Elwood Schools Superintendent Peter Scordo Welcome Back Letter
Dear Community Members,
As we prepare for the opening of the 2012-2013 school year and what we expect will be another successful year in the Elwood School District, we remain thankful to the community for their continued support. This year will present new challenges and opportunities as we face a variety of state and local initiatives, not the least of which is the implementation of the Common Core Standards.
We have several exciting developments that are being introduced at the high school, including the introduction of a ninth grade freshman seminar. We hired a high school curriculum director, and we look forward to improvements within the high school curriculum areas, particularly as our curriculum needs interface with the state requirements for common core curriculum standards and for our students to be “college and career ready” as defined by the new state guidelines.
At the middle school level we are reconfiguring the delivery of the math curriculum in sixth grade by increasing instructional time to address the math and technology requirements of the Common Core Standards. We are introducing a Monitored Organizational Period in 7th and 8th grades which will allow students to work on skills to support their core classes and to provide opportunities to have more independent practice in reading high interest texts.
At the intermediate and primary school levels the emphasis this year is on efforts to continue the process of reassessing practices and materials used in literacy instruction to reflect the demands of the rigorous Common Core Standards. Reading and Writing will find their way into the content areas as well as in Social and Emotional Learning lessons. The Invision math program will reinforce the thinking and strategic math skills within the new standards. The New York State Education Department has enacted the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), which was signed into law in September 2010. The law requires all school districts to adopt a DASA policy that aims to establish a supportive and safe school climate for student learning.
The district’s policies have been revised to fully comply with these new regulations and our staff is being trained to administer these protections for all students in order to continue the work that has been done for years in this regard. Additionally, the district will experience the first year of the newly implemented Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) for principals and teachers. District administrators and faculty worked diligently in order to submit the district’s plan to the state in late June, before the state-mandated July 1 deadline. Under the APPR, each teacher will be evaluated on the basis of their instructional delivery as well as student achievement. We await approval of our APPR Plan and look forward to utilizing this new evaluation tool.
Best wishes for an excellent year!
Peter C. Scordo Superintendent of Schools