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School board discusses summer program, district assessments

PINE PLAINS —  Andrea Clevenger, a teacher at Seymour Smith Early Learning Center and the co-principal of the summer school and enrichment programs, made a presentation at the  Wednesday, Jan. 4, Board of Education meeting held in the Stissing Mountain Middle/High School Library.

Clevenger described the 30-day summer program as offering academic intervention to students in the elementary grades. The program reinforces reading, writing and math skills and works to prevent academic regression over the summer break.

Last summer was the third year the program was in effect. With four mixed-grade classrooms, there was one fewer classroom and one fewer participating teacher than in years past.Clevenger reported there were no behavior issues during the 2011 program.

A new component was added to aid those students with developing reading skills, Clevenger said. In June 2011, an open invitation was sent to incoming kindergarten students to come join the students, on Fridays, and participate in a reading program. Students enrolled in the summer program were paired off with kindergartners and spent time reading stories to them.

This provided an opportunity for developing readers in the program to improve their reading skills. It also allowed incoming students to develop some familiarity with the school environment. Clevenger reported that as many as 10, and no fewer than five, kindergartners who participated were in attendance during the Friday meetings. She shared that one particular grandparent brought a child to the program every week.

Finally, Clevenger mentioned future plans to implement a number of educational programs, including Compass Learning, which she said aids students’ academic growth.

District assessments

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and PPS Catherine Parsons, along with Seymour Smith Principal Richard Azoff, made a presentation entitled, “Pine Plains Central School District’s State and Local Assessments – Overview,” which focused on the state and local student assessment data and how the information aids in creating differentiated instructional practices in the classroom.

The Jan. 4 presentation was the final segment in a four-part series (presented during the course of five meetings), going back to Sept. 21.  Part four of this particular presentation discussed the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and Measures of Academic Performance ( MAP) and how these tests align with the New York state standards for curriculum.

Field trips

The board approved the Friday, Jan. 27, field trip to the Dutchess County Music festival at Arlington High School in Poughkeepsie.  

Also discussed was the anticipated arrival of participants in the China Exchange Program. The group arrives from Nanjing, China on Saturday, Jan. 14. Field trips scheduled during their time here, from Jan. 14 to Feb. 1, were approved. On the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 17, the community will greet the exchange students at the “China Welcome Dinner.”


James Jackson was appointed the varsity head softball coach, for the 2011-12 school year.

The next meeting is set for Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Stissing Mountain Middle/High School library.

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