By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY September 3, 2002 Its that time of year again.
Big yellow buses are replacing open-topped convertibles as the vehicles of choice for the season, and rowdy football games have replaced trips to the local ice cream stand as popular sources of recreation.
With school starting at most of the countys districts this Wednesday (with the exception of Tri-Valley, which opens Thursday), parents are scurrying to pack their childrens bookbags with all the necessities for a successful year.
This overview of changes at the eight local school districts highlights the major renovation projects, newest faces in the schools and contact information for all of the institutions.
The biggest change at Eldred Central School this year will open doors for the parents.
A new Web site, www.eldred schools.org, has been added to the districts services so parents can check the Internet for back-to-school needs and athletic schedules. Moms and dads will be able to communicate with their childs teachers via e-mail rather than fighting to find the time to call an educator during an open preparatory period.
Were really excited, said Superintendent Candace Mazur. Parents can reach teachers, and we can respond when we have a chance.
Youngsters in the elementary school program in Eldred will be changing their alarm clocks this year with a half-hour change in opening and closing times at the school, beginning with the Sept. 4 start date.
Children at the Mackenzie Elementary School in Glen Spey will start their day at 8:30 a.m. this year and leave the building at 3 p.m. High school students in Eldred will begin classes at 7:30 a.m. and depart at 2:05 p.m.
Also new to the district this year is High School Principal Ivan Katz, who is actually returning to Eldred after working in another area for a year.
Katz plans to continue his character education at the school, handing out community service, most improved student, student of the month and marking period perfect attendance awards to remind the children that their hard work doesnt go unrecognized.
Mazur said the same ideas will be stressed at the Mackenzie school as well, and the elementary teachers will be putting special emphasis on improvements in their science program this year.
We have very good programs in place, and were ready to start the year, she said.
For more information on back-to-school at Mackenzie Elementary, parents can call the school at 856-9723. For information about the high school classes, call 557-6014.
Fallsburg students will be falling back into their old routine when school opens in the district on Sept. 4.
According to Superintendent Gary Holbert, there are a few changes in programs, but the majority of the district structure is the same.
The middle school which opened in Fallsburg last year is still developing, he said, and the teachers will be working to expand their inclusion process with the special education program and work with the alternative education and GED students.
The schools will open at the regular times this year, with a 7:45 a.m. warning bell at the high and middle schools and a 9 a.m. opening at Benjamin Cosor Elementary School. The older children will be released from instruction at 2:25 p.m., and the elementary students will leave at 3 p.m.
New to the administration this year are Brett Cancredi, now the director of athletics, and Christine Lowden, the assistant superintendent for curriculum.
For more information on back-to-school in Fallsburg, call the school district at 434-5884.
Libertys administration was tying up some loose ends last week as they attempted to fill a number of empty positions, but Superintendent Dr. Brian Howard is sure every seat will be full when school opens Sept. 4.
The district was seeking a new elementary assistant principal as well as teachers for the social studies and math departments to add to the staff.
But, Howard said, the schools are ready to open for the 2002-03 year.
New this year will be an expansion of the LEAP after-school program. The latchkey system has been separated out of LEAP, and Director Carla Dworetsky will be heading up an after-school enrichment program to keep children on track during the school year.
Funded by a $20,000 grant, Howard hopes the new after-school program will be an advantage to the district as teachers try to fulfill the strategic plans.
Also new this year will be a number of employees, Howard said, including a guidance counselor and a speech therapist.
The schools will each be opening at different times this year. The children headed to the White Sulphur Springs Elementary School will arrive at 8:30 a.m. and leave at 2:15 p.m. Those at the Liberty Elementary School on Main Street in the village will be expected to arrive at 8 a.m. and depart at 2:40 p.m. Middle school students will start the day at 8 a.m. as well and leave the school at 2:50 p.m. High school students will begin classes at 8:06 a.m. and finish up at 2:57.
For more information on any of the schools, call the district at 292-5400.
Students in the Livingston Manor Central School District will be walking into a fresher school this year, thanks to some upgrades made this summer to the districts building.
A new heating system has been installed, and workers were busy in the last weeks of the summer replacing the roof with a new waterproof sealant.
The parking lot for teachers as well as visitors was paved, and the portico outside the stately structures front door was completely renovated, according to Principal Debra Lynker.
Were ready for school, she said.
Livingston Manor students will be starting school with most other children in the county on Sept. 4 this year, beginning classes at 8:05 a.m. and leaving the building at 2:45 p.m.
There will be one new administrator to acquaint themselves with, Dean of Students and Athletic Director Kurt Warnecke, as well as 13 new teachers.
For more information on any changes in the Livingston Manor school district this year, call 439-4400.
After opening a new middle school last year, Monticello Central School hopes to have a smooth start this year with no major changes.
The district will be opening its doors Sept. 4 with students in six district buildings and a new universal pre-kindergarten program in the St. John Street Educational Center (the former Monticello Middle School).
The pre-K was something we always wanted to do but didnt have the space for, said Eileen Casey, superintendent.
According to Casey, the district will be putting additional focus on reading in the elementary and middle schools this year with some outside grant funding. The school system will also be taking advantage of teacher development and summer school classes during the past season to improve the educational offerings for the students.
We had a very good summer, and were looking forward to bringing the students back, Casey said.
There will be 35 new teachers on board this year, about 14 of whom are replacing retired staff members.
Also new to the district are four administrators: George L. Cooke School Principal Melinda Cormier, Cooke School Assistant Principal Hope Stuart, Administrative Assistant in Pupil Personnel Services Karen Simon and Director of Facilities Sean Kelly.
The schools will all start at the regular time this year with the high school opening at 7:26 a.m. and dismissing at 2:03 p.m., the middle school starting up at 7:33 a.m. and closing at 2:03 p.m., the Rutherford school opening its doors at 9:02 a.m. and exit time at 3:10 p.m. and the three elementary schools beginning at 9:15 a.m. and closing at 3:23 p.m.
For more information on the district, call Monticellos central administration at 794-7700. To register for the pre-kindergarten program, call 794-0128.
The opening of Roscoe Central Schools $5 million addition will be the first major change for students in the district to adjust to when school opens Sept. 4.
The building, which includes a new gymnasium (at least double the size of the districts old facility) and four classrooms, has been under construction since October 2001. But workers were on a fast track to completion of the building by the end of summer, and Superintendent George Will is confident everything will be ready for children to enter the building.
The new facilities will allow the school system to make a number of changes in its programs.
According to Principal Mark Dupra, the district will be moving fifth and sixth-grade classes upstairs so that the students can get an early look at a high school experience.
Though their day will be structured to keep the younger students isolated from the teenagers in grades seven through 12, the children will have their first chance to use lockers and change classes during the day.
Lockers are a big thing for kids that age, Dupra explained. And they can begin wrestling with these issues in a more sheltered environment.
Were very optimistic about that.
Also added to the schools curriculum will be an improvement in the physical education classes offered by the district.
Very characteristic of small schools is limited space in the gymnasium, Dupra noted. But we have created more space for phys. ed. which will have an added byproduct for our athletic programs.
Because we have more space, well be able to do things more creatively.
The original gymnasium facilities have been converted into an auditorium, and the old locker rooms will offer storage space for the choral and instrumental music programs.
Because that space will no longer be in competition between physical education and music classes as well as athletic practices and games, Dupra said the staff will be able to improve schedules to better fit music into the students days.
The other big change in the school days at Roscoe Central School will be earlier start and dismissal times. Students will be starting the day at 8:45 a.m. rather than 9 a.m. this year, and exiting the building at 2:45 p.m.
For more information on Roscoes back-to-school events, call 439-3527 or (607) 498-4126.
The biggest changes in the Sullivan West school district are still to come.
The new high school in Lake Huntington will not be opening until fall 2003, and the students in the Delaware Valley and Jeff-Youngsville campuses of the district will be returning to virtually untouched buildings.
However, renovation work that began last year on the Narrowsburg school building is nearing completion, and according to Superintendent Michael Johndrow, students in grades kindergarten through eight will enter the building to find a new and improved cafeteria, principals office and many updated classrooms.
Work on that building will be completed by February of this school year, Johndrow added, but any future renovations will not affect the childrens studies.
Work that will progress at the other two campus buildings is also not expected to affect the children in the structures. According to Johndrow, construction workers will be renovating four rooms at a time in a rotating schedule in each of the two buildings.
Those renovations will be complete by Dec. 2003.
Program-wise, Sullivan West students will be facing some new tolerance education classes along with a new science and math curriculum.
School starting and closing times will be the same as last year.
New administrators at the district this year include Keith Menges, the new business manager.
For more information on the Sullivan West district, call 482-4610.
It looks like more Tri-Valley Central School students will be brown bagging it this year.
School lunch prices jumped 15 cents, going up to $1.40 for elementary school students and $1.50 for children in the intermediate and secondary schools.
Students will also be meeting new faces this year, including new Director of Technology Jane Tingley and 11 new teachers, including guidance counselors.
Other changes to the district are on hold until bids go out for a $12.8 million project to build a new auditorium and add 16 classrooms.
We will also be joining the elementary and intermediate schools so well be all one big building, said Assistant Superintendent for Business Lisa Raymond.
The district will open Sept. 5, one day after the rest of the schools in the county. The morning bell will ring at 8:15 a.m., and students in the intermediate and secondary schools will be dismissed at 2:45 p.m. Students in the elementary building will be released at 2:30 p.m.
For more information on back-to-school procedures at Tri-Valley, call 985-2296.