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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

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September 20, 2013

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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Curriculum, security are top priorities at Katonah Elementary School


By CHRISTINE RAHIMI
SCOTT MULLIN

Principal Jessica Godin greets students on the first day of school, Monday, Sept. 9.

 

Katonah Elementary School launched its new school year, as principal Jessica Godin, teachers and staff welcomed students on Monday, Sept. 9.

Last week she described the key challenges and programs for the year ahead, including the new Common Core Learning Standards, including a new science and technology program, and enhanced English and Language Arts instruction.

“We’ve been spending a great deal of time looking at our curriculum, highlighting the areas based on student data that need fortifying.” We want a system that really ties everything in the school. and a program that really ties together, so each grade is within a few lessons of each other in each subject.”

Since each of the district’s elementary schools were using a different math program, it was important that they develop a common curriculum.

Ms. Godin was in charge of the district-wide committee for math. “We realized that once the CORE standards came down we were using everyday math and it was no longer relevant, because that was a spiraling program that did not teach to mastery.”

The math committee, consisting of about 35 members adopted a state curriculum and modules from the New York State Education Department’s “Engage NY” program which directly aligns with the common core standards. “The teachers have a comprehensive guide for how to teach mathematics for the entire year,” she said. “Now this year we have a comprehensive curriculum from the state that we can use.”

The also ordered from Curriculum Associates New York Ready test-prep material, but highlights what standards the students are hitting. “Through analysis of practice exams and student work, they’re really able to spend time eliminating and fortifying the curriculum,” Ms. Godin said. “Last year test scores were admirable. Fifth-grade test scores were fantastic.’

Ms. Godin said she thought the teachers were more comfortable with the new curriculum. “Last year was definitely challenging because so much was coming down on them. I think they’re much more comfortable with it this year. I think they love the fact that they came in this year and were handed a binder that was color-coded based on what the math was.”

She continued, “They do have their professional learning community time, which is the common planning hour each week, to work on the English Language Arts curriculum.” She said that she and assistant principal Terry Costin worked on that and work with teachers and staff, and they use student work to really drive what the talk about. She said the teachers set SMART goals that are small and measurable goals that they can attain, and they attain it through student data, so they set their own guidelines and levels of achievement.

The school district will also screen every student using Aims Web, a response-intervention program that reveal areas of academic weakness, “so we’re really using data to inform our instruction. And now that we’ve gotten the state test scores back, we have the item analysis, we have our results from our universal screening, so we really know what parts of the curriculum we need to work on.”

Ms. Godin said in terms of behavior issues, the school uses the Compact team of community members parents and teachers to keep a watch on potential problems and provide preventative measures.

She said last year the Compact team focused on bus etiquette. “This year the team will focus on lunch and recess, and mix it up days at lunch and ways that we can really integrate the kids. We don’t want to structure it for them because it is a time when they can free play and really let loose, but we want to make sure everyone feels safe and included.”

This is coming down from the administration, happening in all the elementary schools. “We’re really trying to make everything elementary wide, because it shouldn’t be a lottery where you end up buying a house in the district, you should get an enriching experience at every elementary school and so we really are trying to make it consistent.” She said for instance the pacing guides they established, all the elementary schools are getting it, and the math was done for all the elementary schools. She said although the schools are unique, they want students to have a similar academic experience “so the students come into the school knowing what they should know.”

The new year also brings enhanced security at the elementary school. Ms. Godin said she had meet with Officer Melvin Padilla of the Bedford police, and appreciated that the police department was located not far from the school. “Having local police at events is new,” Ms. Godin said. 

New protocol have been established for a single point of entry, locked doors, closed windows, and staff must  wear their ID on a lanyard on torso. She said the consult with Altaris, and as security protocols come down, they go with it. A crisis team meets every other week, of which Ms. Godin is chairwoman, Ms. Costin is co-chairwoman. According to Ms. Godin, they they plan security for every single event: which door, who’s manning the door, do they want stickers, pins, and more. “We’re enhancing our security at every turn whenever possible,” Ms. Godin said.

For parents and students alike, KES is considered a very special place. Ms. Godin agrees.  “It’s different, it is a wonderful school,” she said. “It’s gorgeous, absolutely beautiful. It’s a joy to come to work every day. Physically it’s different because it is the only community school in the district, meaning that there’s an actual community attached to it. We have about 80 walkers and riders every day.”

To encourage walking, KES has added walk-to-school Fridays, “which the kids absolutely love,” she said. She said they have between 90 and 100 car drop-offs daily, and they reduce that on Fridays to as little as 10 cars.

“While all schools would tell you it feels like a family, KES really does because we’re such a part of the community,” Ms. Godin said. “Community members come in all the time and we have really involved parents. It’s just a great place to be.”


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