Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Warwick School Board met for their regular business meeting on Mon., Dec. 12.
N.Y.S. Master Teacher
At the beginning of the meeting, School Board President Lynn Lillian announced that high school Science teacher Lisa Reece had been named as a New York State Master Teacher. Lillian said, “She becomes the third WVCSD teacher to receive this award.” Previous award winners are middle school science teacher Tracey Waters and high school math teacher Lisa Howard. Master teachers are recognized for their dedication to providing the most innovative STEM education to their students, their commitment to professional growth and their enthusiasm of sharing their successful practices with colleagues in their schools and districts.
STEM at Elementary Schools
A presentation was given by students from Mrs. Kuzmiak’s fourth grade class at Park Avenue Elementary School on their materials engineering unit of study. Student Miranda Wright said, “Our challenge in STEM was to make a replica of a real petroglyph for a museum. A petroglyph is a rock that has been carved into to make a picture.” Students explained that they had tested the durability of seven different rocks: limestone, granite, alabaster, marble, pumice, wax and foam.
Student Kevin Ginley said, “We had to plan what rock we would carve into. Half of us wanted alabaster and half of us wanted limestone. We ended up choosing limestone because we thought it was the best out of all of them.”
Student Andrew Heim spoke about the engineering design process saying, “These were our steps: ask, imagine, create and improve.”
“The children were excited and thrilled to go each day to our STEM class,” said Mrs. Kuzmiak.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach said, “I would like to extend congratulations to Lisa Reece for representing the high school and to Park Avenue Elementary School for emulating this.”
Recognition of Excellence in Public Relations
Dr. Leach also congratulated the District staff who manage the District’s website including Louise Hutchison, Maureen Westphal and Eunice Cunha. Dr. Leach announced that the District has been recognized for outstanding achievement in educational communications by the New York Schools Public Relations Association.
Warwick’s 150th Anniversary
Dr. Leach gave an update on the District’s partnership with the Village of Warwick in preparing for the 2017 150th anniversary of the Village. Elementary school students participated in a survey to name the Village of Warwick flower, tree and bird. Leach said that the winning choices are the rose, maple tree and hummingbird.
Update on Capital Projects at High School
Dr. Leach reported that all the windows have been installed in the window wall project at the high school and that there remains only some minor trim work left to be done, repairs on cracked sheetrock and installation of shades.
Dr. Leach said, “The Media Center continues towards completion.” He said that most of the flooring has been installed and the electrician is working on a conduit to run the equipment and lighting in the communications wing. He added, “The space really encourages collaboration. It also includes a student lounge.”
Green Team Initiative at Sanfordville
Dr. Leach reported on the recycling efforts of the Green Team at Sanfordville Elementary School. He said that by recycling, reusing and composting, the Green Team has demonstrated how simple actions can help reduce solid waste. Third graders have been busy collecting single-use water bottles brought in at snack time and a parent volunteer has brought them in for recycling. Dr. Leach reported that so far they have saved seven and a half large plastic bags full of water bottles from going into the landfill. The District is working with the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation to incorporate the theme of sustainability into lessons.
Middle School Coloring for Chemo
The Warwick Valley Middle School Leadership Club is involved in a project called Coloring for Chemo and students are collecting donations of coloring books, crayons, colored pencils and baskets for hospitalized pediatric cancer patients at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Leach reported that he and Principal Lisamarie Spindler, along with three members of the club, recently attended the “Your Schools” radio program to discuss the project.
Merger with Florida School District for Football & Swimming
In matters of new business, a resolution authorizing a merger with the Florida Union Free School District was approved. Students from Florida in grades seven to 12 will be able to participate in the Warwick football program. The Florida swimming team will be able to shadow the Warwick swimming team.
Dr. Leach said, “It is a great opportunity to pool resources and to continue to strengthen an already strong relationship between the two districts.”
During comments from residents, Florida School Board member Timothy Beattie said, “Thank you for extending the opportunity to allow our students to participate in athletics.” Florida District Superintendent Jan Jehring was present at the meeting.
Safety & Security
All WVCSD buildings recently completed their Safety and Security Assessments. Items in any of the building assessments that required attention have been addressed.
Dr. Leach said that upon his recommendation, the Board will be asked to adopt a District-wide School Emergency Response Plan for 2016-17. He said that the plan has been reviewed by the Director of Human Resources and Civil Rights Compliance Officer, Cindy Leandro, and School and Community Outreach NYS Trooper Craig Vedder, and that the current plan is up to date.
In other matters of new business, a proposal passed to amend the 2016-17 student calendar so that Fri., Dec. 23 will be a half day.
The next regular School Board business meeting will be held on Mon., Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, located at 225 West St., Warwick.