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Rumble of Thunder—April 15, 2016

Photo of Dr. HughesApril 15, 2016

First and foremost, thank you to all who came to the Board of Education meeting on April 11th. It’s important that we hear about areas we are doing well and areas in which we could improve. To that end, the BOE has scheduled a special meeting on Monday, May 2nd at 7 p.m. in the CVA Auditorium. The meeting will provide more information regarding concerns raised during public comment on Monday followed by time for question and answers. It’s important that everyone have an opportunity to be heard, so please feel free to attend the meeting, reach out the board at their email address, contact the corresponding administrator or as always, contact me with any questions or concerns at either or 315-894-9934.

Some of the areas we will address based on questions during the public comment session include:

  • Ability grouping —how it differs from traditional tracking; how students are and have been placed ,including those that are recommended for retention, support for students and staff, and other related topics.
  • Instructional strategies—those currently used in classrooms, grade levels and buildings, defining differentiation/personalized learning and how it fits in helping each child reach his or her full potential; focus on curriculum and improving teaching/learning.
  • School schedule—current bus ride times, start and end times of each building, ways to serve students/parents that have conflicts with work/daycare.

Also mentioned at the meeting on Monday night were requests for easier communication. Prior, each board member had their own school email.  Those still exist, but to make it easier to communicate to the entire Board, one email sent to will then automatically be sent to all board members.  Also, a request was made for a paper copy newsletter.  We recognize that even in this time of the Internet, Facebook and school webpages, some people lack access. We will now add a quarterly newsletter. Each four-page issue will cost approximately $2,900 to print and mail. Done four times during a year, the cost will approach $12,000.  We will also gather feedback on how this is working.

Finally, the Strategic Planning Team presented the plan they have been working on since November. Thank you to Jessica Bowman, Michelle DelConte and Holly White for presenting it so well. Also a huge thank you to all the participating members from the community, staff, parents, and student on the Strategic Planning Team: Kirsten Benson, Jessica Bowman, Amy Castle, Timothy Day, Brian Engel, Jessica French, G. Stephen Getman, Benjamin Girard, Tom Goldin, Paige Guido, Marlee Holleran, Jody Janicki, Justin Jones, Vicki Judd, Richard Keeler, Mandy Knowles, Stacey Lally, Dan LaLonde, William Lennox, Kristina Lindberg, Thad Luke, Ian Markwardt, Michael McGraw, Jennifer Rhoda, Kelly Rowland, Jason Sanchez, Stacie Shedd, and Robert Travis.

Without their hard work and dedication to our students, the roadmap they created for the next three to five years would not have been possible.  The plan provides a focus for all of us to now work together on common goals to improve learning, both academic and social, for all of our Thunder. We included a link here and on our A to Z page under Board of Education and Strategic Plan. As it is 26 pages long, mailing it is cost prohibitive.  If you would like a hard copy, please come to the District Office.