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News stories tagged with "schools"

Doug Huntley, superintendent of Queensbury Union Free school district. Photo courtesy Doug Huntley
Doug Huntley, superintendent of Queensbury Union Free school district. Photo courtesy Doug Huntley

Should schools teach career-specific skills earlier?

Monday at St. Lawrence University, officials, educators and community leaders will gather for the 12th annual North Country Symposium. This year, the day-long conference will focus on sustaining the North Country's schools and ask how education can be more tightly woven into the fabric of North Country life.

One of the keynote speakers believes students need to begin pursuing the skills they'll need for a career earlier. Doug Huntley is superintendent of the Queensbury Union Free school district near Glens Falls, and a former superintendent of Massena Central schools.  Go to full article
5th grade math at Canton Central School. NCPR file photo: Sarah Harris
5th grade math at Canton Central School. NCPR file photo: Sarah Harris

Will Common Core recs save schools, or just make everyone mad?

This story has been updated; read that update here.

In a report issued Monday, a committee within the New York State Board of Regents recommended the state delay some requirements of the federal Common Core standards (read the full report here.)

But some state lawmakers, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are still questioning whether the Regents are going far enough to remedy what critics say is a "flawed" rollout of the new standards; and Gov. Cuomo has appointed his own committee to look at the problems.  Go to full article

NY Regents recommend school aid increase

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) A Board of Regents subcommittee has voted to recommend a $1.3 billion increase in state aid for New York schools next year, along with fairer funding for high-needs districts and bigger investments in universal pre-kindergarten programs and teacher training.

The recommendations announced Monday are expected to be approved by the full board and sent to the state Legislature.  Go to full article
Students in math class. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/8081867203/">woodleywonderworks</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.
Students in math class. Photo: woodleywonderworks, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Why Common Core is having a rocky start

New York's hasty implementation of the Common Core curriculum has become a lightning rod for criticism statewide. Tomorrow state education commissioner John King is holding public meetings to address teachers' and parents' concerns in Schroon Lake and Plattsburgh.

Steve Todd has been visiting classrooms across St. Lawrence county to see firsthand the stumbles and successes of the new curriculum. Todd is assistant superintendent of instruction for St. Lawrence & Lewis BOCES.

He told David Sommerstein he's seen teachers and students alike "rolling up their sleeves" to get used to more rigorous classwork and more homework.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake middle school students take the state standardized English language arts test in April 2012 in the school's gymnasium. Photo: Chris Knight via <a href="http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/536408/Parents-opting-kids-out-of-state-tests.html">Adirondack Daily Enterprise</a>
Saranac Lake middle school students take the state standardized English language arts test in April 2012 in the school's gymnasium. Photo: Chris Knight via Adirondack Daily Enterprise

State reports "shocking" drop in student test scores

Test scores for third through eighth graders were released yesterday, and they show a dramatic drop in the number of New York students who received passing grades.
Less than one third of students in the third through eighth grade, around 31 percent, passed the new math and English exams given for the first time this year  Go to full article
Newcomb Superintendent Skip Hults is struggling to find cuts that balance his school's budget while garnering enough political support in his tiny community. NCPR file photo
Newcomb Superintendent Skip Hults is struggling to find cuts that balance his school's budget while garnering enough political support in his tiny community. NCPR file photo

Newcomb school will ask voters again to bust tax cap

Last week, four North Country school districts tried to buck the state's 2 percent property tax cap.

General Brown, Minerva, Newcomb and Tupper Lake all asked voters to approve spending increases that ranged from 7 percent as high as 24 percent. In every case, voters said no.

That means school administrators and boards of education are meeting, holding conversations with their communities -- trying to figure out how to maintain programs and services in their rural areas.  Go to full article
Newcomb Central School District cafeteria Photo: NCPR file
Newcomb Central School District cafeteria Photo: NCPR file

Voters slap down four school budgets that bust prop tax cap

Voters in the North Country sent a clear message to school districts that tried to exceed the state property tax cap. The answer was a resounding No.

The vast majority of the region's budgets came in under the cap and passed handily.

But four of the region's school systems -- in General Brown, Minerva, Newcomb and Tupper Lake -- asked voters to go beyond the roughly 4-5% hike allowed by state rules.  Go to full article
The St. Lawrence University cast of "Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?" at a performance in Canton in 2011. Photo: Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
The St. Lawrence University cast of "Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?" at a performance in Canton in 2011. Photo: Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead

Fighting bullying with theatre and creativity

An anti-bullying organization will use a play written by a St. Lawrence University theater professor as part of its "peaceful schools" tour this spring.

SLU Associate Professor of Performance and Communication Arts Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead, is the author of the one-act play, Have you Filled a Bucket Today?. She says schools and parents seem eager to use the arts and creative ways to address bullying in schools.

Based on Carol McCloud's popular children's book of the same name, the play also emphasizes that bullying is wrong. The organization, Peaceful Schools, will perform the play at schools in northern and central New York throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

Halstead told Todd Moe that she first heard about McCloud's book at a meeting at her son's school, and was thrilled when McCloud gave her permission to adapt it as a play.  Go to full article
Banford Elementary School in Canton. Photo: Canton Central School
Banford Elementary School in Canton. Photo: Canton Central School

North Country schools face uncharted ground

Many North Country school districts are facing uncharted territory. They're going bankrupt, and at the same time have more mandates to fulfill.

The annual North Country Symposium is focused on the state of education, and how it's affecting the rest of the community. Keynote speaker John Sipple is director of the New York Center for Rural Schools at Cornell University.

He says there are no easy answers, and that the schools are inextricably intertwined with the community - they rise and fall together.  Go to full article
Assemblywoman Addie Russell speaking to visiting students from Potsdam Middle School in the Assembly Chamber in March 2012. Photo: NY Assembly
Assemblywoman Addie Russell speaking to visiting students from Potsdam Middle School in the Assembly Chamber in March 2012. Photo: NY Assembly

North Country lawmakers await school funding details

As leaders in Albany continue to hammer out the final shape of the state budget, North Country lawmakers are anxious to know what's in store for the region's cash-strapped school districts.  Go to full article

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