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G’town district wary of state test scores


GERMANTOWN—In a short, convivial meeting September 11 the Board of Education of the Germantown Central School District made plans for next month’s meeting, which will include two presentations.

At the October 9 meeting, James N. Baldwin, district superintendent of Questar III BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services), will make his annual visit and discuss with board members any timely topic they wish. The superintendent annually visits each of the 23 districts in Columbia, Rensselaer and parts of Greene counties that Questar III serves.

In a second presentation, a general overview of how Germantown students did on the 2013 assessment test—part of the new Common Core State Standards initiative—will be reported and discussed. “Every day we get more information from the state,” said Superintendent Susan Brown, but so far date the information has been embargoed.

Nicole McCollum, Germantown’s data analyst at Questar III “is doing a great job” of analyzing the information, said Ms. Brown, who added that Ms. McCollum will make a presentation in October “that will put [assessment results] into perspective.”

Parents in the audience expressed concern as to how results would be shared with students. “Lots of kids were upset by these tests,” said one audience member. Ms. Brown agreed that this was very important, saying that principals and teachers had been considering how to do this since the last school year.

Another parent expressed concern that more students would have to take part in Academic Intervention Services (AIS). Since the school year has started without assessment results, AIS is difficult for the district to provide, said Ms. Brown.

In other business, the board:

Volunteered for committees as follows: Ron Moore and Teresa Repko, Facilities; Tammi Kellenbenz and Faydra Geraghty, Curriculum; Ralph DelPozzo and Brittany DuFresne, Policy. In addition, board president Eric Mortenson serves on all three committees.

Scheduled a Board of Education retreat for November 20 at 6 p.m., at Columbia-Greene Community College. This is to include a goal-setting exercise.

Learned from high school Principal Karol Harlow that the six college-level courses offered this semester have drawn 56 students. English (17) and chemistry (13) have the greatest number of students. No students are taking online courses this semester.

Learned from Ms. Harlow that four students, all girls, will go to China in February.

All board members and an audience of eight attended the meeting.





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