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The Telegram
  • Frankfort-Schuyler alumni offer input about programs

  • Frankfort-Schuyler Central School recently received input on how well it is preparing students for college from some experts — its alumni.

    Superintendent Robert Reina reported on his meeting with several recent graduates during last week’s school board meeting.

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  • Frankfort-Schuyler Central School recently received input on how well it is preparing students for college from some experts — its alumni.
    Superintendent Robert Reina reported on his meeting with several recent graduates during last week’s school board meeting.
    Reina said he had invited the top 10 graduates from the last two years to meet and talk about their experiences in college. Seven or eight students accepted the invitation.
    “We wanted to know what we did well at Frankfort-Schuyler and what we could do better,” said Reina. “Once they got started, they were not hesitant about talking. I just sat there for an hour and a half taking notes.”
    He said the students found Advanced Placement courses, College Now and Project Lead the Way helpful.
    “They said they found chemistry class here difficult, but they said ‘It was hard but it prepared us.’ They also said we had a good variety of teacher with a good variety of teaching styles,” he said.
    Suggestions included adding more AP courses.
    “We offer four now,” said Reina. “I talked with them about possibly having a regional AP Center at BOCES and the kids thought that was a great idea.”
    Other suggestions included:
    • Adding a public speaking course as a requirement. Some of the graduates said they struggled at first when they had to give presentations or defend research.
    “One girl said she was amazed at how easily some of her classmates got up and started giving their presentations.” Reina noted public speaking was at one time a requirement at the school.
    • The alumni said the district should challenge students more. There should be more writing required and more assessments in the form of quizzes, tests and projects.
    “They said we should have higher expectations,” said Reina.
    • Students should be required to do more reading in high school, the participants said. They should also be required to write different styles of research papers.
    • Teaching students to communicate better using e-mail was another suggestion. As college students, participants said, they rarely see their professors outside the classroom. Papers are sent electronically.
    Reina said the meeting was productive and added the district could begin offering public speaking as an elective and phase it in to make it a requirement within the next few years. As public speaking is a half-year course, he said, interpersonal communications might be offered for the other half of the year.
    Board members agreed this could be helpful.
    “They do not know how to speak to another person,” said board of education President Lisa LoRe. “It’s one thing to text, but if they can’t look another person in the eye and shake their hand, they’re not going to be marketable.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Reina said when members of the alumni group were talking about AP courses, he asked if it would be helpful to offer some AP courses on line.
    “They had mixed feelings about that,” he said. “For lab-based courses or classes that involved exchanges of ideas and philosophy, they prefer the classroom setting.”
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