TUPPER LAKE - School officials here talked about how excited they are for the upcoming school year at a school board meeting Tuesday night.
Carolyn Merrihew, principal of the L.P. Quinn Elementary School, said today is bus safety day. All the kindergarten students who will start school Thursday are set to ride the bus today just so they can get familiar with the experience and know what to expect.
Merrihew said that she's been impressed, as always, with the building and grounds crews' work over the summer to get the district ready for the coming school year.
"This is such a terrifically kept facility," Merrihew said.
She also noted that this year will be busy, with the state pushing for the start of implementation of its Regents Reform Agenda.
"The rubber really hits the road this year," Merrihew said.
She said her staff dedicated much of their summer to intense training for the new standards they will teach to this year, but she said she sees a lot of good coming out of it. L.P. Quinn has motivated teachers who are looking forward to doing their best in challenging times, Merrihew said.
"We're ready for the year to begin," Merrihew said.
Seth McGowan, principal of the Tupper Lake Middle/High School and superintendent of the Tupper Lake Central School District, also talked about the state's Regents Reform Agenda.
He explained that the plan is to use data-driven instruction that gets proven results, taught by effective teachers and principals.
"The most important factor in a child's success is the teacher," and the second most important is the building principal, McGowan said.
McGowan talked about how he's working to ensure that all the teachers in the district are on the same page, integrating their work both among other teachers at the same grade level and from kindergarten through 12th grade.
McGowan said he's hoping to have a fantastic year that's student based and moving toward the Regents Reform Agenda goals.
During his superintendent report, McGowan showed a video of state Education Commissioner John King talking about the reform agenda.
King said the goal of the Regents Reform Agenda is to make students more ready for college and careers. The plan is to change what teachers are doing in classrooms, like having students read more non-fiction books, using math problems that use application more and using more real-world situations, and starting students with formulating arguments in their writing earlier than previous practice.
The video is available for anyone to watch at engageny.org. McGowan said that website, created by the state to get the public more engaged in the education system, is a good resource that parents and students should spend some time looking at. He said his teachers already use the site extensively for information about the reform agenda.
"It's loaded with great information," McGowan said.
Also at their meeting, the school board approved the hire of Rebecca Buerkett to be a library media specialist for the district. The position used to be filled by a computer teacher, but district officials decided they wanted a teacher whose job would be to do more to integrate library, research and computer skills.
Merrihew said Buerkett is looking forward collaborating with the classroom teachers in the district.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.