Story by Lisa Rice
Members of the Warwick Valley Central School District (WVCSD) Board of Education voted unanimously to accept a $14,000 donation to pay off all existing student lunch loans and fund lunches for students who cannot afford it through the rest of the 2018-19 school year. District Superintendent, Dr. David Leach confirmed that the existing debt is less than half the donation. Leach encouraged the donor to make themselves known and be acknowledged for their generous donation, but said that they insisted on remaining anonymous, wanting the focus to be on identifying students and families in need. Board members were visibly moved by the donation, some stating that this made their day.
Board to Visit Kinesthetic Lab at Park Avenue
In preparation for Board members to visit the Kinesthetic Lab at Park Avenue Elementary School later this month, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Services, James Yap gave a presentation on kinesthetic learning. This type of learning links developmental movement and physical activity with an increased performance in academics. An example that was used was that the ability to skip directly correlates to reading readiness. Research has shown that it is necessary for children to learn to move physically across their midline in order for information to move between lobes in the brain.
According to the presentation, 85 percent of all students learn kinesthetically, by experiencing, touching and doing an activity. Brain scans have proven that after only 20 minutes of physical activity, brains “light up.”
The Board will visit the Kinesthetic Lab at Park Avenue Elementary School during their next work session to be held on Mon., Mar. 25. Students from both Park Avenue and Sanfordville Elementary School will be in attendance.
Warwick Coalition Welcomes New Coordinator
Board member Bob Howe reported that the new coordinator for the Warwick Valley Coalition for the Prevention of Substance Abuse, Ryan Caldwell, has attended several meetings at the Middle School and High School and the students have really embraced him. He also joined High School Principal Dr. Larry Washington and Athletic Director Gregory Sirico at a meeting with all spring athletes to go over the code of conduct and discuss unhealthy behaviors, such as vaping. Washington announced that students caught vaping would have to watch a four-hour educational video on substance abuse.
“That is very proactive,” said Howe. “Instead of punishing, it’s educating.”
Town of Warwick Historian, Dr. Richard Hull, discussed the history of alcohol and drugs in Warwick at a recent coalition meeting.
“It was very interesting,” commented James Yap. “It was really well done and very informative.”
Student Board Member in Rehearsal
Student Board of Education Member, Madeleine Wadeson missed the meeting, as she was in final rehearsal for her role as Sophie in the High School Drama Club production of the musical Mamma Mia.
Calendar, Scholarships, Field Trips Approved
The Board approved the 2019-20 WVCSD student calendar, which includes a two-week winter break.
The establishment of two new scholarships in memory of Thomas Georgalas was approved. The Thomas Georgalas Farm-To-Table Scholarship will award $1,000 to a student completing the culinary arts program at the Career and Technical Education Center at Orange-Ulster BOCES. The Thomas Georgalas Scholarship Award for Kindness is open to all seniors. Georgalas, a sous chef, is remembered for his culinary skill and his kind nature.
Two high school field trips were approved: the French classes will visit SUNY Albany on Fri., Mar. 29 and the Physics class will visit Six Flags Great Adventure on “Physics Day,” Wed., May 22.
Due to a scheduled budget work session on Mon., Apr. 8, the next regular School Board meeting will be held on Thurs., Apr. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, located at 225 West St. in Warwick.