By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY September 7, 2004 Back to school time is upon us, and students and parents have a whole new schedule to adjust to.
We offered you a look at the changes in five of the countys districts in Fridays Democrat. Here is the break-down on Fallsburg, Liberty and Tri-Valley.
The Fallsburg district is full of changes this school year.
Students can expect a raft of new programs and a number of shifts in administration.
According to district information officer Larry Schafman, the district is excited to be starting a number of new initiatives, including:
New core reading program and a new core math program for K-8. Reading coaches and math specialists will be on hand to assist in classrooms throughout the district, and staff development will be ongoing.
Literacy Nights for students K-12 and their families will begin in late fall in collaboration with Sullivan County Literacy Volunteers. Literacy halls will be put in place in lieu of study halls where students will focus on reading and effective public speaking. A mentoring program has also been put in place, incorporating the Fallsburg Community Youth Center into the school programs.
A Character Education Cluster Center (CECC) has been designed to serve as an alternative to suspension.
Teachers are now enrolled on www.teacherweb.com so students and families can review homework assignments, classroom guidelines, and related items. This will allow parents to e-mail the instructors with questions or concerns. To further help the parents, the district will be purchasing general school supplies for students in K-8 to ease the financial burden on families.
The district will also be integrating more technology into the curriculum at Benjamin Cosor Elementary and begin intramural athletics at the campus.
The new or different administrators include: Business Administrator Margot Getman, Director of Human Resources and Professional Development Dan Prenderville, Interim Principal of Junior and Senior High School Al Larson, Vice Principal and Athletic Director of Junior and Senior High School Brett Cancredi, Acting Principal of Elementary School Matthew Evans, Vice Principal of Elementary School Martin Tawil, and Dean of Students for Junior and Senior High School Mona Bogan.
Schafman said sixth graders will return to the elementary school this year, making the senior/junior high school building seven through 12 only. The district is returning to the junior high name rather than referring to a middle school, and there will be just one building principal at that campus this year.
On a final note, Schafman said parents should be aware that there has been a change in pickup and dropoff points at the elementary school vehicles should stop at the west side of the cafeteria.
The Liberty Central School District will open tomorrow, and students will be welcomed back by a lot of familiar folks and the following new staff:
Rebecca Assande, art
Alison Burns, elementary reading
Sean Callahan, middle school home and careers
Caryn Decker , seventh grade teacher
Amy Dworetsky, middle school psychologist
Sally Forbidussi, health
Joe Kaminski, middle school assistant principal
Diane Maye, elementary guidance
Erin Nash, high school physical education
Elizabeth Pinter, high school science
Katherine Rosado, high school reading
Melissa Roth-Smith, middle school
Elizabeth Sanok, elementary
James Saucier, high school vocal music
Diane Schroeder-Grabek, high school English
Renee Viningre, elementary speech
Torey VanEtten, account clerk.
High school students will find a new fitness room when they return, and the computer lab and technology rooms have been moved at the middle school. A reception desk at each campus will assist parents and visitors.
According to Superintendent Lawrence Clarke, a number of new programs will be put in place this year.
We are having a Night on Broadway in November which will feature our students from all backgrounds performing scenes from Cats, Miss Saigon, Phantom, Jekyll and Hyde and more, Clarke said.
The high school project will take the place of the fall play.
Our goals are to increase the student numbers in choir, Clarke continued. This will also be a fundraiser for the spring musical, getting those kids on stage instead of having them watch and to begin a new collaboration with students of all backgrounds.
Our plan is to have dinner at the school prior to the show sponsored by our community restaurants. We are excited and will be raising the bar of expectations for our students.
A new attendance policy has been put in place districtwide, and a new central registration office has been set up in the middle school.
With a major building project ongoing, the Tri-Valley Central School campus will look quite different when classes begin Thursday.
Superintendent Nancy George is excited to throw open the doors to the new entrance to the intermediate school for the first time, kids in grades four through six will have their own entrance.
The entrance in the elementary school has been revamped as well, and students in both schools will be in flux as construction continues to connect the buildings.
New classrooms will be open in the high school, including new science labs which will be put into use right away with the expansion of the science program in the district.
George said she hopes parents and students are cognizant of the continuation of construction she asks that people be safety-conscious and not use the school for entertainment after hours when workers are on campus.
Much of the construction will take place when students are out of school, George said.
The district has added a number of new staffers who will welcome kids back this fall.
New teachers include:
Science Richard Jones and Jessica Wood
Special education Amy Black, Megan Diehl and Michelle DiMilia
Elementary education Deanna Poley
Spanish Jeanette Nieves
Health and physical education Rebecca Piechuta
Other new staff include Maintenance Supervisor Jesse Bell, Director of Music Lori Orestano-James, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Janine Carpenter, Occupational Therapist Rachel LaForge and Assistant Technician in the computer lab Maurice Galant.
The school is still interviewing applicants for a new English teacher, and theyre working to put in place an after school enrichment program for grades seven through 12, expanding on the K through six program set up last year.