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New Leb school board hears upbeat reports


NEW LEBANON–Spirits were high at the September 16 New Lebanon Board of Education meeting as board members and faculty discussed the school year ahead.

Andrew Kurt, Walter B. Howard Elementary School principal, reported summer school enrollment jumped from seven kids last year to 18 in 2015. Mr. Kurt sees this as a positive step towards younger earlier intervention, “so students don’t regress over the summer.” He was also pleased to offer many summer camp activities to students enrolled in the summer program.

Jennifer Morris, chair of the committee on special education, outlined a new career development and occupational studies (CDOS) commencement credential. The credential is offered by the state and will be adopted by the district this year. CDOS can be earned in addition or as an alternative to a high school diploma. The program focuses on experience with technical and social skills to promote job success.

Superintendent Leslie Whitcomb reported 21 new students in the district this year, with a total of 12 new families. This places the school district enrollment steady with the 5% decrease in birthrate in Columbia County.

Junior-Senior High School Principal Matthew Klafehn told the board, “Our focus remains on establishing positive relationships with each and every student… because we’re a small district, we truly know every student.”

Seventh and eighth graders went on a field trip to the Berkshire outdoor center, a team building obstacle course. Two new social studies teachers were hired for the middle and high school.

With high school soccer and volleyball season already underway, the Athletic Department is sprucing up, with refinished gym floors, new scorers tables and padded seats set to be installed before the start of the winter sports season. New uniforms were also purchased for all modified sports teams.

The transportation department for the district is still looking for substitute drivers for athletic events and regular bus routes.


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