Story by Shelley R. Clapper
At the beginning of the Florida School Board meeting on Thurs., Dec. 21, there was a public hearing on the District-wide Safety Plan. Superintendent Jan Jehring said that New York State has a template for a District safety plan and occasionally the plan needs to be updated.
Jehring said that this time the only changes have been the contact information, with no significant changes in the content. She said that the major areas to the plan were: Risk Reduction, Prevention and Intervention, and Response Planning and Recovery. Jehring said the Florida School District takes safety very seriously and that they have had four lock-down safety drills this year.
“Recently we had a lock-down drill, in conjunction with law enforcement, that was unannounced and I would say that our staff and our students did a very good job. Within one to two minutes from calling the drill you could walk around the school and not see a student and you would think that we are not in session,” said Jehring.
The School Safety Plan will be posted on the District website.
School Board Receives Special Recognition
Jehring reported that she was very excited to acknowledge that the School Board had been recognized by New York State in October.
“We had talked about how we might be able to recognize the Board for all their hours and work that you do,” said Michael Rheaume, the principal of S.S. Seward Institute.
He then said that high school senior William Quattrocchi had been commissioned to do an art work in honor of the Board.
Rheaume described William as being “a Renaissance man” not just for being academically successful but also because he is very gifted at art. The School Board was then individually presented with cartoon-like pencil renderings of them in session, much to their delight and amusement.
Data Presentation of NYS Assessment Reports
Also during the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Lisa Tiger provided a brief overview of the New York State Assessment and Accountability report, that the District gets every year. This year in the Florida School District, the percentage of students in grades three to eight who scored a proficient level, increased by ten percent to 48 percent, up from 38 percent in 2016, and that is pretty significant. In Math the percentage of students who scored in the proficiency level went up eight percent from 41 percent in 2016 to 49 percent.
“Overall when we compare ourselves to New York State and to Orange County, Florida is at 48 percent proficiency, Orange County was at 36 percent proficiency and New York State was at 40 percent proficiency,” said Tiger.
In Math, Florida was at 49 percent proficiency, Orange County was at 38 percent proficiency and New York State was at 40 percent proficiency. In ELA, grades three, four, five and eight ranked in the top five out of seventeen districts in Orange County.
“We are addressing the weak areas that have been uncovered through analysis with the other grade levels. In Math, in grades three, four and five we were in the top five in Orange County and we have been working very closely with the middle school math programs, looking at their data to address any curricular problems. Overall, in almost every grade level, when comparing with 2016, each individual student grew in 2017…Overall our students have improved outcomes, which resulted in our teachers receiving their State provider growth scores as being either highly effective or being effective,” said Tiger.
New Business Administrator
In other news, the School Board passed a motion to accept Lorine Van Put-Lamerand as a school business administrator starting in Feb.
“I want to thank you all for having faith in me and I will not let you down,” said Put-Lamerand
Next Meeting Set for Jan. 18
The next regular school board meeting will be held on Thurs., Jan. 18 at 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in the Village of Florida.