By Mark J. Ward, Superintendent
(Reprinted from the ECS Newsletter with permission)
As we enter the budget phase it is once again time to make plans for a new year! We are looking to expand of curriculum offerings, plan to add additional software and purchase a large number of computers for student use.
Technology: With the significant role that technology plays in our lives and in the operation of the school it is an ongoing part of the budget process each year. We are planning to purchase another onsite server to store information that is routinely backed up. We also plan to purchase roughly 120 new Dell laptops to replace computers in the library and will be distributed to all 8th and 9th graders. This will mean that all students in grades 8-12 will have their own laptop computer.
This technology will be purchased through BOCES in the form of an Installment Purchase Agreement (IPA) that allows us to buy items up front while paying for them over a period of time.
Teaching and Instruction: We are in the process of expanding our course offerings for the upcoming year. I am pleased to let you know that Mrs. Melissa Reedy, high school math teacher, is being approved to teach a Jamestown Community College course in Pre-Calculus. Currently, we offer JCC Calculus and JCC Statistics but this will be a great addition to our curriculum and provide students with another way to acquire college credit in high school.
Mr. Dave McCann and Mr. Chris Keenan, high school social studies teachers, will be attending summer training at Syracuse University to become qualified to offer ECN 203 Economic Ideas and Issues through the Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA). While the District was approved last year to participate these will be the first teachers certified to offer the class.
Software: We are planning to replace iReady with Success Maker which is a program that we had used before in the District. It helps with reinforcement of skills, AIS instruction and is often used during Homework Club. It allows us to track and monitor student progress and success.
The District is looking to purchase Schoology, a learning management system used by thousands of colleges and high schools across the country. It is a place to get assignments, leave assignments and share information. It not only can be used by classroom teachers, but advisors and coaches as well to relay information. By using a learning management system we will better prepare our students for the programs they will encounter on the next step in their educational journey.
We are making plans to add “OverDrive” to our library services in an effort to provide faculty, students and staff access to electronic books. This service will also give us access to a unique collection of books held by the CA BOCES School Libraries System.
Athletics: We will be putting the finishing touches on the new softball field once the spring weather arrives. The mild winter allowed the grass to get a good start and we hope to have it ready for use in the summer. Some additional drainage and grading will still be needed. With three levels of baseball and softball teams this spring we will be “challenged” to find places to practice and fields to play on. We hope that in the future we will be able to work with the Village of Ellicottville to develop more fields in the Village Park and improve what is there for student use.
We plan to complete the work on the “bank” overlooking the football field. Some fill was placed there in the fall and we plan to reduce the slope grade and seed over the summer.