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Superintendent

                  

Dear Members of the Stamford School Community, 

I hope this letter finds you to be well and enjoying the remaining weeks of summer. It has been a busy summer at Stamford Central School. We are pleased to welcome Ms. Shawn Davis, our new Principal, who joined our team on July 1st. After a thorough search for a technology teacher, we have been unable to fill the position. Our neighboring districts and those within our region, including larger districts such as Oneonta City Schools and Cooperstown CSD, are also not able to fill technology teacher positions due to a statewide shortage. We are grateful that Mr. John Bonhotal, currently our Deputy Mayor and retired school administrator and teacher, will join our team to support technology education part-time. We will attend statewide recruitment fairs this year so the position will hopefully be filled by next year.

This past June, with the generosity of the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation, we were able to bring the national program “Capturing Kids Hearts” to Stamford Central School. Capturing Kids Hearts focuses on increasing student performance while competing against social, environmental, and other outside pressures students may face. The goal is to increase meaningful and productive relationships with every student to foster connectedness for increased achievement and success in school. We are excited to implement this program to create a safe and effective environment for learning. This program is aligned with a program we implemented two years ago called Sources of Strength. Sources of Strength was established by Dr. Peter Wyman, Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. It is a prevention program that empowers teens to become change agents to support positive mental health and fight the influence of drugs and addiction. I want to thank Karen Ogborn, Cathy McKenna, Amanda Brownell, and Kristin Basile for their leadership and initiative in starting this program. By developing strong programs and partnerships, and with the assistance of parents as partners, we can meet all of our student’s needs. 

This school year we will begin the third year of our digital learning pilot. The benefits of digital learning include: 1) social, emotional, and academic success, 2) knowledge and skills for college and career, 3) 21st century skills development (critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration), 4) personalized learning, 5) richer engagement, differentiation, and self-directed learning, 6) the ability to extend the day – increasing time for students to learn, 7) the ability to provide immediate and real-time feedback, and 8) enhance the ability to “level the playing field” so our students have the ability to compete in a global economy. 

A recent example of how we have been able to personalize learning is by providing opportunities for students to accelerate in math. As a result a student was able to complete two math courses (Geometry and Algebra & Trigonometry) in one year (which normally requires two years). This was possible due to student motivation, the assistance of the math teacher, and the use of digital applications and tools which provided opportunities for self-directed learning with immediate and real-time feedback.

This year students in the upper grades will have the option to bring an iPad home. This will allow students to extend the day, if needed, to have more time to complete school assignments or provide enrichment. An iPad Use Agreement will need to be signed by both the parent and the student before an iPad will be able to go home. Families are encouraged to purchase the Protection Plan; it is $25/device. The Protection Plan provides assistance with accidental damage, theft, a broken screen, etc. The iPad and case have a value of approximately $400. A detailed letter was mailed home with information about the digital learning initiative, the iPad Use Agreement, and Protection Plan. More information will be available in September about taking the iPad home.

All school districts in NYS are required to complete a Building Condition Survey every five years. With assistance from our architects March Associates, we were able to complete the survey and submit it to the New York State Department of Education. Based on the survey, there are quite a few areas of the school infrastructure that need to be replaced or repaired. The survey identified the need to replace the boilers in the main building which was approved by the community and completed in the winter of 2018. There are additional district buildings which require repair. A Facilities Advisory Committee is being created to receive input from the community on 1) district building repairs, 2) possible security enhancements or alternatives, and 3) extensive repairs needed at the Churchill building and available options. We will continue to be pro-active toward facilities management to provide a safe and sustainable learning environment for students.

Over the next three years the NYS Education Department will roll out the Next Generation Standards. We will be working on aligning the shifts in NYS Standards with revised curriculum with assistance from our local BOCES and neighboring districts. The new standards maintain academic rigor while preparing students in NYS for life in the 21st century. 

Throughout the summer office staff work long hours to allow us to be ready to go when students and faculty return for the opening of school. This includes hard work by our building and grounds staff and our transportation department in making sure the buildings are ready and the buses are tuned. As we prepare for the return of students and staff, I am thankful for each individual and their dedication toward their work and our school community.

At the May budget vote, the community approved the purchase of a new bus. The bus has been ordered. This will assist us in providing a reliable transportation system that meets student learning needs; this includes providing access to BOCES programs in Grand Gorge and Milford as well as programming in Springbrook, etc. Your support is greatly appreciated.

As we begin a new school year, I want to remind parents and guardians that it is critical to make sure that your son or daughter comes to school prepared to learn each day. There is a strong correlation between attendance and achievement. In addition, I know we all have the same goal of creating a safe and caring learning environment for our students. To assist in meeting this goal I want to remind parents and visitors that they are required to sign in when entering the building.  

As I begin my fourth year as the superintendent at Stamford Central School, I want you to know that I am grateful for your support, and that I am proud of our school and community. We have highly dedicated faculty and staff who care deeply about your child’s well-being and their success. I look forward to seeing you out in the community and at the school events throughout the year. I hope you enjoy the remaining days of summer.    

Best regards,

Dr. Glen A. Huot,
Superintendent

Stamford Central School District
1 River Street, Stamford, NY 12167
Phone: 607-652-7301  |   Fax: 607-652-3446
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