Math and ELA every 10 weeks.  At these meetings we discuss the academic performance of every JWL student in class and well as their performance on classroom tests.  We also have access to the results of our Mid-Year STAR benchmark and we look at all of these multiple measures to determine the academic needs of our students.

 

Based upon this information, students are able to access our different tiers of intervention.  Students may receive no additional support; they may have a Math or ELA Lab or they could be assigned to an every other day class with a reading or math intervention specialist.  This program helps us to respond quickly to the individual academic needs of all of our students,

 

    The Tiers are as follows:

        Tier I- No extra support needed

Tier I (monitor)-  Some support needed, extra attention given by classroom teacher where appropriate

 

Tier II-  Additional support is given in the context of a Math/ELA lab with teachers.  The students are usually working on 2 specific goals to help them improve their performance

 

Tier III-  Students have and additional reading or math class every other day with a dedicated reading or math interventionist.  

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Strategic Planning work continues at JW Leary

We are working hard on implementing the vision created by the district in our Strategic Plan.  Much of our effort this year at JW Leary has been aimed at improving our student attendance.  Student attendance is a problem at JW Leary and many of our students are chronically absent (missing 10% or more of school days).

 

Starting in the 3rd Quarter we will be piloting some new initiatives in regards to attendance.  Strict cut-offs have been established and certain things will happen as students hit these numbers of days absent in any given quarter:

 

3 Absences-  A letter will automatically be sent to student’s families speaking to them about the importance of regular school attendance.

4 Absences-  We will contact you to discuss your child’s attendance to reiterate its importance and work with you to remove any obstacles to regular attendance

5 Absences-  Students will be placed on an attendance improvement plan which will be regularly monitored by the Principal

 

No distinction will be made between excused and unexcused absences.  Whenever as student misses time at school it places them behind and creates some level of disruption.  Please make sure you are communicating with the school when your child is going to miss school.  Our educational community can only thrive when all of our students are in regular attendance.

 

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Attendance Rewards (December 2016)

Prior to the Holiday Break several students were randomly selected to be acknowledged for their perfect attendance in the month of December.  Students were publically recognized in their classes and given gift cards to Stewarts in recognition of their commitment (and their families) to their education.  The students whom were recognized from all of the students with perfect attendance were:

Aiden Kepper        Aliyah Bullock

Lydia Perrine        Devin Stone

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85 + Club Sees Star Wars: Rouge One

With the generous support of the JW Leary PTO, members of the JW Leary 85+ Club were rewarded with a school day trip to see Star Wars: Rouge One.  These students have demonstrated their commitment to their education and excel in their studies.  For their hard work they were allowed an afternoon out of school to see a movie with their friends.  At JW Leary we are committed to getting everyone’s best effort and recognizing exceptional effort when it’s given.  We are also committed to having a bit of fun occasionally.  Good Job All.

 

Out next 85+ trip will be to Titus Mountain.  

Important Upcoming Dates @ JW Leary

1/16/2017

No School, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

1/17/2017

JWL PTO, 6pm

1/19/2017

BOE Meeting, 6:30pm @ HS

1/27/2017

Early Dismissal, Staff Development

1/27/2017

End of 2nd Marking Period















 

High School

News & Notes

 

Donation to the Animal Shelter

Roxanne Howard’s class spent the month of December making quilts to donate to the Massena Animal Shelter. They also place boxes around the school to collect pet supplies to include in the donation. Representatives were on hand to accept the donation from the students.

Carolers

Chris Lincoln’s Mixed Choir treated students and staff to Christmas music just before dismissal on December 22. The picture to the right includes alumni Joey Pease and Jarrett Harvey who come back each year to participate.

 

 

S

The Scholastic Art Award

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program, and become a part of our community—young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers, along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process. The Scholastic Awards look for work that demonstrates technical skill, personal voice or vision, and originality. This is the first time in 10 years that a gold key has been given to a Massena Central student. This is a significant honor. Congratulations to Makayla Szarka for her gold key and to all the other recipients. Thanks to Chad Simpson and Trish Murphy for their dedication to the Arts.

 

All County Music Festival at Hosmer Hall

 

Of the 18 students performing in the Sr. High Jazz Band, 10 students were selected from  Massena high School. Students are: Olivia Todd, Aidan O’Neill,Kolby Judware, Eleanor Burns, Jack Witkop, and Camryn Peets. Students performing solos are: Kelly Southwick, Simon LaGarry, Nathaniel Alderson and Joey Marcello.

 

Thanks to Jon Hunkins and Chris Lincoln for their dedication to our music students and the Arts.

Eighteen students from Massena High School performed in the Sr, High Chorus. Emily Allen performed a solo in “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.

 

Native American Day

 

This year Native American Day at the high school looked a little different.  Members of the Mohawk Tribe were here to present on Rites of passage and the Native American Culture.  Kit Thomas, Niio Perkins and Carrie hill brought a display of their art work, talked to students and staff about Native American Art and held a Q&A. Carrie Hill provided a demonstration of how to make sweetgrass bookmarks and had supplies on hand for each student to make one. The Traveling College Singers led the Social Dance and Dance Presentations as seen below.

 

Instructional Rounds

The high school teachers participated in Instructional Rounds on January 12. Over the past year, through faculty meetings, they have been introduced to Instructional Rounds. Teachers have also attended workshops given by BOCES and travelled to other districts to be a part of their rounds. From what they learned about Instructional Rounds and regent’s data, the high school teachers decided that the most important issue we needed to work on is Academic Vocabulary. What we could see from our regent’s data is students “leaving points on the table” not because they didn’t know the content, but because they didn’t know what the question was asking. Work on Academic Vocabulary began in December. Teachers and administrators from Norwood-Norfolk, Gouverneur, St, Lawrence Central, Hammond and OFA came to Massena to participate in our rounds, as well as two professors from SUNY Potsdam. The information that was gathered from the rounds is invaluable and will help us to move to the next level of this initiative.  A total of 20 classrooms were visited and those teachers were very gracious about having visitors in their room. We are very appreciative of their acceptance of this initiative. It will be presented briefly to staff at the January 20th faculty meeting and will be the foundation for continued collaboration on academic improvement.

 

Upcoming Events

 

1/16—Martin Luther King Day—No School

1/17—MCSEA Negotiations Team Meeting—6:00 pm--CAB

1/19—Finance Committee Meeting—5:30 pm—HS Student Affairs; BOE Meeting—6:30 pm—HS Room 316

1/25—Wellness Committee Meeting—4:00 pm—HS Room 314

 
Last Updated: 1/30/17
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