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May 25, 2018
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General News: Update from BOE March Meeting

April 05, 2018

Board of Education Business Meeting March 19th CCHS Cafeteria
By Hannah Comitz 04/04/18

Foreign Affairs Club:
The Foreign Affairs club went to the FDR library to participate in a competition. Mrs. Larkin is the advisor of this club and this year she was excited to announce that the team won regionals. The club members will now go to Washington DC for the national competition. Cornwall’s team was first out of 17 teams in regionals. The club had been attending regionals since 2011 and this is the best the team has done in a long time. Mr. Miller said the whole area is rooting for the team and presented awards to the five juniors and seniors.
Tara Rao later spoke about this club to the board and how it helped her find her interests for the future.

Adolescent Development:
Mrs. Palumbo reported to the board about adolescent development. She said that this is the time period where students make the change from children to young adults. This change starts when puberty starts. While discussing physical development she made a joke about her height and how she grew taller during middle school. She said that kids grow at different rates, an example of this was at the play last weekend. It was difficult to tell the difference between fifth graders and eighth graders. These dramatic changes can make children very self cautious.
Brain Development: During the middle school period the brain does pruning and creates some permanent connections. The brain is not fully developed so these children often act off of emotions.
Intellectual Development: This age group prefers active over passive learning experiences. They also have very short attention spans. Children do not all intellectually develop at the same time.
Social Development: This lags behind physical maturity. The children experience the need to belong to a social group. They are easily offended and sensitive to criticism. The preteens are often egocentric and vulnerable to outside influences. They like to test limits and conform to social norms. Their social lives are the most important thing at the time. The goal of adolescence is to gain competence in skills and recognize weaknesses. This helps people build a personal identity. It is important that the children make connections and find faculty that will properly deal with all these changes.

Extracurricular Activities at the High School:
Students go to Mrs. Imperato with interests and people involved, as well as a faculty member to advise.
Freshman and new students now have the opportunity to see the activities offered at the beginning of the year.

Drama club: Kiana Batista spoke about drama club and all the opportunities it provides. It is a place for students to come together despite their differences and put on a spectacular show. Batista feels that the musical is a great opportunity because anyone can join.

Dungeon and Dragons:
Dendrick Ducasse spoke about this new club that was made by Kyle Orlando. He said that this is a good place for students to socialize and make connections with people who have a common interest.

NHS:
Belle Leishman and Ana Martinez spoke about NHS and the volunteer work carried out by the club. They spoke about their favorite activities that they have been involved in, such as “Soles for Souls” and the Alzheimer’s walk. The two enjoy the club because they do good things for the community. Ana also spoke about what NHS is and how it helps the community come together to support a good cause.

National History Day:
Each year the organization picks a topic and then has each school club build a paper or website that shows their in-depth knowledge. This project usually takes about six months and after they have the opportunity to compete in competitions with other areas. They have the chance to move on to other regionals and state competitions. This club teaches skills such as website building and research habits.

Math team:
Jess Wu and Katie Fray have been taught new math skills and how to apply them to their life. They also use new and unique resources. The team placed third at the sectional competition this year.

Film Club:
This year, the club was given the task of highlighting the clubs in the school. One student said that this video has given him the chance to see the opportunities and clubs that they didn’t know were available.

Environmental club:
The Environmental club collected over $2,000 in water bottles. The club members thanked the community for all of their support and help. They are going to start the garden project when the weather improves. Volunteers are definitely welcome and Mrs. Whorley said that anyone interested can email her.

Professional Development Report:
Dr. Duffy spoke about the Hudson Valley Writing Project. There is a presentation in April. Two teachers have been trained using this program and now use it in their classes. There is also work being done with ENL to help students learn English. There will be a report in June on the STEAM programs.

OCSBA Report:
The next meeting is on Wednesday, May 2nd.

Superintendents Report:
A possible new teacher, Kaitlyn DiSalvo, will be joining the district as a leave replacement for special education at Cornwall-on-Hudson Elementary School. She has six years of experience and the district is very fortunate for her to be in the area.
The middle school had children come to the auditorium if they chose to participate and write something that they promise to make better in their lives.
The high school walk out was held and it was a beautiful ceremony in respect to the people who perished. Ana Martinez read her speech and there was intense passion that seemed unreal.

Ana Martinez Report:
“Stop everything and read” was held for 20 min in the elementary schools. Even if the children were in gym class, they had 20 min to read their favorite books.
The Multicultural night was well attended at Cornwall Elementary School.
The Harlem Wizards came to the high school last Thursday night. Trivia night went well and all proceeds went to the food bank. 100 nights till graduation occurred and energy was high for the anticipation of the rest of this year. Ana also talked about how she hopes that the conversation and progress will continue for school shooting and violence prevention.

Sam Delacruz Report:
On March 9th, Willow Ave. held a talent show where over 50 students showed their talents. The third grade class visited Washington headquarters. CCMS performed “Meet Me On St. Louis” and it was a high energy performance. Delacruz also discussed the optional meeting that Mrs. Imperato held to discuss change after the school shooting.

Code of Conduct Changes:
The student code of conduct changed for the elementary school, and it now allows for more options to help the students after bad behavior.

Police:
There was a lengthy discussion on police officers at the schools. The board president wanted to clarify that the Superintendent had to go to the meeting to take the next step on this issue. Mr. Ortiz brought up the controversial topic of having the availability for police at the school tomorrow. This lasted a long time and a meeting is scheduled to discuss that specifically. Ortiz wanted to give flexibility to board to find the services that best help the school. This resolution was passed so now the best option will be chosen regarding cost and quality.

Budget Presentation:
Mr. Sotland presented the budget and wanted to remind everyone that it is an ongoing project. There was closure to some open items. In all, there are five recorded retirements, which will save the district $169,474. After the annual review for special needs students going out of district, the district is estimated to pay about $90,000. Each new presentation will be updated to represent the new changes. There is a Capital Reserve fund that enables the district to finance part or all of a constructive project or acquisition of equipment. The board is hoping that this will allow the district to do capital improvements using the capital reserve fund that can be established by a majority vote in May. The ballot will hold more detail such as the ultimate amount of the fund, its purpose and source from which the funds will be obtained. The language on the bill will be clear and not intimidating to the taxpayers. This specific Capital Reserve fund will last at the most ten years unless its goal is meant earlier. Having this fund helps the credit rating of the district.
The next meeting is April 9th. The resolution was passed to put this on the ballot.

Closing Comments:
Sam Delacruz said that clubs have gave him a great opportunity to give back to the community and build his own personality.
Ana Martinez said she loved seeing students talk and get passionate about their clubs. It was good to see how it impacts students positively. The walk out was a really emotional morning for her to part in. It made her proud to be a student and see that being a student goes beyond just attending classes.
Mr. Ortiz said that the presentations were great to see because that is why the board exists. He hope to make the experiences of the students as best as possible.
Nancy Bryant said she was very proud of how this district handled the March 14th walkout.

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