The special education staff at the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District scored well in a State Education Department survey completed by parents of students in that program, Elementary School Principal Joyce Dayton told the school board during a meeting last week.
She said this is the third year in a row the district has surveyed parents, but there were not enough responses the first two years to meet state requirements. This year, she said, a concerted effort was made to encourage parents to fill out the surveys and turn them in. There are 140 students in the special education program and 93 parents or families responded, according to Dayton. She said some families might have more than one child in the special education program.
Dayton handed out copies of a letter she sent congratulating the staff on the results and the response analysis she received from SED breaking down the data included in the survey.
“We had a high level of cooperation and positive responses,” said Dayton.
Questions dealt with topics such as whether or not parents were given a chance to share their opinions and encouraged to participate in the decision-making process. These received mostly positive responses, 88 or 89 out of 93. Those questions receiving fewer positive responses showed parents were unhappy with some procedures, laws and regulations, Dayton told the board.
“Most are happy with the accommodations for their children and they feel their opinions are valued,” she said.
The state’s target score for the questionnaire was 90 percent and the Frankfort-Schuyler district survey results showed a 96.7 positive parent response rate.
“It shows the staff is working hard,” said Dayton. “It indicates the teachers’ willingness to learn about children’s needs and that we are giving them choices.”
She said there were a lot of changes in special education last year and parents are just being educated about them.
Dayton said parents needed more options for contacting the staff. “Now there are more parents and teachers texting each other back and forth,” she said.
Dayton reported kindergarten registration had been held last month and 38 students registered the first day. There was a snow day on the second scheduled registration day. She pointed out last year at this time some 40 kindergartners were registered, but the number increased by the time school began. There have been an average of 66 children entering kindergarten over the last few years, Dayton said.
She also reported on a variety of activities at the elementary school including the following:
• The Heart Jump Rope-A-Thon award assembly was scheduled for March 15. If students met their goal, Dayton and two other staff members had agreed to sit in a pot and be made part of vegetable soup.
• A PTO-sponsored anti-bullying assembly was scheduled for March 18.
Page 2 of 2 - • The Pennies for Patients assembly was scheduled for March 20 with a student fund-raising goal of $1,600. If students meet it, Superintendent Robert Reina agreed to have his head shaved.
• A science fair for grades 3-5 is scheduled for March 21.
• The PARP – Reading Rocks ending ceremony is scheduled for March 28. The student goal is to read 100,000 minutes and the principal’s challenge is for a teacher and the principal to participate in a dance challenge.
• During March, April and May, staff members pay $1 to wear jeans on Friday to raise money for the ALS Association.
• The Kiwanis-K-Kids, in collaboration with the local Kiwanis Club, are providing support for several fundraising events.
Middle School Principal Julie Tangorra reported the middle school students had participated in Hoops for Hearts to raise money for the American Heart Association while learning about the heart and how to keep it healthy.
High School Principal John Bubb reported a representative of Utica National Insurance gave a PowerPoint presentation on distracted driving during separate sessions for the juniors and seniors. There were video clips and testimonials, he said, and the students paid attention.
Superintendent Robert Reina reported he had traveled with a group of 25 students who are members of the district’s Friends of Rachel Club to Bethlehem High School in Delmar to act as co-leaders and mentors to students there who are getting involved in Rachel’s Challenge. While Bethlehem is a much larger school district than Frankfort-Schuyler, he said, the local students responded well, getting involved in groups and trying to help facilitate discussions. He said the possibility of bringing students from different schools who are involved in Rachel’s Challenge together in late summer or early fall is being discussed.