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ECS Board Reviews Capital Project Details

By Jann Wiswall

The ECS Board of Education will remain busy over the summer, despite the absence of students filling the halls.

The capital project, in particular, will be taking a lot of time as architects, ECS staff and school board members work to meet the Oct. 1 deadline to get final plans and a cost estimate to Albany for approval.

During the board’s meeting on June 25, Superintendent Mark Ward and Board Chair Roger Spell reviewed progress on the project. Plans for the multi-purpose gym/stage are being refined. Recommendations for locker styles, seating options, stage rigging, sound systems, light fixtures, hardware, windows and other details must be finalized by the board by mid-late July in order to allow time for pricing to be estimated.

“Every detail is being considered now, and as details are worked out, the project is getting more exciting,” Ward said. “This is a unique structure that will be of great value to the entire community. The architects love the challenge of this project. It’s taking a lot of creativity on their part to achieve all of our goals.”

Following discussion of the capital project, Ward reported that graduation 2013 was a great success. All 47 of the seniors graduated this year and 81 percent of those students are going on to two- or four-year colleges in the fall. A total of $600,000 in scholarships was awarded to this class. And four seniors were honored for their perfect attendance!

Elementary School Principal Connie Poulin updated the board on projected classroom counts for 2013-14. The pre-K program is full, with 40 children enrolled and more on a waiting list. Kindergarten already has 41 students enrolled, a record high in recent years. In total, 302 students are enrolled for grades K–6 for next year.

Poulin also reported that the staff currently is waiting for the state to post the required math curriculum for the elementary grades. She said it has been disappointing to see that the state selected a different vendor to prepare the curriculum than the one that prepared the assessments and hopes they will align with each other.

The English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum has been posted by the state, which allows teachers to begin to review that over the summer.

In general, Poulin said that all elementary school teachers were very pleased with the 2012-13 school year. Report cards were solid and students were motivated. She said she and the rest of the staff received great comments and personal thanks from many parents during the last week of school.

Middle/High School Principal Bob Miller was not present for the meeting, but had prepared a report on the 2012-13 Regents exam results that was shared by Ward.

“The results, in general, are impressive,” said Ward, who noted that a full 71 percent of students passed the U.S. History exam with a score of 90 percent or higher, and 78 percent scored 85 percent. Every student who took the Earth Science exam passed with a score of 65 percent or better, and 43 percent achieved a score of 90 percent or higher.

Collectively, 87 percent of students taking science exams passed, 97 percent who took social studies exams passed, 85 percent taking mathematics exams passed, and 95 percent who took the ELA exam passed.

One student achieved 100s on two exams and a 99 on another. And five students (four of whom took SAT prep courses) scored 100 percent on the ELA exam.

The school board will meet again July 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library.

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