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ICC students tell survey of bullying in school

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KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education discussed the new core curriculum this week and adopted a plan for a new math curriculum for kindergarten through 8th grade.

At the regular board meeting Tuesday, June 5, the board also appointed James Baldwin, the superintendent of the Quester III, the regional BOCES, to be the search consultant for a new superintendent. The district has had an interim superintendent, Lee Bordick, for two years. After conducting a search last year that did not lead to a candidate, board members plan to start a new search. Mr. Bordick will stay on until a new superintendent is found.

Another item on the agenda Tuesday was a review of an online survey by an outside organization of high school students, staff and parents about cultural climate at the school. Ratings from the students were low in the area of social safety. Students said they had been bullied or seen bullying and reported that adults in the district did not respond adequately to the issues.

The school personnel who responded the survey had much more positive answers to the questions, as did the parents who filled it out. The results will be on the district website at www.ichabodcrane.org.

“Generally we are not talking about crisis mode,” said Mr. Bordick of the responses. He said there was more information to look at in the data and the administration would do more reporting to the board about the answers.

Board President Regina Rose, who is also on the district’s Safe Schools Committee along with school administrators, local law enforcement and town officials, handed out a draft flyer listing signs parents should look out for that would suggest a student is using drugs or abusing alcohol. She said the committee plans to hand out the flyers at open houses and other school events, as well as handing them out in the community. The Safe Schools Committee has been meeting since the beginning of the school year.

Standards are changing throughout the state for students’ grades and test scores, and these changes are also affecting how teachers and administrators are being evaluated. Mr. Bordick discussed the new standards with the board after he attended a Questar III presentation on the core curriculum.

“High education has never mattered more,” Mr. Bordick said about preparing all students for college by end of high school. The principals of the in the Primary, Elementary and Middle schools talked spoke enthusiastically about the adjustments they are making in preparation for a common core curriculum.

The board heard some complaints about the new state tests, but one teacher said that the district’s students were prepared and didn’t have trouble on the most recent round of testing.

“The implementation parts are troubling,” Mr. Bordick said of the new curriculum, but he told the board there is more information to come from the state.

The board accepted the resignation of two bus drivers, Coleen Winslow and Nina Sokol. Ms. Winslow was also the CSEA union representative. Mr. Bordick called her a true leader who worked hard representing the members of her bargaining unit, which includes bus drivers, cleaners and kitchen staff in the district. He said that Ms. Sokol was a “dedicated employee and bus driver.” The bus runs are being cut down next year and as many as eight full-time bus driver positions will be cut.

The next board meeting is Tuesday, June 19 in the Middle School Library at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com.

 

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