Massena Central School Board of Education Update
February 11, 2017
The Board of Education Meeting scheduled for February 16, 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.
HS Overnight Trips
There are three high school overnight field trips on the Board agenda for Thursday. All are annual events involving the First Robotics Team and the Music Department. The First Robotics Team comprising 20 of our high school students will be in Albany for competition on March 15-18 and again in Montreal on March 22-25. As the Montreal trip involves leaving the United States, Regulation 8460R.1 Out of Country Trips requires Board approval for participation in this event. The Music Department is also planning a trip to NYC over the Memorial Day weekend with 129 students. They will visit many sites of the city including the Broadway musical “Wicked” and Radio City Music Hall. The trip will not involve students missing school. Per Procedure 8460P.1 Overnight Field Trips, the Albany and NYC events requires Board notification. The itineraries of all the trips are attached to the Board agenda. HS Principal Sarah Boyce will provide further details at the Board meeting.
Vendor Scoring of Grade 3-8 Exams
Recently, a few regional schools, including Massena, began exploring the viability of sending out our NYS Grade 3-8 ELA and Math exams to be scored rather than having our own teachers take the time away from students to do this work. The Mohawk Regional Information Center (MORIC) provides this service already to over 250 districts in NYS. Director of Curriculum Stephanie Allen spearheaded the research on this option and found it to be a cost and time savings benefit for our District. Our teachers will not lose valuable instructional time out of the classroom to score exams and with the service being BOCES aidable, it will save money when comparing the cost of the service against our payment of substitutes. Given that we have a shortage of the latter, such a move with also benefit an already stretched substitute list during the testing periods. Attached to the Board agenda is a description of the MORIC service along with Stephanie Allen’s recommendation. She will discuss further at the Board meeting.
NYS Real Property Law 485-A – Update
At the January Board of Education meeting, the Board decided to vote at the February meeting on a proposal from the Village of Massena to implement a tax exemption under NYS Real Property Law 485-a. This request from the Village is part of 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.
Since the January meeting, the Village of Massena was awarded funds from the Restore NY Community initiative to rehabilitate the former Slavin’s Building on Water Street. Here is the media article about the renovation grant. This new development may have bearing on the decision to provide a tax break under 485-a.
Donations to the District
We are pleased to announce that the District has received several generous donations over the last month. The list of donations for your review and acceptance are attached to the Board agenda and presented below:
We appreciate the generosity of our community in presenting these donations. They will be of great use for supporting the education of our students.
Policy 8214 Animals on School Property--At the last Board of Education meeting, I mentioned that we would be presenting a comprehensive animal policy but we would be separating the service animal portion due to a case currently in front of the US Supreme Court. The Policy Committee met on February 9th and reviewed the revised policy and is prepared to present to the Board. Except for service animals, the policy covers all aspects of animals on school property including within the classroom and pets on the John Story Trail. The idea is to create on all encompassing policy in dealing with animals for education community purposes. Our insurance agent and counsel have been consulted on the policy.
State Education Department News
Recently, the Commissioner's Advisory Council (CAC) met with the Commissioner and other representatives from the State Education Department (SED). Below are the agenda items and highlights of the discussions as provided by the NYS Council of School Superintendents:
a) Standards review and adjustments
b) Curriculum development to support the shifts with accompanying professional development
c) Implementation of new assessments aligned with the revised Standards
d) APPR revisions
Madison Elementary Parent Wins $10,000 for School in Box Tops for Education Contest
Many thanks and congratulations to Madison parent Patti Laraby for winning $10,000 for the school in the Box Tops for Education contest. Patti is the mother of Madelyn Laraby, a first grader in Jackie Siddon’s class at Madison Elementary. Due to Ms. Laraby’s conscientious and diligent efforts in collecting box tops she hit the jackpot in earning this major prize. Below is a link to a Courier Observer article about this remarkable development.
Rural Schools Association Budget Testimony
The following is information from the Rural Schools Association in regard to upcoming testimony on the state budget.
The State Budget is perennially the most important piece of legislation affecting our rural schools. Advocating for the needs of our students means both offering useful suggestions and opposing potentially harmful proposals. Your Rural Schools Association has the responsibility of making sure state leaders know the needs of rural districts-and we take it very seriously. Here is your association’s state budget testimony that will be presented on Tuesday at the annual Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Elementary and Secondary Education. We hope you’ll agree that it makes a powerful statement about what’s good, bad and just plain ugly in the Executive Budget plan.
Educational Conference Board Legislative Proposals
Attached is the Educational Conference Board’s budget proposals to the state legislature for 2017. The ECB represents seven leading educational organizations including the NYS School Boards Association, NYS Council of School Superintendents, the School Administrators’ Association of NYS and the New York State United Teachers.
The proposal requests $1.5 billion of increased funding in the 2017-18 state budget for schools to break even. This conclusion is based on the following budgetary assumptions in NYS schools:
•2.75% increase in salaries
•6.7% increase for health insurance
•Reduction in TRS costs
•2.2% increase for non-personnel costs
•Minimal offset to total cost increase from local revenue due to 1.26% tax cap allowable growth factor
The proposal also presents some good information on the Foundation Aid formula and other recommendations for the state to support schools.
News & Notes
Happy 100 days!!
Jefferson First Grade students, Gracie Berube and Talon Barney, are one of many students that celebrated being in school for 100 days. Only 80 more to go!
The Great Kindness Challenge Week
February 13-17, 2017
The Great Kindness Challenge is one week dedicated to creating a culture of kindness nationwide
In a world where stress, violence, and intense competition cause us to feel disconnected, acts of kindness can bring us together as we find fulfillment and joy in thinking about and doing something nice for others. All human beings need affection to thrive and even small acts of kindness can touch someone deeply and make their day. Please join in on "Random Act of Kindness Week", February 13-17th.
The week will be similar to Red Ribbon Week. It will be used to help children understand that even small acts of kindness toward another person can make a world of difference. The hope is also that they will begin to internalize the good feelings that they will get when they are kind to others. Attached you will find some ideas for the kids and staff to show kindness toward each other as well their families and members of the community. Please feel free to share any thoughts that you may have as well. Spread the word; this is one thing we really want to be contagious!
The following Great Kindness Week activities have been planned for the Massena Elementary Schools.
Monday, February 13th – Kindness Matters Monday All Students, faculty and staff will be given a Pink or white heart to write a kind act or something nice to their peers. These hearts will be placed on our “kindness tree” to show our school is “blooming” with Kindness.
Tuesday, February 14th – Think Pink Tuesday
Students, faculty and staff are to wear their “hearts” on their sleeve by wearing Pink or Red to school.
Wednesday, February 15th – Bring “Peace” To Our School
Students, faculty and staff are to wear something tye-dye, colorful, or something with a Peace sign to school.
Thursday, February 16th – “Tie” into Kindness Thursday
Students, faculty and staff are to wear a tie to school. A time to be creative if you do not have one at home
Friday, February 17th – Pay it Forward Friday
Students, faculty and staff will be giving back to the community. Each grade level will be completing a project that will benefit many. (Nursing home residents, Active Military members, dogs, Veterans, Children, Patients at a hospital etc…)
It is our goal is to encourage our children to never stop doing small and simple acts of kindness. Random acts of kindness can be done, everyday, in our homes, neighborhoods, schools and communities. By doing this, it can help teach our kids that no act of kindness is too small. Everyone can be kind. Everyone can make a difference. Kindness Matters!!!!
Great Kindness Challenge Ideas for Grade Levels
These are some ideas but feel free to get as creative as you want!
· Draw a picture for a friend
· Make cards or poems for people in the nursing home
· Make bookmarks for a younger grade level
· Make cards for children in the hospital
· Make thank-you cards for community members (mayor, police, firefighters, etc…)
· Make thank-you cards for the military
· Make thank-you cards for the bus drivers, cafeteria staff, nurse, etc…
· Make dog biscuits for the Humane Society
· Have students read stories to or share a talent with younger children
· Have kids go through the books you’ve grown out of and donate them to Mrs. Bish
Take those small, smooth pebbles used for decorating fish tanks and draw smiley faces on them. Then share them with your friends, leave them on a restaurant table, hide them in a vending machine change slot, or hand them out to the least recognized but equally as hard working people like our cafeteria staff, aides, bus drivers.
Donate candy, sample lotions, shampoos, etc… to the nursing home-they love it!
SUNY Potsdam Student Teachers
Jefferson Elementary is fortunate to be continuing our partnership with SUNY Potsdam by hosting three aspiring teachers this semester. These student teachers are interning under Jefferson Elementary’s finest veterans from January 23-March 22.
Dee Cook, Grade 2 Ryleigh Combs, SUNY Jenna Bazdaric, SUNY
Rachael Janos, SUNY Joan Bulger, Grade 2 Nicole Terminelli- Grade 6
St. Lawrence University Math and ELA Tutors
"The Reading & Math Tutor Program is designed to support local schools in raising the level of reading and math proficiency in students during a critical period of knowledge foundation building. The program not only provides a benefit to the community, it also provides a positive school experience for the tutor. For St. Lawrence students who aren’t ready to make a full-semester commitment or who want to discover whether teaching is for them, there is the Reading & Math Tutor Program. Students spend eight to 12 hours per week working with K-6 students and some special needs situations, helping them to develop basic skills."
For SLU students, the program provides them an opportunity to work with local elementary (and sometimes high school) students, and can be an introduction into a teacher-student relationship. Many of the tutors are Education minors, and use the tutoring time of the program to fulfill their fieldwork requirements for their Education classes.
Each Tuesday and Thursday from 12:45-3:15 Jefferson students are fortunate to have visitors from St. Lawrence University to assist with reading and math.
Anna Reale (SLU) Alexander (Sasha) McEldowney(SLU)
Mrs. Hewlett’s Factor Ninjas
The notorious “Factor Ninja” and his partner in crime, “Multiple Monster” are no challenge for Mrs. Hewlett’s fourth grade students. Factor Ninja karate chops big numbers to split them into their smaller factors. He remains thin and sleek as he cuts his food into little bits. The Multiple Monster remains plump as he continually consumes endless multiples of numbers.
On Friday, February 17, Jefferson Elementary will be hosting Native singers and dancers from the Akwesasne Ratirennenhawi traveling group.
Coordinated by Mrs. Michelle Lazare, Jefferson’s Native Liaison/Reading Specialist, students from grades 1-6 will be able to participate in social singing and dancing while learning about the Native American Culture. Fourth grade students from Madison and Nightengale will also be joining the Jefferson students to reinforce their New York State history with this presentation.
Mrs. Barney’s Grade 4 Native American Dioramas
Mrs. Barney’s 4th grade class spent several weeks learning about New York’s earliest people, along with the geography and resources of the land that made it beneficial for the Native Americans to establish here. As a culminating project, the students worked diligently with their families to create dioramas that illustrate the culture and living of the Native Americans.
Pictured are Rylee Cole, Amelia Ransom, Zander Wilhelm, and Sydney Rochefort
Grade 2 Mathematicians
Students in Mrs. Cook’s second grade classroom are adding 2 three digit numbers using place value chips. They might need to regroup twice in these problems.
6th Grade Public Service Announcements
The Jefferson 6th grade students created PSAs on the importance of washing hands after analyzing an infographic from Scholastic Scope magazine. Students had the option of a morning announcement, a poster to put up in classrooms, or a video.
Pictured is sixth grade student, Lia Lazare, reading her public service announcement to the Jefferson students, faculty, and staff during morning announcements.
Creating Healthy Schools and Communities
One of the new games purchased for students to use during their physical education class through the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative grant is called “Bounce Blaster.” Students are all actively engaged in bouncing red or blue balls off of a large ball located at the center of a circle. The object is to be the first team to bounce their ball off the center and immediately catch it without it hitting the floor. Once caught, the ball is placed into the team’s bucket and taken out of play. The first team to place all of their designated colored balls into the bucket wins the game.
Newest Tie Club Member
Kindergarten student, Carson Boice, is the newest member of Mr. Richards’ Tie Club. Carson’s teacher, Miss Blanchard, nominated Carson because of his extremely hard work in completing his entire “Memory Word Book.” Keep up the great work Carson!!
Jefferson Calendar Events:
Friday, Feb. 17 Native American Social Singing and Dancing Presentation
Feb. 20-24 No School Mid-Winter Break
March 2-3 Internet Safety Presentations for grade 5 and 6 9:30AM
Mon. March 6 High School Select Music Tour Presentation 9:00AM
Wed. March 8 Jefferson Instrumental Recital 7:00PM
Fri. March 10 End of 2nd Trimester
News & Notes
Mrs. Janovsky’s Plant and Animal Cells
Science models are used to make complex ideas easier to understand. Mrs. Janovsky’s class decided to show off their recently acquired knowledge by creating a 3D model of the cell and its structures.
Tallon Currier and Olivia Miller
Nightengale Family Game Night
Our Nightengale families had a great time at Family Game Night! This event always has a great turnout. Thank you to Jeanette L. Preston and Jaime LaBarge for putting this on!
All County Music Festival
On February 4, 2017, students from across St. Lawrence County came together for SLCMEA’s All-County Music Festival B. Three students from Nightengale Elementary participated in the Elementary Chorus, performing four different selections. Autumn Harvey, Sophia Shaynak, and Tessa McGay represented Nightengale well. The pieces performed were The Tailor and the Mouse, Button Up Your Overcoat, Toucans Two, and A Song to End All War. The students spent all day in rehearsals, had the opportunity to work with area conductors (Nora Darling and Andrea Ellison), and finished the busy day with a wonderful afternoon concert at Ogdensburg Free Academy. Way to go Nighthawks!
Pictured above is Mrs. Nora Darling, Jefferson Elementary, conducting at the All-County event. .
Thank You to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe recently donated winter coats to all Native American students at Massena Central. Pictured here are Joey Castle and Nick White from Nightengale Elementary.
Box Tops are BACK!!!!
It's Box Top collection time for the spring! Sheets went home a few weeks ago. Don't forget to hand in your Box Tops
There is a Bonus App people can download to their phones and scan store receipts.http://www.boxtops4education.com/bonusapp
Ms. Frary’s 4th Grade Food Chains
Students in Ms. Frary’s class dove deep into the concept of our ecosystems. Students learned about how producers and consumers (herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, and decomposers) are related in food chains/food webs and may compete with each other for resources in an ecosystem.
Sophia Prentice and her Food Chain Poem
Food Chain Poem by Sophia Prentice
Mrs. Converse’s 6th Grade Social Studies
This lesson was to create a poster of an ancient philosopy that is still being used today. Brian Gray and Tyler Currier presented communication(the alphabet).
News & Notes
Miss LaCombe’s third-grade students used their problem-solving skills during their Math Daily 3 groups. They worked together to find the total area of the third grade hallway in squared units. This activity allowed students to use the skills they learned in Math Module 4, which is introducing concepts of measuring area in squared units. Another day in Math Daily 3 it was a "math with me" day and the students used candy conversation hearts to estimate, group/sort, measure, and graph.
Elementary All-County Chorus
On Saturday, February 4, 2017 four proud Madison Owls represented our school as members of this year's Elementary All-County Chorus. Sixth graders Naava Blue, Breawnna Eckstein, Elisa Fewell and Roy Gamble were part of the chorus of over 100 of the hardest working, and talented singers in the county. They practiced many times at school with Mrs. Burnett before joining the students from the other school districts on Saturday to finish putting 4 songs together, which they performed for a full audience at the OFA Auditorium. They were privileged to work with Massena's own Mrs. Darling from Jefferson on "The Tailor and the Mouse" and "Button up Your Overcoat." They also sang "Toucans Two" and "A Song to End All War" with Mrs. Ellison from Parishville-Hopkinton. The songs were not easy, but the chorus rose to the challenge and sounded wonderful. The students also learned some other fun, but tricky songs, and played some singing games throughout the day. Great work everyone!
Madison Celebrated National School Counseling Week
This week Madison recognized our fabulous school counselor, Mrs. Burke, during National School Counseling Week. We highlighted the tremendous impact she has in helping our students achieve social, emotional and academic success.. Mrs. Burke helps students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents. She works with teachers to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves.
As part of National School Counseling Week, the Madison teachers and staff created thank you cards, illustrations and posters to thank Mrs. Burke for all that she does for us. Staff wrapped up the week by showing Mrs. Burke that we all have school spirit by wearing our college and career attire.
Madison Owls in Nature
Robert Moses State Park made nature come to life at Madison for students in the classrooms of Ms. Ouimet, Ms. Wilkins, Mrs. Hendershot, Mrs. Peets and Mr. Todd. Students were able to look at animal tracks, droppings, as well as, touch fur from a variety of animals. After learning about snowshoeing the students strapped on a pair of snowshoes and took a nature walk. Many students saw deer tracks and were able to feed the birds. After returning to school the students were able to enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate! We thank the Nature Center for the awesome opportunity.
JW Leary Junior High
News & Notes
Mrs. Donahue Teaches LOTE Teacher How to Incorporate Technology into their Classrooms at BOCES
Mrs. Donahue was asked by Patti Fisher from BOCES to present a workshop for using technology in the LOTE (Language Other Than English) classroom. Mrs. Donahue was paired up with Rod Hooper from BOCES to assist her with the planning process. Mr. Hooper and Mrs. Donahue both thought the conference was a great success as did those who attended their workshop. As a result of the workshop, Mrs. Donahue is still in contact with all of the participants through their use of Google and she is still helping them implement technology in the LOTE classroom.
2nd Round of Data Meetings are Complete at the Junior High
Last week we completed our second round of Data Meetings at the Junior High. In these meetings Math and ELA teachers meet with Intervention staff and Administration and review the progress of all of our students to this point in the school year. We looked at students mid-year STAR scores, quarter averages and recent classroom assessments to evaluate student progress. Based upon these meetings, you may see students potentially moving around within our intervention system.
2nd Quarter 85+ Club
With the second quarter complete we have identified all students in 7th and 8th grade who have achieved an average of 85 or higher in all of their classes. These students hard work is rewarded with events designed to recognize their effort. Our next event is a trip to the Nature Center to take our students snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The students who qualify for the 85+ Club this quarter are:
Valentine’s Day Dance is a Huge Success
On Friday Night February 10, the student council held its annual Valentine’s Day dance. Several hundred of our students came to the dance and everyone had a great time. It is always nice to see our young men and women get together and enjoy our school outside of the school day. Thank you to Mrs. Root and all of our student council members who make this event and all of our events possible.
(Some of our students at the dance Friday Night)
News & Notes
USET Conference in Washington DC
Pictured above, in green, is Aleesha Smoke, daughter of Becky Smoke, at the USET conference in Washington DC. USET is an acronym for United Southern and Eastern Tribes. Each year this conference is held the first week in February. Student representatives from Native American Territories along the East Coast and South gather to collaborate on the current issues of their Territories. The students worked in groups to create presentations which describe these issues and include a solution. Later in the week, the students present their issues to the USET Council. After the presentations, the council decides if their issue and solution will move to the Federal government level where they will lobby for funds for each of the Territories which will aid in implementing the solutions to bring about change. JOM Coordinator, Samantha Phillips, accompanied Aleesha and students from Salmon River to the conference.
Diversity Awareness Community Building Workshop
Eighty students and ten staff have been selected to attend the Diversity Awareness workshop on February 17, 2017. The response has been overwhelming from all who attending. The excitement is beyond being out of the classroom for the day. Students and staff will spend the day working through a variety of sensitivity and team building activities. Students will be bused to the Neighborhood Center at the beginning of first period and will arrive back to school at 2:00.
Feb 17 Diversity Awareness Community Building Workshop
Feb 20-24 Winter Break
March 1 District Technology Committee Meeting
District Upcoming Events
2/13—Facilities Committee Meeting—5:00 pm—Jefferson Elementary School
2/16—Finance Committee Meeting—5:30 pm—HS Student Affairs; BOE Meeting—6:30 pm—HS Room 316
2/20-24—Mid-Winter Break—No School
|Last Updated: 3/2/17|