Clarkstown Central School District

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  • Statewide Graduation Measures Review Begins in Lower Hudson Valley

    Posted by Martin Cox on 2/5/2020

    The New York State Board of Regents wants to review what it means to obtain a high school diploma.

    Work began to gain input on this topic last Wednesday, January 30 when 125 individuals came together to reflect and share ideas at the Orange Ulster BOCES in Goshen. The session was titled Graduation Measures Review, and was the first of its kind to take place in New York State.  More sessions will follow at BOCES locations across the state in the coming months.

    The Clarkstown Central School District was represented at the January 30 meeting by Board of Education member Zizette Deutsch, South High School Parent Suzanne Coyle and me.

    The review was comprised of parents, teachers, and administrators from several districts across the Lower Hudson Valley. Orange Ulster BOCES District Superintendent William Hecht opened the session and was followed by Regent Lester Young. The session was arranged for a mix of parents, teachers and administrators to gather at 16 tables in two rooms while partnering with each other to answer the following questions created by the Board of Regents:

    1) What do we want students to know and to be able to do before they graduate?

    2) How do we want students to demonstrate such knowledge and skills?

    3) How do you mesaure learning and achievement to ensure they are indicators of high school completion?

    4) How can measures of achievement accurately reflect the skills and knowledge of our special populations, such as students with disabilities and English language learners?

    5) What course requirements of examinations will ensure that students are prepared for college and careers or civic engagement?

    When each table finished answering and discussing the questions, the entire group shared with each other.  Moving forward, this process will take place at other locations in the state so the Regents is well informed in the end when discussing the topic further among members of the Blue Ribbon Panel.

    Graduation Measures Meeting

    Graduation Measures Meeting

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  • Strawtown Students Reflect on Learning During D.A.R.E. Graduation

    Posted by Martin Cox on 1/9/2020

    Strawtown Elementary Fifth Grade students had a lot to say during their D.A.R.E. Graduation today.

    D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and is a program led by Officer Norm Peters of the Clarkstown Police Department.  During the graduation held in the school's cafetorium this morning, Officer Peters empowered his students to take the lead role about the instruction they learned during the program which covered the past three months.

    At the very outset of the graduation, two students, Kailey Ivancich and Griffin Caprara, led the way by partnering as Mistress of Ceremony and Master of Ceremony, respectively. The two students introduced classmates who read essays and poetry.  They also introduced guest speakers that included Clarkstown Town Supervisor George Hoehmann, Chief of Police Raymond McCullagh, and Strawtown Elementary Principal Martha Ryan.  Board of Education Vice President David Gosman was also in attendance for the event.

    Ms. Ryan,when speaking to the students, emphasized the dangers of vaping and the health risks associated with this activity.

    When Griffin Caprara introduced me in my role as Superintendent of Schools, I took the opportunity to restate key phrases and words I had heard the students share when talking about what they had learned from Officer Peters.  Those reflections included the following: make healthy choices; be high on life; keep your body healthy; make the right decisions; there are nine ways to say "no"; begin a drug free journey; we're too smart to start; there is strength in numbers; and build friendships.  I also focused on the power of the comments made by Fifth Grade Essay Reader Lyla Kelly, who when sharing with the audience her interests in playing hockey and soccer, informed the audience of students and parents that she wants to "follow her dreams."

    The students, taught by classroom teachers Mr. Bennett and Mrs King, received certificates at the end of the graduation. Congratulations to our students for their accomplishments, and many thanks to Officer Norm Peters for providing instruction, guidance, and support to our students.

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