I would like to welcome all of our students and parents to the 2012-13 school year. The staff and I are looking forward to a year which will be filled with exciting activities and academic challenges. As you are probably aware, our teachers, as well teachers in all elementary and secondary schools throughout New York State, will be implementing the Common Core Standards this year. These standards set high expectations for learners and were designed so that students are prepared to meet the future challenges of college and the work place. As a result, our staff will be implementing lessons that are rigorous and require students to utilize critical thinking and higher order reasoning. We will also continue to reinforce the rudimentary skills that are part of our Language Arts and Mathematics programs, but greater emphasis will be placed upon analysis and application of those skills to real life situations.
In order to develop the skills that are aligned with the Common Core Standards, our teachers will utilize a variety of materials and resources this year. Classroom teachers and support staff will again make use of manipulatives, the Fundations Program, and leveled reading materials to strengthen skills in Language Arts and Mathematics. The staff will also continue to utilize websites, Smart Board technology, and grouping techniques to address the needs of our students. During the summer, additional Smart Boards were also installed in classrooms. We now have a Smart Board in every classroom teacher’s room. Additional I-pads were also purchased and we plan to utilize those devices to enhance research skills and develop fluency in reading and mathematics. We will also continue to utilize the computer program Fast ForWord to develop phonetic and listening skills.
In order to ensure that your child makes significant progress this year, I would also strongly encourage you to regularly visit our school website. The site is designed to keep you informed about upcoming events in the school and allow you to find out what topics are being covered in your child's classroom. Teachers also post homework assignments and upcoming tests each week on their webpages. Areas that are going to be assessed on tests are also listed so that your child can review key concepts before scheduled tests. You can also access the program Power School through our website so that you can see how your child has performed on tests and quizzes.