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2017-09-13 / Academics

Past Sets the Stage for 2017-18 Growth at Walton CSD

According to a press release from Walton Central School District Superintendent Roger Clough, he told the staff and administration at the Aug. 31 pre-opening day meeting “Together, we succeed.”

Those words, he said, summed up his belief that Walton CSD faculty and staff have committed to improve student outcomes, both in school and after. He recognize the talented, determined and creative professionals who work during and after school to prepare students for their futures. Clough said the staff’s support of district initiatives is setting the stage for a higher level of success. This is a list of the initiatives he refers to:

Townsend Elementary:

• A country music show featuring students and staff;

• A science fair allowing students more in-depth study into areas their ares of interest;

• The initiation of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Club for boys in fourth and fifth grades to encourage respectful male behavior;

• Friday Night Primetime to promote reading outside of school;

• “Stop the Summer Slide” a program to slow the loss of important literacy skills over summer break;

• A fifth grade after-school book club to encourage reading;

• For grades Kindergarten through five “Traditions from Around the World” to expose students to cultures and people outside our American borders;

• Friday Fun Nights - entering year 11 of giving K-5 students a supervised and safe evening of fun.

Middle School

• Character education integrated into literacy period every Wednesday;

• Monthly newsletters to communicate school happenings to parents;

• A new event calendar to keep everyone posted;

• Creative writing and personal finance electives to meet real-world needs;

• Newly-formed Building Level Teams that work across subject areas and work responsibilities to effectively address issues;

• Building-wide behavior expectations to set a minimum standard for all students;

• Regular data team meetings to identify trends and make curriculum adjustments to keep students on track.

High School

• A high school Parent-Teacher Student Association to collaboratively seek ways to serve students;

• Parent liaisons to provide valuable input into school decisions and to help carry that message throughout the community;

• Students on Building Level Teams to provide input into school decisions;

• Time for high school data team in the master schedule to ensure time to fulfill its responsibilities;

• New Gay-Straight Alliance and Fishing Club reflect the interest of our students

• Weekly administration/ counselor meetings to review student performance and behavior and to ensure the district is meeting students’ needs;

• Weekly administration meetings to align individual efforts with building and district goals;

• New High School electives that reflect students’ interests and career goals:

Walton—Natural Disasters; International foods; Weightlifting; college-credit

Environmental Science; precalculus; calculus; Advanced Placement (A.P.) U.S. History and A.P. English. District

• Mindfulness training for staff to empower students to take control of their behavior in stressful moments;

• Professional development for staff to better engage students, to help teachers teach more effectively, and to help administrators to lead effectively;

• Free Pre K-12 breakfast, broadened cafeteria offerings, and a middle school breakfast cart to ensure hunger is never a distraction from learning;

• Grades 6-8 code knowledge to introduce students to computer coding;

• Building level meetings to coordinate building activities to better meet student needs;

• Safety and security;

• A safety consultant to provide “outside eyes” to review facilities and procedures;

• Practice lockdown and evacuation drills to familiarize students and staff with security procedures;

• A revised district-wide safety plan to meet state and local requirements;

• Monthly safety team meetings for routine review;

• An emergency handbook in all classrooms so teachers and substitutes can respond appropriately;

• Receipt of a Utica National 5-star safety award acknowledging efforts to keep students, staff and guests safe;

• Commitment to literacy programs, the foundation of today’s learning. These programs include K-3 summer reading, an additional reading teacher, K-5 Imagine Learning, K-5 Magic Penny Phonics, 6-8 Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI), K-5 STAR assessment and K-5 Fountas and Pinnell.

The implementation of a strong program, using proven strategies instead of trying random ideas to address student performance and behavior are beginning to pay off, according to Mr. Clough. He feels through the hard work of students, staff and parents, the school is steadily moving forward.

All efforts will focus on continually building on the foundation including curriculum development, integrating technology into learning and using data to drive instruction and learning. The district plans to add electives and new college courses, both in district and at Broome Community College, to keep pace with the ever-changing world. A YMCA Pre-K wraparound program, an age 7-12 mentoring program, embedding mindfulness in the school culture, and engaging parents, are steps that will be taken toward developing healthy, well-rounded students and families.

“We want to get the word out that Walton CSD is not sitting back, watching the world move ahead,” Clough said. “We are actively, but carefully, making changes to give our students an education that prepares them for college and career, and beyond.”

For more information about specific programs or Walton CSD initiatives, contact Roger Clough at rclough@waltoncsd.org or 607-865-4116 x 6130.

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