Rye City School District ▪ 411 Theodore Fremd Ave Suite 100S, Rye, NY 10580 ▪ (914) 967-6100 

 Board Notes  


2013-2014 Board of Edu
Laura Slack, President ▪ Katy Keohane Glassberg, VP  
Karen Belanger ▪ Edward M. Fox ▪ Nancy Pasquale ▪ Chris Repetto ▪ Nicole Weber

A Summary of the 1/28/14 Rye City School District Board of Education Meeting


Superintendent's Report

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alvarez provided a report to the Board and to the community, highlighting several topics of importance. He discussed the anticipated increase in State Aid and explained that initially, the District expected to receive an increase of approximately 3%, or $75,000. The District later received notice that it will lose about $35,000 in BOCES aid; therefore the projected net increase in State Aid is approximately $40,000. 


Dr. Alvarez also discussed math waivers that the State Education Department submitted to the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in Washington, D.C. He explained that this would present the District with opportunities to offer just the Algebra Regents, or to offer both the Algebra Regents and the eighth grade test. Right now, the District administers both tests and will likely continue doing so. Unfortunately, the State requires that if any change is to be made, the District's entire Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan must be reopened. As the State is not offering an alternative to this process, the District might not be able to benefit from the waiver. More details regarding this matter will be shared at a later date.


Dr. Alvarez additionally mentioned that the meeting agenda included approval of the AP Art History program, which was presented earlier in January, as well as a presentation on the District's Strategic Priorities. Presentations on the Spanish curriculum and a District Management Council (DMC) report were postponed to a future date.

Board of Education Member Comments 
Five Members of the Board of Education shared comments in response to a motion made by Board of Education Member Edward Fox during a Special Board of Education Meeting held on January 27. Board of Education Vice President Katy Keohane Glassbergand Board Members Karen Belanger, Nancy Pasquale, Chris Repetto, and Nicole Weber each provided remarks. Dr. Alvarez addressed the Board and the public on this topic as well. 
Tenure Appointment 
The Board approved the tenure of Rye High School/Rye Middle School Mandarin Teacher Sheau-Yuann Huang. Board of Education President Laura Slack provided congratulatory remarks, explaining that Ms. Huang joined the District in 2010 and has done outstanding work, helping what was a new program grow and flourish. Ms. Huang, who holds a Master of Arts Degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Empire State College, has been a valuable and dedicated teacher, helping students learn a language that can be challenging to master. 
Strategic Priorities: Academic Achievement Update 
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Dr. Betty Ann Wyks provided an update on Academic Achievement. Dr. Alvarez introduced her presentation, explaining that Academic Achievement is one of the District's five Strategic Priorities goals and that the remaining four -- Teacher Effectiveness, Culture of Caring, Fiscal Responsibility, and Community Engagement -- will be addressed at future Board of Education meetings. 

Dr. Wyks first described the manner in which test result data are analyzed. She then spoke about the steps the District has taken to implement English Language Arts (ELA) Common Literacy Practices in grades K-2, as well as the implementation of the Science 21 modules in grades K-5. Dr. Wyks identified the areas of strength and those where more focus is needed with regard to the K-2 literacy implementation. She also outlined the best practices in literacy, one of which is guided reading. Guided reading enables teachers to work with students in small groups to better target their reading needs. Students may be grouped for guided reading, skill and strategy instruction, interactive read aloud, oral language intervention and literature discussion groups. 
As another component to ELA, teachers in grades K-2 throughout the three elementary schools have been working with professional development leader Sharon Taberski. Ms. Taberski, an expert in early reading and author of several books, models lessons directly in the classrooms and also provides teachers with opportunities to discuss what they each do, in order to reach a better understanding of what works best for children. As a result of the training, teachers have shared that they have been able to meet consistently with student groups, structure time better, and help more children reach the next level through this approach.  
Science was covered in the second half of Dr. Wyks' report. The Science 21 Curriculum, which was implemented this year, is linked to the NYS Standards for Math, Science & Technology, without gaps or overlaps. As Dr. Wyks described, it is centered on investigations that are student-directed and are relevant to students' lives; presents a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to science; integrates math, language arts and technology; and achieves a balance between process and content. Science 21 provides grade level kits that arrive at the schools, pre-assembled and ready for use. Dr. Wyks provided an overview of the topics taught in each grade, then shared video footage demonstrating one recent science experiment conducted by Mr. Rich Savage's fifth-grade class at Osborn School.
In discussions following the presentation, Dr. Wyks shared that the District is being provided the opportunity to participate in a program through BOCES that will allow teachers to review the State's recently released 25% of the questions from the grade 3-8 ELA test. Two Rye teachers will be attending this research opportunity, where they will look for implications for instruction and literacy. Additionally, Dr. Alvarez mentioned that the District is considering joining with other school districts for a peer review, which would perform an assessment of particular subject areas. A committee has been formed to further explore this possibility and will eventually provide a recommendation to the Board of Education.

A report on the implementation of the new intervention and remediation strategy for Middle and High School students with special needs was originally scheduled to take place during this meeting. The presentation by the DMC, which is consulting with the District, was postponed to a future date.  

Next Regular Meeting
February 11, 2014
8:00 pm 
Rye Middle School    Multipurpose Room

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