1 Spotlight PORT CHESTER-RYE UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT Success for Every Student Back to School September 2010 Middle School Introduces Character Education Program Extension of the Responsive Classroom Program in Elementary Classrooms Developmental Designs for Middle School, a program of character education from the experts who developed the Responsive Classroom program successfully used in Port Chester elementary schools, will be introduced to the middle school this year. Developed to meet the unique emotional, physical and intellectual needs of young adolescents, Developmental Designs (DDMS) offers an array of strategies designed to keep young people safe, connected, responsible, and engaged in learning. Principal Patrick Swift is pleased to introduce this program to the middle school, citing the unique emotional and physical growth experienced by middle school students. According to the National Middle School Association, young people undergo more rapid and profound personal changes during the years between 10 and 15 than at any other period of their lives. Fifteen middle school teachers participated in a two-week workshop in DDMS in July. The teachers who took part in the workshop all felt it was one of the best Professional Development workshops they have ever taken. These teachers will bring the skills they learned into their classrooms this fall. This is the first phase of introducing this program to PCMS. We look forward to introducing this program to more of our faculty with future professional development workshops, says Mr. Swift. The goal is to have all the people in the school conducting themselves in the same manner, whether it be by communicating by speech or body language. Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage Paid Permit No White Plains, NY POSTAL CUSTOMER ECRWSS Back to School Issue S p o t l i g h t S p o t l i g h t PORT CHESTER-RYE UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT Phone: Fax: Bowman Avenue Rye Brook, NY (ABOVE) PCMS TEACHERS LEARN HOW TO IMPLEMENT MIDDLE SCHOOL DEVELOPMENTAL DESIGNS PRACTICES AT A SUMMER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP.
2 2010 NY STATE TESTING RESULTS Q&A WITH SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT DONALD K. CARLISLE AND BOARD OF EDUCATION PRESIDENT JAMES T. TAYLOR II Last spring, students in grades 3 through 8 were given the New York State standardized tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. This year s tests were made more difficult and the minimum test scores needed to demonstrate proficiency in each subject were raised. For example, a third grader has to get 684 out of 700 possible points on the math test to reach the proficiency standard (Level 3 out of 4). Last year, a third grader needed to earn 650 out of 700 points to reach that level. As a result, the test results show many fewer students statewide meeting state standards than in previous years. In the interview below, Dr. Carlisle and Mr. Taylor comment on the decision to raise the bar on these exams and the impact it may have on Port Chester s schools. Why did the State Education Department change the way the tests are scored? Dr. Carlisle: An annual assessment of student performance in ELA and Math in each of grades 3 through 8 is required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but each state determines the specific standards that have to be met. State Education Commissioner Steiner recommended the scoring changes based in part on research that showed a high number of students achieved proficiency in 8th grade and later passed their Regents yet still needed remediation in college. By setting the bar higher for each grade level, the Commissioner hopes to increase the number of students who will be successful in college. Mr. Taylor: I think the decision also reflects the sense of urgency created by the national education reform effort. The NY State Board of Regents is pursuing $700 million available under the federal Race to the Top program and adopting a collegereadiness standard for the assessments helps to address potential concerns about student performance and accountability. How did our students do on the 2010 tests? Dr. Carlisle: Our 2010 test scores are similar to last year, but with the higher proficiency cutoff, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the proficiency standard is down. Approximately 63% of our students (grades 3 through 8 combined) scored at Levels 3 and 4 in Math and 53% in English Language Arts. This is comparable to the statewide averages in Math and ELA. When will I know how my child did on the tests? Dr. Carlisle: Parents will receive the individual test scores this fall. It is important to remember that the state test scores are just one of many indicators that teachers and parents can use to ensure that students are appropriately supported and engaged. What does the District s performance on the 2010 state tests mean for our schools and our students? Dr. Carlisle: The data from the 2010 state tests will help us refine and better target the academic intervention services that we provide to students, but the results do not suggest that any major new initiatives are needed. We have always operated under very tight budgets and know how to respond to new challenges without spending a lot of money. Over the past few years, we have helped our existing staff become more effective in meeting the needs of at-risk learners by providing proven, researchbased professional development on literacy instruction and character education. We also initiated a review of the elementary math curriculum to determine if a better, more cost-effective, alternative is available. Those efforts will continue this year. Mr. Taylor: The state test results focus attention on those not meeting standards, but we also have a number of students who exceeded the proficiency standard. We hope to better meet their needs this year by using grant funding to start after-school book clubs or perhaps a math/science/technology Saturday academy. Dr. Carlisle. Our goal is Success for Every Student and we have to remember that success is not defined solely by test scores. We have a very talented and creative staff that is committed to addressing the educational needs and strengths of the whole child. We will definitely use the state testing data to improve instruction, but our focus remains on working closely with parents to ensure that every student develops a love of learning and has the knowledge and skills to succeed beyond high school. 77% New York State Assessments Percentage of Students Scoring at Levels 3 and 4 Grades 3-8 Combined English Language Arts - New York State 83% 53% 53% English Language Arts - Port Chester 86% Mathematics - New York State 90% 61% 63% Mathematics - Port Chester School Year 77% 83% 86% 90% School Year 53% 53% 61% 63% SPOTLIGHT IS A PUBLICATION OF THE PORT CHESTER BOARD OF EDUCATION JAMES T. TAYLOR II, PRESIDENT BLANCA P. LOPEZ, VICE PRESIDENT CAROLEE BRAKEWOOD, TRUSTEE ANNE CAPECI, TRUSTEE JAMES E. DREVES, TRUSTEE DR. DONALD K. CARLISLE, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS CARYN FURST, SPOTLIGHT EDITOR DESIGN & LAYOUT SCHOOLS FIRST
3 Summer Programs Smooth Transition to Middle/High Schools For the third straight summer, an enrichment program to help students transition into their new schools was offered to rising 6th and 9th grade students. Funded under a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, the program has proven to be important in preparing students for the rigors of their new secondary schools. MIDDLE SCHOOL JUMP START TO 6TH GRADE Select incoming 6th grade students were offered the opportunity to take part in this summer s Middle School Jump Start Program and about 50 students chose to participate. For five weeks, four mornings a week, these students got a head start on 6th grade Science, Math and Language Arts, practiced switching rooms and teachers for each subject, and enjoyed afternoon enrichment. This year s enrichment included fitness classes lead by local Girl Scouts, a Boys & Girls Club program on peer pressure, and activities including bowling, trips to the PepsiCo garden, and an end of summer visit to the USS Intrepid Museum. Port Chester teachers Michael Watson and Arthur Tiedemann (Science), Matthew Gryzlo (Math), and Mary Romanello and Marcie Ferder (English) introduced participating students to subjects they will be learning in 6th grade. A SPECIAL GUEST, RICK GRIZZUTI OF SOUTHERN WEST- CHESTER BOCES, TAUGHT THE STU- DENTS A SEMINAR ON RESPONSIBILITY AND HOW TO BE A CONSCIENTIOUS MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT. was air pollution. For Brazil it was deforestation. For India, it was water pollution, and for the Gulf of Mexico, it was drilling for oil. Social Studies teacher Chris Kazim explained why the Gulf was added this year. Our goal was to get the students interested in these issues, said Mr. Kazim. The Gulf oil crisis was a major news story this summer and students could watch progress on TV at home. Mr. Kazim introduced the students to issues faced by these countries and the Gulf, and helped each team to research the economy, history and geography of their locale, distill what they learned and develop a point of view on the critical question of the program. Students were required to write a persuasive essay detailing their points of view, and then prepare a PowerPoint presentation and poster boards that explained their conclusions. Max Guido, Living Environment teacher, taught environmental concepts relevant to the study question and previewed 9th grade science skills. 9th grade English teachers Sara Sadoff and Estrella Quinonez focused on the art of persuasive writing, working closely with the students on research, analysis, and critical thinking. The teachers make the point that these are the skills needed in the 21st century, adding, The questions considered by the students were difficult. They really worked hard, despite the heat and humidity. To augment their classroom work, students visited the Rye Nature Center. They spent a full day at Pace University attending lectures by professors in the Environmental Studies program, touring the campus and meeting with college students. They were also treated to a lecture by a guest speaker from Albany who addressed air pollution in New York State and who demonstrated why the Gulf oil spill is also an air pollution disaster. At a final presentation to parents and guests on July 30th, each student group presented its work and showed its public service announcement. HIGH SCHOOL JUMP START TO 9TH GRADE This is the second year our teachers engaged our incoming 9th grade students in project-based learning, said Dr. Mitchell Combs, Port Chester High School Principal. Our teachers asked participating students to answer the question: Should a country exploit its natural resources for economic or political gain? Nearly 60 students participated in the Jump Start program this year. Its curriculum is aligned with the 9th grade curriculum to introduce the students to 9th grade topics and to focus on skills, including Internet research, evaluating source materials, writing and verbal presentation. It also helps students form relationships with their new teachers as well as other incoming freshmen. Students were divided into four teams and asked to address issues relating to a specific country or region. For China the issue MR. GUIDO S SCIENCE STUDENTS CREATED A SOLAR OVEN AND MADE S MORES ONE MORNING OUTSIDE THE HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING.
4 Puntos Sustantivos de lo Resaltado Mensaje de: Superintendente de las Escuelas Donald K. Carlisle y el Presidente de la Junta de Educación James T. Taylor II Qué exámenes realiza el Estado de Nueva York y por qué? Dr. Carlisle: Inglés y Matemáticas se examinan cada año en los grados 3-8. Este es un requisito de la ley Ningún Niño Se Queda Atrás (No Child Left Behind). Las escuelas utilizan estos exámenes para determinar si cada estudiante está cumpliendo el nivel de grado y para evaluar su progreso. El estado quiere asegurarse de que los estudiantes puedan aprobar los exámenes Regents de la escuela secundaria y, eventualmente, hacer un trabajo de nivel universitario. Este año, la evaluación del Estado de Nueva York de Artes del Lenguaje Inglés y Matemáticas de los grados 3-8 fueron más difíciles y las puntuaciones necesarias para que un estudiante sea "competente" se han elevado. Cómo les fue en los exámenes a nuestros estudiantes en el 2010? Dr. Carlisle: Con los exámenes más exigentes y un corte superior de aptitud, nuestras calificaciones disminuyeron significativamente. A pesar de que aún superamos el promedio de la tasa de aprobación del estado tanto en Matemáticas e Inglés, nadie está satisfecho con estos resultados. Sr. Taylor: Nadie debe alarmarse en este momento. Esto fue sólo un examen. Sin embargo, las nuevas normas nos permitirán identificar y enfocar nuestros esfuerzos en las áreas que requieren atención. Cuándo voy a saber el puntaje de mi hijo/a en los exámenes? Dr. Carlisle: Los directores de las escuelas se ocuparán de direccionar los resultados a su comunidad escolar una vez que abra la escuela. Más tarde en el otoño, las puntuaciones individuales de los estudiantes serán enviados a casa. Qué significa esto para nuestras escuelas y nuestros estudiantes? Dr. Carlisle: Varios programas fueron introducidos en los últimos años. Donde han sido utilizados, estamos viendo resultados más altos y los estudiantes más hábiles, y como están siendo adoptados en más salones de clase, vamos a ver resultados similares en todo el distrito. Por supuesto, donde los estudiantes individuales necesitan intervención académica, lo vamos a proporcionar. Sr. Taylor: Estoy seguro de que vamos a hacer bien, incluso con los exámenes del estado más difíciles. La Junta, los administradores, los maestros y los padres continuarán trabajando juntos para asegurar que nuestros graduados tengan los conocimientos y habilidades que necesitan para tener éxito más allá de la escuela secundaria. Calendario Escolar 2010 Este año, por primera vez, el calendario escolar completo, está disponible solamente en el distrito y en los sitios web de la escuela. El dinero no se gastó para imprimir el calendario del distrito. Si usted prefiere tener un calendario en papel, puede imprimir un calendario de mes a mes desde el sitio web. Así es como se abre el calendario y la impresión es el siguiente: Dentro del cuadro "fechas importantes" a la derecha de la página principal, haga clic en "Ver calendario mensual". El calendario del sitio web del distrito incluye eventos de todas las escuelas. Los calendarios del sitio web de la escuela exhibe festivos de todo el distrito y las reuniones y eventos para esa escuela solamente. Programa de Educación del Carácter Nuevo para la Escuela Intermedia Modelos de desarrollo, un programa de educación del carácter para estudiantes de la escuela intermedia, se está introduciendo este año. El Director Patrick Swift se complace en presentar este programa en la escuela intermedia, citando los únicos crecimientos emocionales y físicos experimentados por los estudiantes de escuela intermedia. Quince profesores de la escuela intermedia tomaron un curso de dos semanas en DD en Julio. Estos profesores traerán las habilidades que aprendieron en sus clases este otoño. Esta es la primera fase de la introducción de DD a PCMS. En el futuro, los maestros adicionales tomarán el taller. El objetivo es hacer que todos en la escuela se conduzcan de la misma manera, ya sea mediante la comunicación por voz o el lenguaje corporal. Bibliotecas de la Escuela Port Chester va a dar un nuevo enfoque a los servicios de biblioteca para sus estudiantes de escuela primaria este año. Hasta ahora, las cuatro escuelas primarias compartieron tres bibliotecarias, quienes trabajaron en cada escuela medio tiempo, y en el JFK Centro de Aprendizaje Temprano no había biblioteca en absoluto. Ayudantes de biblioteca de primaria serán contratados para supervisar la biblioteca de cada escuela y una subvención de $10,000 está financiando una nueva biblioteca para el JFK - Centro de Aprendizaje Temprano. Las colecciones de libros en las aulas individuales no se verán afectados. PCHS y PCMS cada uno conservará su biblioteca/especialistas en medios de comunicación a tiempo completo. Nuevas Asignaciones, Nuevas Caras Asignaciones de Nuevo Administrador Patrick Swift, que era un asistente del director, ha sido nombrado Director de la Escuela Intermedia Provisional. Byron Womack, quien ha sido consejero en la Escuela Secundaria de Port Chester desde el año 2002, es el nuevo asistente del director de la escuela intermedia. El administrador Joe Puglia de la escuela secundaria de se ha trasladado a la escuela intermedia como administrador a una misión especial. El asistente del director de la escuela intermedia Carlos Sánchez es el nuevo director de Programas de Aprendices del Idioma Inglés y Servicios Educativos del distrito. Port Chester da la bienvenida a Nuevos Maestros Escuela Secundaria de Port Chester Rosann Cipollone, Ciencias; Michael Gordon, educación especial Escuela Intermedia de Port Chester Jean Marie Guzman, Español; Kevin Hanlon Matemáticas Escuelas Primarias Jorge Carreno, maestro de educación especial en JFK. Geygy Corzo, maestro de clase en Park Avenue. Marcia Manzueta, maestra de educación especial en Edison. Christine Choma, ex-maestra de lectura en JFK, ha hecho un cambio de carrera y es una maestra de clase en JFK-ELC. Alejandra Naselli, el año pasado maestra de ESL en JFK y King Street, ahora es una maestra de clase tiempo completo en King Street.
5 NEW ADMINISTRATORS, NEW ASSIGNMENTS, NEW TEACHERS Along with the retirement of long-time middle school Principal Carmen Macchia, and the appointment of Patrick Swift as Interim Middle School Principal, there have been a number of other changes in assignment that parents and students will see when school opens. They may also meet several new teachers. New Administrator Assignments Byron Womack, who has been a guidance counselor at Port Chester High School since 2002, is the new middle school assistant principal. In addition to counseling 9-12 th grade students, Mr. Womack was the coordinator of the high school s character education program. High school administrator Joe Puglia has moved to the middle school as administrator on special assignment. At the same time, middle school Assistant Principal Carlos Sanchez has moved to central administration to become the district s Director of English Language Learner Programs and Instructional Services. He will be responsible for character education and literacy programming, student assessment, ESL/bilingual programs and grants, and teacher professional development, among other duties. Port Chester Welcomes New Teachers* Port Chester High School: Rosann Cipollone, science teacher. Previously, Ms. Cipollone taught at Ardsley High School, where she taught Regents Biology and AP Environmental Science. A graduate of SUNY Albany, she holds a MS from Pace University. Michael Gordon, special education teacher. He holds a BA from Stony Brook U. and an MS in Special Education from Dowling College. Port Chester Middle School: Jean Marie Guzman, Spanish teacher. She previously taught at Sleepy Hollow Middle School and holds both a BA and an MA from Manhattanville College. Kevin Hanlon, mathematics teacher. He joins the faculty from Yorktown High School. Mr. Hanlon holds a BS in marketing from Providence College and an MA in Math Education from Manhattanville College. Elementary Schools: Jorge Carreno, special education teacher at JFK. He joins the district from Summit Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, where he was a special education math/science teacher. Mr. Carreno holds a MS in Education from Manhattanville College and a BA in Economics from Lehman College. Geygy Corzo, classroom teacher at Park Avenue School. She is currently pursuing her MS Ed in Dual Language/Bilingual Special and General Education at Bank Street College of Education in NYC. Ms. Corzo holds a BA from NYU in Romance Languages. Marcia Manzueta, special education teacher at Edison. She comes to the district from the Dr. Kenneth B. Clark Academy in Dobbs Ferry, was director of tutoring services at the Iona College Success Center and has also taught at Hillcrest School in Peekskill. Fluent in Spanish, she holds a MS in Education from The College of New Rochelle and a BS from Iona College. Change in Assignments: Christine Choma, who was a reading teacher for many years at JFK, has made a career change and is now a classroom teacher at JFK-ELC. Alejandra Naselli, an ESL teacher who split her time between JFK and King Street School last year, is now a full-time classroom teacher at King Street. *New hires as of 8/10/10. Additional staff could join the district after this date. Re-Imagining the School Libraries New Approach for Elementary Schools Port Chester will be taking a fresh approach to library/media services for its elementary school students this year. Up until now, the four elementary schools shared three library specialists, who worked at each school on a part time basis, and the JFK Early Learning Center had no library at all a situation no one found satisfactory. A professional study of the libraries in the schools concluded that library services needed rethinking. In particular, each elementary school library needed full-time coverage and additional materials all within the framework of tight school budgets and pressure to keep property taxes from rising. Increasing staffing and adding resources at a time of tight budgets is a challenge. However, we believe in the importance of central libraries and we were determined to find a way to reimagine them, said Superintendent of Schools Donald K. Carlisle. As a result, elementary library aides will be hired to supervise each building s library, check books in and out, and maintain a lively and creative environment within the room that promotes literacy and learning. Students will have regularly scheduled visits to the libraries and will be encouraged to check out books for pleasure reading or for classroom research assignments. The collections of books within individual classrooms will not be affected. A $10,000 grant is funding a brand new library for the JFK Early Learning Center. This K-2 school has never had a central library. This year, for the first time, students will be able to visit their own library and check out books to take back to their classroom or to take home to read and enjoy. The grant also funds a computer equipped with a special software package that enables the tracking of the books. THE NEW JFK - ELC LIBRARY Port Chester High School and Middle School will each retain its full-time library/media specialist who will continue to promote good research and study habits and to coordinate their lesson plans with the teachers in their buildings.
6 S p o t l i g h t Don t forget to check the District web site for current information PORT CHESTER-RYE UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT School Buildings Ready for Students Repairs and repainting projects district-wide have been completed in time for students to return to school. At Edison, steps in the playground have been repaired and classroom and exterior doors replaced. King Street students will enjoy the newly-installed auditorium sound system. Stair treads were replaced at Park Avenue. Two new boilers were installed in the JFK upper building. Numerous middle school classrooms have been repainted and are ready to welcome students, and at the high school repairs were made to the tennis courts. Finally, the buildings & grounds staff has completed a district-wide sidewalk replacement project to ensure all sidewalks are in good condition. But perhaps the most creative change this summer is at the middle school parking lot. The blacktop was resealed, for a nice smooth surface, and the center light pole was removed. Not only were the yellow parking lines repainted, but thanks to an innovative idea from the High School Band Association that was approved by the Board of Education, a mock football field was painted on the lot in white to give the High School Marching Band a hard surface on which to rehearse. BAND CAMP MEMBERS OF THE PORT CHESTER HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND PRACTICE ON THE MIDDLE SCHOOL PARKING LOT OVER THE SUMMER. A MOCK FOOTBALL FIELD WAS PAINTED ON THE LOT AT THE SUGGESTION OF THE BAND ASSOCIATION. NEW THIS YEAR SCHOOL CALENDARS WILL NOT BE SENT HOME THIS YEAR, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE FULL SCHOOL CALENDAR IS AVAILABLE ONLY ON THE DISTRICT AND SCHOOL WEB SITES. TO SAVE MONEY, THE DISTRICT DID NOT PRINT AND MAIL SCHOOL CALENDARS. FOR THOSE FAMILIES WHO PREFER TO HAVE A PAPER CALENDAR, THE MONTH-BY-MONTH CALENDAR CAN BE PRINTED DIRECTLY FROM EITHER THE DISTRICT WEB SITE OR YOUR SCHOOL S WEB SITE. HERE S HOW: WITHIN THE IMPORTANT DATES BOX ON THE RIGHT OF THE COMPUTER SCREEN, CLICK ON VIEW MONTHLY CALENDAR. WHEN THE CALENDAR OPENS, YOU CAN PRINT IT BY CLICKING ON THE PRINTER ICON (PICTURE) ON THE TOP RIGHT OF THE CALENDAR. THE CALENDAR ON THE DISTRICT WEB SITE INCLUDES EVENTS FROM ALL SCHOOLS. THE CALENDARS ON EACH SCHOOL S WEB SITE CONTAINS DISTRICT-WIDE HOLIDAYS AND MEETINGS, AND EVENTS FOR THAT SCHOOL ONLY.