Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
READY TO ROLL: This former Delaware Valley bus, along with several others, has been repainted over the summer and is now an official Sullivan West school bus.
By Rob Potter, John Emerson and Susan Monteleone
SULLIVAN COUNTY ÷ September 5, 2000 ö Once again, the countyâs eight public schools are opening their doors to several thousand students. With the exception of Tri-Valley, each school will begin classes tomorrow, September 6. Tri-Valley starts on Thursday, September 7.
The Democrat provides the following information as a convenience for readers. For more information, call your local schoolâs business office or district clerk.
According to Eldred Central School Supt. Candace Mazur, the board exemplifies American democracy at work on the local level.
ãThis yearâs board has worked very hard on designing a system to serve the community and the children of the district in a very dynamic process,ä she said. ãThey are urging the community to participate in the many activities that have been developed by the Îshared decision makingâ teams and the many other planned school events.ä
Mazur said the school boardâs goals are to develop a mentoring and support system for ãat riskä students to increase academic and social success, and to implement a study skills program in K- 12 that will provide both a safety net for students and enable growth toward their academic and vocational goals.
Also, the board wants to develop a five-year plan focused on school facilities that will identify concerns and prioritize those concerns via an action plan, in addition to developing a student-friendly system of support to foster the creation of a career plan for each student.
Further goals include aligning district curriculum and assessment with the New York State Learning Standards, along with enhancing parent/community involvement in the school district through open communications and information sharing.
Students at the Eldred Senior High School will have four new teachers to welcome to their building: Ms. Kilmer and Ms. McCooey will be teaching Special Education, Mr. Koohs will be teaching English and Ms. Naumovitz will be teaching 7th and 8th grade Math.
At the high school and elementary school, the staff will be enhancing and developing K-12 writing across the curriculum, which will expand to include Math.
High School Principal Ivan Katz is also introducing the following programs at the Eldred Senior High School: Eldred Central School Community Awards, Eldred Central School Most Improved Subject Area Students, and a Student of the Week program. Katz further added that the reading hall and homework hall will also be continuing and that new books and materials are awaiting the high school students.
At the Mackenzie Elementary School in Glen Spey, Principal Jacqueline Morris-Hayes has also been busy welcoming students back.
According to Hayes, students in grades first through sixth will be receiving the new Mackenzie Elementary Student Handbook/ Planners on the first day of school. The planners are a combined effort of the Mackenzie BLT and PTA. The Mackenzie Handbook/ Planner is in its first year and was developed to help enhance student performance and organization. The planners allow for students to write down their homework assignments, spelling words and other school day work. They include spaces for parent and teacher comments and are designed to be child-friendly.
Hayes also noted that the Mackenzie PTA recently donated 6 computers to the elementary school. The computers, according to Hayes, are a welcome addition.
A total projected enrollment of 810 students will begin classes tomorrow at 9 a.m. (Mackenzie) and 7:30 a.m. (High School).
For more information, call ECS at 557-6141.
Construction and instruction will be going hand-in-hand this year at Fallsburg Jr./Sr. High School as work begins on an eight-room middle school wing that is being added to the high school.
The construction project, which should be completed by next fall, will give the district room within the high school complex to create a true middle school. When it is done, the sixth grade classes at Benjamin Cosor Elementary School will move, freeing up space there for additional program rooms.
This year, the newest program within the school district is the creation of an alternative school within the confines of the junior-senior high school, said schools superintendent Gary Holbert. The idea is to provide alternative educational instruction to students who are not faring well in a regular classroom situation.
ãOne size doesnât fit all [when it comes to education],ä said Holbert. ãWeâre trying to provide as many different ways for kids to learn as we possibly can.ä
Only one new position has been added to the staff: a social worker, who will be working within the alternative school. Funding for the position is coming through an educational grant the school received.
Other than that, this year should be very similar to last year for most of the students when school begins tomorrow.
Educationally, the emphasis will remain on meeting the tougher state standards handed down by the state Board of Regents. Last yearâs tutorial and afterschool help programs will continue throughout the year.
School hours, 7:55 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Middle School-High School and 9:00 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. at Cosor Elementary, have not changed from last year for the districtâs enrollment of between 1,300 and 1,350 students. Telephone numbers for the schools, 434-6800 for the Middle School-High School and 434-4110 for Cosor Elementary, also remain unchanged. Questions concerning bus transportation should be directed to 434-0511.
Television, or at least something that looks like it, will play a key role in the lives of some students who are enrolled in distance learning classes this year at Liberty High School.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Howard said the distance learning network, a collaborative effort with schools in Roscoe, Eldred and Tri-Valley, is set up and ready to go when school opens tomorrow.
The interactive hookup among the schools allows students in one building to take classes offered by another district that are not available at their own school. Among the course offerings for distance learning students are Latin 1, Chinese language and culture, journalism and a variety of business courses.
ãWeâre going to be teaching four classes and receiving three from the other schools involved,ä he said. ãWeâre very excited about the prospects this opens up for students who are involved in the program.ä
One of the major events for the upcoming school year is the unveiling of the districtâs strategic plan, a process that began a little less than a year ago. The plan, which was developed by teachers, administrators, school board members, members of the public and students, is scheduled for presentation to the school board and the public late this year or early next year. Howard said it was one of the most important things on this yearâs calendar.
This year, students will be meeting 16 new teachers throughout the district. While most of the new faces are replacing existing teachers, two and a half new teaching positions have been added, including math teachers in the middle and high schools and a half-time reading teacher at the White Sulphur Springs school.
The top administrators at the high school also have new faces now that Robert Chakar and Diane DeSantis have joined the district as that buildingâs principal and assistant principal.
Howard said, in addition to completing the districtâs strategic plan, the biggest challenge he faces this year as a superintendent is maintaining a close tab on meeting state mandates and standards while keeping offerings available that will create a well-rounded education.
ãIf the only thing we do is meet state mandates and standards, weâre not going to provide our students with a complete education,ä he said. ãI know that a complete education demands more than simply meeting standards, and itâs going to require taking a close look at what weâre offering while at the same time looking at the resources we have available and managing them tightly.ä
This yearâs school hours for the districtâs various buildings are 8:06 a.m. to 2:57 p.m. at the high school, 8:00 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. at the middle school and 8:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. at the Main Street Elementary School. The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes at White Sulphur Springs School run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
The districtâs automated central switchboard allows callers to reach all buildings within the district. The number is 292-5400.
The Livingston Manor Central School District will have a projected enrollment of 740 students for the 2000-2001 school year.
Like many schools, Manor is implementing an Academic Intervention Services (AIS) program for its students. AIS is designed to help youngsters better prepare themselves for state exams. The program will focus on both high school students taking Regents exams as well as younger students who must complete state assessment tests.
Among new staff members at LMCS are Tia Chimiak, Lisa Mathern and James Wehgrzyn. Chimiak will be the middle school guidance counselor, Mathern will teach high school math and Wehgrzyn will be the elementary school music teacher.
The school day will run from 8:05 a.m. until 2:45 p.m.
ãWe are looking for continued improvement in all areas by our students on standardized tests,ä said middle/high school principal Debra Lynker. ãWe are looking forward to a successful year.ä
The school can be reached at 439-4400.
Expect a mess at virtually any of the four elementary schools in the Monticello school district when school opens Wednesday ö but donât be dismayed. It wonât be long before the construction is done, and for the first time in years there will be room to breathe.
The Classroom 2000 expansion project, which includes adding classrooms and more to all of the districtâs schools, is ahead of schedule and nearing completion at both the Rutherford and Duggan schools, said schools superintendent Eileen Casey. Those jobs should be completed within the next six to eight weeks.
Work on the Cooke School in Monticello and the Chase School in Wurtsboro, which have larger additions and more extensive renovations, will most likely be finished before the end of the semester.
Those people who are tied into the Internet can keep track of construction on the new middle school through the districtâs website, another innovation. The address for the website, www.catskill.net/monti/welcome.html, provides information about the schools, the administration and pictures of the construction project now underway near the high school. The building is ahead of schedule, and all expectations are that it will open when school begins in 2001.
A new school principal will greet students at the Chase School when they arrive for their first day of classes. Barbara Semonite, a well-known member of the Wurtsboro community, has replaced former building Principal Elizabeth Moore, who retired.
The district has also added several new teaching positions, including a new science teacher, an English as a Second Language teacher and remedial teachers to help prepare high school students for the more stringent graduation requirements.
ãOur academic intervention services program takes a lot of different forms,ä said Casey. ãWeâre trying to give students as many ways to succeed as we can.ä
Among the biggest changes that students and their parents will notice as the school year progresses is the greater availability and much more extensive use of computers within the classrooms. That will also hold true for the libraries, which are being expanded into multimedia rooms.
ãThe biggest challenge weâre going to face this year is managing all the construction thatâs going on,ä said Casey. ãWe have to keep it on target. There are going to be some inconveniences to both parents and staff, but weâre doing our best to keep those to a minimum.ä
The district does not have a central switchboard, so parents attempting to reach officials at their childrenâs school should call the school directly. The telephone numbers for the schools are George L. Cooke Elementary, 794-8830; Emma P. Chase Elementary, 888-0173 or 888-2471; Cornelius Duggan Elementary, 583-5390; K.L. Rutherford Elementary, 794-4240; Middle School, 794-6020 and High School, 794-8840.
Schools hours at the high school and middle school are from 7:41 a.m. to 2:13 p.m. Cooke and Rutherford schools operate from 9:05 a.m. to 3:13 p.m. The Duggan and Chase schools are on a 9:15 a.m. to 3:23 p.m. schedule.
Information about bus routes and other transportation questions can be obtained by calling the bus garage at 794-8570.
The approximately 350 students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade will find a few changes when they return to their classrooms tomorrow for the 2000-2001 school year at Roscoe Central School. One improvement will be the implementation of a distance learning network, in conjuntion with fellow county districts Eldred, Liberty and Tri-Valley.
Another new program is an afterschool learning session. Primarily for pupils in grades 4 through 12, the hour-long sessions ö dubbed the ãHomework Clubä for younger students and ãAfterschool Supportä for older students ö will help kids further comprehend what they have learned during regular school hours.
Because of the afterschool program, the district will offer late busing for the first time. Late buses will take participating students back home four days a week, Mondays through Thursdays.
Other improvements include a computer-oriented design lab and computers that will be utilized for desktop publishing.
Another first for Roscoe will be the creation of a Pre-K program. The district will also offer an afternoon support session for Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade students. The sessions will focus on developing early literary and math skills for the youngsters.
Superintendent George Will noted that he is looking forward to the new school year due to the new programs and improvements, as well as ãterrific staff and a very supportive community.ä
And Will is looking to future years as well.
ãDuring this school year, we will be discussing the building addition approved by district voters last spring,ä Will said. ãIn the next few months, we will finalize plans and put the project out to bid. Hopefully, we can break ground on the project in the spring.ä
The schoolâs main number is (607) 498-4126. For those in the 914/845 area code, dial 439-3527.
Approximately 1,800 students will return to their classrooms Wednesday morning in the countyâs newest school district ö Sullivan West, which encompasses the former Delaware Valley, Jeffersonville-Youngsville and Narrowsburg districts.
The school day will basically run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., although it may vary slightly in the three buildings.
Superintendent Michael Johndrow said he is looking forward to the new school year and the new courses and programs for the Sullivan West students.
Among the new courses are an astronomy class and college-level Spanish class, both offered in conjunction with Sullivan County Community College.
Sullivan West will be ahead of the curve by offering new Math A and Math B courses. In the next few years, the state will change its high school math course format from Sequence I-Sequence II-Sequence III to the Math A and B format for teaching of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. All students will need to pass Math A to graduate.
According to Johndrow, Sullivan West is among a number of schools throughout New York State offering the Math A and Math B courses before it is required. And the district is still offering the Sequence I, II and III classes.
The district has also refurbished an elementary computer lab, installed a new business computer lab and has installed a satellite system to network all three school buildings together for Internet access.
Among the new staff and faculty members are Brad Bidwell (cleaner), Elizabeth Cormier (teacher aide), David Evans (DV high school principal), James Evans (J-Y elementary principal), Patricia Giordano (food service), Cindy Humleker (sixth grade teacher), Russell Johansen (science teacher), June Jordan (secretary), Michelle Musetti (librarian), Carrie Phelps (guidance counselor), Christopher Teeple (third grade teacher), Nina Verderber (guidance office secretary), Christina Vogler (secondary math teacher) and Kathleen Zylko (teacher aide).
ãWe had a darn good beginning last year,ä Johndrow said of the 1999-2000 school year, which was the first official year of Sullivan Westâs existence. ãThis is the in-between year, where we will be planning future changes. Next year [2001-2002], the changes and renovations will begin. And in 2002, we hope to be in our new high school.ä
The schoolâs main office in Jeffersonville can be reached at 482-4610.
Unlike most county students, the Tri-Valley students, an estimated 1,280, will enjoy an extra day of summer vacation. The 2000-2001 TVCS academic year will begin on Thursday, with the school day running from 8 a.m. until 2:45 p.m.
New staff members include Tara Berescik (agriculture teacher), JoAnna Duffy (fifth grade teacher), Robert Matson (high school math teacher) and Petrina Mitchell (Kindergarten teacher).
As far as the curriculum goes, one change will be the utilization of a distance learning program. Tri-Valley will be a part of the program, along with Eldred, Liberty and Roscoe.
The district will also be starting a new math program for students in Kindergarten through sixth grade. The plan will promote thinking on a higher level and enhance problem solving skills.
ãWeâre looking forward to another good year,ä Superintendent George Vanderzell commented. ãWe will also be getting ready for our building project, which district voters approved by passing a $12.8 million bond in June. This year, we will be in the planning stages of the project.ä
For more information, call the school at 985-2296.