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schools help students through transitions

PINE PLAINS — As part of a wider effort to keep the Board of Education (BOE) up to date on the progress of district goals, administrators gave a presentation on the efforts in place to assist students during their major educational transitions in the Pine Plains Central School District.At the April 6 board meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Pupil Personnel Services Catherine Parsons provided the board with an overview of the services that Pine Plains offers students, especially at critical transition periods during their time in the school district. Those periods were listed as the transitions from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten, grades two to three, grades five to six, grades eight to nine and grade 12 to post-graduate careers.“But really every year could be an important transition,” Parsons pointed out, “so we’re making sure that students really develop a more clear sense of self and who they are, so that transition happens more smoothly for them.”The services in place vary depending on the transition, whether its students entering sixth grade getting used to the a la carte menu in the middle school cafeteria for the first time or career exploration services for high school freshmen.Parsons explained that as students move up through the grade levels, the educational experience in Pine Plains gradually changes from a very structured program to one where students are allowed to choose which courses they want to take and eventually decide their futures after graduating. It’s important that the opportunities available to assist students be tuned in to a student’s changing attitude toward education.Parsons also listed several areas that the Pine Plains district is currently working to make stronger, including internship opportunities for upper-level students, community outreach programs and developing some variation on a mentor/advisor program.The idea behind some of the recent presentations pertaining to district goals is to illustrate how much work is going on behind the scenes, Parsons added.“Sometimes we go through district goals pretty fast during meetings,” she said, “when really there’s so much more to each of them.”

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