Message from the Superintendent
The 2017-18 school year is fast approaching. I hope all of you had a restful and relaxing summer! As we prepare to welcome students and teachers back, I want to update you on a number of changes and new initiatives for the fall.
The capital project kept us busy all summer! When you first enter campus, the most noticeable changes you’ll see are the new siding, roof, and interior to the Agriculture Building (Sugar Shack); the newly paved access road; a new playground; and a newly paved and reconfigured lower parking lot. The new roof and fire alarm system, and upgrades from propane to natural gas are a bit difficult to see, but were very necessary. Inside the building, you’ll notice the new high school office and the new Family Consumer Science room. New white boards will be installed soon. Please see the center pages for more specifics on the project. We are excited for the community to see the improvements during open house in September.
There have also been several changes and additions to our faculty. Barb Holmes now is our Literacy Specialist. Erica Laraby will teach fourth grade when she returns from her maternity leave, Melissa Latella will teach third grade, and Natalie Lambertson will teach second grade. Alicia Werthman will be the Teacher Assistant in our new 6:1:1 program and Jennifer Fowler will be helping Kim Basford-Koe with the 15:1:1 program. Mrs. Barbara Collins is our new Bus Monitor/Teacher Aide. Ms. Emily Fitzgerald will teach Mrs. Laraby’s fourth grade during her leave. Mr. Dana Chapman will start the year as our Interim K-12 Principal and Mrs. Julie Suber is our new Committee on Special Education Chairperson.
A very warm welcome to Samantha Steadman, Sanders Shanks, Angela Kramer, Cheryl Whipple and Jay Lehmann to our Stockbridge Valley team. Samantha brings general education and special education experience with her and an immeasurable amount of energy. Sanders has experience as a Social Studies and AIS teacher, along with coaching experience. Angela has experience in several states as her husband is in the military. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Cheryl also brings a wealth of experience, especially in the area of early childhood special education. Some of you may remember Jay as he completed his student teaching at Stockbridge Valley. He has been working at Richfield Springs for several years and brings experience and an understanding of small, rural schools. I look forward to working with all five of these fine teachers.
During the summer, our teacher leadership team engaged in some planning discussions to address discipline, attendance and our district procedures. We have committees in place to begin working this fall. In the classroom, we will also be utilizing new curriculum materials and new assessments at the elementary level. Many of our teachers will be partaking in Project-Based Learning training and using those teaching strategies with your children. We will also have 1:1 iPads for grades K-3 and 1:1 Chromebooks for grades 6-12 in order to provide students with greater access to the technology-rich resources and learning environments they will encounter outside our school.
One thing I hope you all put on your calendars now is a new STEM Career Exploration Series that will be happening across this region. For the past two years, I have been working with MOBOCES, the area Superintendents, and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) to build partnerships between schools and businesses. Beginning in the fall, various school districts will host interactive information sessions for parents and students to hear about local employment opportunities and complete an authentic problem. As a parallel to that initiative, I plan to invite some of our business partners into school periodically during the year to speak with our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. More details on both of these efforts will be coming out soon.
This is a busy and exciting time for me every year and I can’t wait to see our school full of activity again! Until then, enjoy the rest of the summer!